Saturday, December 31, 2011

Deuces, 2011

The year 2011 has been a banner one for us.  Hubs and I vacationed in Maui, and he got to experience his first trans-Pacific airplane ride.  My son started school. We transitioned to a no sippy cup, all big kid bed home. I got to see the pure joy of Christmas in my children's eyes. I met wonderful people, and grew closer to those that I've known forever. I really can't say it was a bad year. Sure, we had our roller coaster moments, but all in all, the past 12 months have been pretty good for us. We are blessed.

I anticipate that 2012 will bring with it some new, exciting happenings.  One of my resolutions is to come here and share my thoughts and photos more often.  Come along for the ride, friends. You won't be disappointed.

Happy New Year!
The Hot Mess

Monday, November 28, 2011

Stuff my Sloaney Says

Sweet Lord, my daughter has been cracking us up lately. Her vocabulary is fairly advanced, and she's been zinging us with some hilarious phrases lately.  And some "colorful" language that I am certain she heard from her father, because we all know that I am *so* not the swearing type. ;)  She's especially been fond of calling everything crazy--from herself, to the many things she talks to us about. Everything in Sloane's world is crazy.

"Mom! I smell like goats! It's crazy!"

"Here mom! Here's a booger. It's a crazy booger!"

"Jackson is my little puppy mom. He's mean and bites Sam. I love him."

"I am so scared of the turkey mom.  It is delicious."

These are just a few of her phrases. I find myself cracking up daily at her, whether she is telling me about her "crazy" life, or repeating what daddy calls the cat when he's mad at it.  So funny!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Monday Musings

Whew. It's been real hard to get over here, so I am sorry.  I promise to do better.

In the mean time, my thought for the day:

To turn my lemons in to lemonade on a day where my kids are coughing, snotting, whining, and crapping on everything, I leave you this...I cannot think of a better calming drug in the entire world than having your sweet, sick child asleep on your shoulder. There. I said it. I love it. Even in all of it's snotty, puking glory, I love to feel wanted.  Everyone wants mama when they are sick, even me. And I am thankful for the opportunity to be the mama to these cute little binks.

Happy Monday.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Is This Thing On?

September in the Hot Mess household has been a whirlwind. So much so, that I was relieved to wake up Saturday to October.  September marked a month of events that I was heavily involved in planning, and as much as my heart warmed at being able to raise awareness and money for various charities that are close to my heart, I have felt that I have been putting my family and their needs on the back burner.  We rocked out September, and I am looking forward to making up the time I didn't spend with my kids in October.

We are in a difficult and unsure time in our life regarding care for Sam.  Sam loves and adores school, but he loves and adores it in his own way, which basically means he goes to do his own thing.  It takes extra hands daily to get Sam to listen, participate, draw, eat, sit and play. He won't interact with the other kids much, but we continue to take him so that hopefully he can learn.  Lately, when it comes time for the day that Hubs and I volunteer at school, Sam acts out. On top of his daily struggles, he takes to kicking and hitting and screaming when I am there helping. It is absolutely breaking my heart. Not only for him, but because of the uncertainty in the other children's faces, and the disruption that his outbursts cause.  My entire life I have been so looking forward to being a Room Mother in school, being able to help out, and finally getting the opportunity, it isn't panning out the way I had dreamed.  Many events in our life with Sam have not panned out the way we expected and thought, but I really had hoped that school would be different.  His teachers are wonderful people, and his special education support staff is a Godsend, but I still wonder in the back of my mind how much his teachers will put up with before they have to tell us he can no longer come to school.  There is also the sense of dread that I feel in that I am peeking into the future with Sam. This is not going to be a problem that is short term; we've got 14 more years of trying to mold the education system to fit the needs of our autistic son.

Sloane is coming into her own personality, which means that she is now testing her boundaries, and using her adorableness to get away with things she wants. I have no idea where she got that from. ;)  Sloane has been in time out a lot lately, as her favorite thing to do is put her hand on her hip and say "NO!" to everything.  She's still a wonderful role model to Sam, and she is very encouraging to him. She's currently obsessed with Mr. Jackson, our ill weiner dog. She's always bringing him blankets and petting him and making sure he is comfortable. She's also taken to carrying "baby" around everywhere. Sometimes baby is named Grant (her cousin), but most of the time it's simply Baby.  Sloane is my natural care giver.  She goes to daycare at least once per week, and hates leaving when it's time.  As many times a day she makes me want to pull my hair out, there are at least double the times that I laugh uncontrollably at her phrases, and melt at the sweetness she gives to everything around her.

So there's my update. Sorry it's been so long, and I look forward to hopefully updating with pictures of our bananas September.  But for now, I'm going to go snuggle with my not-so-baby children.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Overheard in the Backseat

Lately I feel like I've had to herd my cats all over hell's half acre, and that isn't far from the truth. Between Sam's school and various therapies, play dates for Sloane, and the stuff of life, we have been spending a lot of time in the car lately.  And the kids have been cracking me up with some of their "isms".

Sloane: "Mom! Quit singing! You sound like a cat."

Sloane: "Mom. I neeeeed you to stop for chocolate milk, or my hair is going to fall out."

Sam: "Mom, I don't need you to come up to Miss Kelly and Kaffi (Kathy) today. I can go. And I want red pizza. Bye."

Sam: "Who is that guy?"
Me: "I'm not sure honey, he's just walking."
Sloane: "He needs a shower and some Toy Story bubbles."

Sloane: "Mom! Mom! MOM!  My feet stink."
Sam: "I smell?"
**stretches foot over**
Sam: "Yuck"

Sam: "Mom, I peed on the tree at school."
Me: **facepalm** I'm sure Miss Kelli and Miss Kathy are sooo impressed.

Not in the car, but Sloane also had a doozy this week. She came up to me, covered in syrup from head to toe from breakfast and said "Mom! I am a hot ass mess. Where's the washcloth?"  Yes daughter. Yes you are. :)

I anticipate an interesting year and more to come as the months wear on. :)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Sam's First Day

Today was a big milestone in my life, and my son's. It was Sam's first day of preschool in a regular classroom.

Actually, it was the second day of school, but it was Sam's first because he skipped the first day to come to my class reunion. Yes, I know, Mother of the Year. :)

So anyway, we got up and got dressed, and packed his school bag, and got in the car. He was excited to see Miss Kathy and Miss Kelli, and laughed with joy when his therapists Miss Janice and Miss Mindy came in to be with him.  I was confident he was in good hands, and when I picked him up today he had already made 2 pictures to grace our hallway with. He was happy. He had a wonderful day. He wants to go every day and see his new friend Zoe.

I have mixed emotions. Firstly, I don't know why, but I never thought this day would come...the day where I am comfortable and confident to leave Sam in someone else's care. To be taught by people who know better about what he needs than his mom.  To enjoy spending time with just my daughter, while my son learns about things I've never taught him, by people who love him as much as I do.  It's heartwarming, and sad, and happy, and scary, and hopeful...all wrapped in to one heart. Mine.

Sloane begged to stay at school with Sam, so it won't be long before she is in a Parents Day Out program, and I am awash with free time I never anticipated having so soon.  My kids are growing up. I can't stop time, but we are reveling in the changes in our household, and I am stocked up on Kleenex for my onion paper heart.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Hey! Guess what everyone? I'm still alive! Barely!  My parents and entire family were up a few weekends ago to celebrate Sam's birthday (party #3) and to just hang out. We got the first ever, actual decent picture of all of the kids sort of looking in our general direction. Cat herding is hard work. :)

We're off to the SWK again this weekend for more family fun, so I'll have more to post soon.

The Hot Mess

Monday, August 15, 2011

Cake Wreck: Sombrero Edition

As many of you probably know, I really love to make my children's birthday cakes. I am not a cake decorator by any stretch, but one of the things I loved from my childhood were my homemade, home decorated, birthday cakes.  It's instant nostalgia for me.

Sam and two of his friends have birthdays in August, and instead of all of us having 3 separate parties, we always do them all together, in one big blow out day.  This year the theme was the Three Amigos, so mustaches and pinatas and sombreros were a must.  The cake wreck theme was born: A giant sombrero.  We also make personalized cookies for the kids with mustaches on them.  They all turned out adorable!  I love them.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Happiest of Birthdays, My Sweet Sam.

August 8, 2007 was a day that changed my life forever.  My beautiful miracle child came into the world. It was quite a production, as Sam does nothing on the small scale. He wanted excitement, terror, happiness, panic, and love...and he got all of it. He still does nothing small.  Sam's motto is "go big or go home." 

This week, Sam jumped off the diving board at Aunt Megan's house with no life jacket, in the deep end, with no adult there to catch him or make sure he wouldn't sink to the bottom.  He kicked over to the ladder and continued doing it for the rest of the afternoon.  The people there might not have noticed, but hubs and my hearts were bursting with pride for our daring child.

Sam's vocabulary is expansive now, and he will pretty much repeat everything anyone says. This can be a good thing and a bad thing. :)  His favorite thing to do is sing songs, many of which he's only heard once before.  He likes to recite commercials, too.  Hubs and I have a good chuckle every time we hear Sam tell us we can get something "for the low low price of 19.95!" or talk to us about the "3 levels of insulation in the Pack-It cooler".  It's not so funny when he reminds me that I need to bust out the cuss jar again.

Sam starts preschool in September, and we are most excited for this transition in his life.  Uneasy transitions are not Sam's strong suit, but he's head strong and will figure anything out he sets his mind too.  And he's got some of the most wonderful, caring instructors, therapists, and people in his life.  I have no doubt that Sam will continue to do Big Things.

Jump off the diving board of life, my sweet son.  Though there might not be anyone there to catch you, I know that you will kick until you make something wonderful of whatever situation arises.

Happy Birthday, Samuel Mark.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Like Mommy, Like Sloaney

This past weekend we visited my family back in Southwest Kansas.  I am to a point in life that I really do appreciate and love going back home, even though at 18 if you'd have told me that I'd have laughed in your face.  It's good to get away from the grind in my own home, and Sammah and Papa's house is a great place for the kids.

I take a lot of pictures. A lot.  I'm the family photographer; everyone always knows that I will show up with my Nikon, shooting every minute of our gathering together.  I can't help it, I want to preserve memories.  I want to remember times like these, where my kids are cute and smile and that I can ease the pain when they are mean, have attitude problems, and want to G.I. Jane their hair or dye it green.

This weekend I caught Sloane playing mommy. I asked her what she was doing, and she said "I'm being you", and she'd grabbed an old camera and was walking around telling everyone to Smile! and Say Cheese!

Too cute for words.  I hope she gets some of my other attributes, too.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Saying Goodbye

My dog Jackson is coming up on 11 years old.  We went to college together, went to frat parties, had beers at Louise's West, and moved into what seemed like a new apartment every year I attended KU.

He came as part of the package when I moved in with my then boyfriend, and was "best dog" when the boyfriend became my husband. Hubs and Jackson have had a rocky relationship, but my husband knows how important that dog is to me, so he rolls his eyes and admits defeat when it comes to the wonder pup.  We've added another dog, and two children to the brood, and Jackson always gives me his disapproving look like "really? another one?", but accepts the new members into our family.  He's learned to love snuggling with Sloane, because he can always count on her to pull a snack out of somewhere and share with him. Jackson is my life travel partner. We  ride the roller coaster together.

More recently, we've been riding Jack's cancer roller coaster together.  For the past 6 months, we go to the vet, find the tumors, cut them out best we can, and go on our way. It's getting harder for Jackson, and the tumors are getting more aggressive.  We're starting to have long talks of "are you up to this again?" and I'm talking to my husband about "the day".  It's heart breaking and sad for me.

Jackson is more than just a dog to me. He is a friend. He is also the last remaining piece of my "past life."  When I moved here, I wanted a companion to start fresh with.  Jackson has been here through thick and thin, happy days, and heart ache.  My early twenties when I was looking to find my place in this world, and today as I am settling in to my calling as a mother and advocate.

It's going to be hard when "the day" comes, and it's coming sooner than I had planned on.  Even if his time on Earth is coming to a close, he will always be one of my first true loves. My love before a husband, or a house, or children.  My travel buddy through the journey of young adulthood.  My buddy.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

I'm Famous! Ish.

My husband works at the local newspaper here, and I've been giving him grief for years that he never publishes anything related to me or our family in the newspaper. "It would appear to others that I am playing favorites", he says. Of course, the minute I get arrested for going postal on a budding sociopath at the local playground, or for refusing to leave the karaoke bar after too many limoncellos, well...I imagine THAT would probably make headlines. But, I digress...

My friend Megan is a feature blogger on the newspaper's entertainment website.  She has zero problem making my newsprint dreams come true, and she does. Often. Have I mentioned to you how much I love that girl? :) When I introduce myself to her friends I've not met, I get the "oh! YOU'RE the Lindsey!" Yes. Yes I am. It's good to be known as something other than "Mother of Mini Messes" or "the totally whacko person who talks out loud to herself at the library".

We like to cook, drink, kick and stretch. We like to cook together and watch shenanigans ensue.  This is one of our recent adventures. Read it. It's funny, and the food was good. I dream of it. You are welcome.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Lowered Expectations, Volume 17

Today I did something I swore to myself I would never, ever do.  I bought my son a leash.

OK, it isn't a proper leash. It's a kid friendly "child safety harness system" that has a loveable cuddly monkey shape to it. Sort of like this one:

But, let's all be's a leash.  And you know what? It is a gift straight from the baby Jesus. I am tired. I am busy. I have to run errands and buy groceries, and since my husband works a mere 70 hours a week, most of the time my kids are being schlepped all over hell's half acre with me. I'm sure a lot of you have 2 kids and manage just fine.  I bow to you. If my neck bulges any more at the store while Sam is running away, laughing at me, I'm bound to blow a carotid right there in aisle 8.

And so, I purchased the leash. And he loves it. Finally, the store is a little bit more manageable. I can't wait to get "the look" from strangers, or have people feel free to interpret my son's harness as me being a lazy parent.  Seriously. I dare someone.  I pack a mean left hook, and my wedding ring is made of platinum and sharp diamonds. Bring it.

I think I'll put a sign on the monkey that says "If you pet me, I go bananas."  Might as well have a good laugh at my expense. :)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Appetite for Destruction

My son has been on quite the roll lately.  I can't decide if he's bored, or has a new-found ornery streak, but the kid has been seriously effing up my stuff around here.

Two weeks ago, he got into my room (which is strictly off-limits), got into my armoire, and emptied all of my expensive hair care products and oils, lotions, and mouthwash all over the carpet, bedspread, and our weimaraner Duncan.  At least 7 washes of the dog later, 4 loads of laundry, and a handful of tears over the state of my ruined carpet, and I decided to let him live.

Only to find him a few days later digging in his off-limits closet through the craft drawer.  He glued scraps of paper, glitter, and markers to the dog and his bedroom comforter.  I thought he was asleep, since he fell asleep on the way home from the swimming pool.  Nope. He was embracing his inner Picasso. The washing machine got a work out, and the dog got yet another bath.

Fast forward to this past Friday.  We were having a bit of a gathering, since we had lots of family in town.  I went to flush the toilet, and the toilet over flowed. It wouldn't plunge out either.  I admitted defeat, and called our friend the plumber. At 5pm. On Friday.  Three hours and 40 feet of snaking later, our toilet flushed.  The culprit?  Toddler underwear. Size 4T. Thomas the Tank Engine.  Sam strikes again.  Can't wait to see that bill.

And now we are here today.  I just scrubbed my bathroom, and yet again washed the bed spread. My hubs left a razor on our sink this morning, and Sam grabbed it while I was changing his sister.  Yes, in the bathroom he isn't supposed to be in.  He cut his finger, and wiped blood all over every surface in the bathroom and my bedroom.

I know that kids make messes. I know that kids are just learning, and it's our job as parents to mold their tiny schizophrenic beings into normally functioning adults. But sweet freaking Grilled Cheezus.  I am tired. And I am broke, and my washing machine hasn't quit running for weeks.

Needless to say, we've invested in some keyed locks at Casa De Hot Mess. This crib is going on lock down, but I venture a guess that Captian Destructo will still dazzle me with his destructive capabilities.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Sam likes goats. Goats like Sam.

My beautiful butterfly girl.

Summer is in full swing here.  We spend most of our days playing outside, going to the pool to see Tan Dan the Speedo man, or schlepping all over hell's half acre to various summer activities.  I don't feel like I update as often as I want, but I am really trying my best to run the kids like baby Labrador puppies.  Evenings here have been quiet. :) 

We helped our friends move this past weekend.  Their new house is beautiful, and it has a pool.  We have a new favorite weekend hangout, and they owe us. ;)  Good thing we all like eachother.

Sloane was seen at Children's Mercy a few weeks ago. Her old hack job pediatrician had missed a heart murmur in her, so we got the full work up. She's going to be fine, thank goodness, but I am having a heart attack opening up her cardiology clinic bills. I suppose she's worth it.  She's been the belle of the ball at the pool, making friends with mommies and kids, and all around being adorable. She is very empathetic to Sam's needs, and we never hear her complain of having to adjust sails to smoother seas in regards to Sam. We couldn't have asked for a better sister to Sam. She has also taken a huge liking to learning Spanish, so I get to use some of that big fancy college edumucation I got.

Sam is out of school for the summer, and we are clamoring to find things for him to do that would suit his special needs. He's really too young for organized sports (and since he prefers being alone, I am thinking he'd be miserable in them), so I've been encouraging him to branch out and play with other kids at the pool and park. We're looking into some art and music classes, and I am still fighting every day to get him education services and therapies. We are in the process of applying for child social security disability benefits, and let me tell you, that has been a real joy.  Talk about frustration.

Aside from all that, we are looking forward to a visit from aunts and uncles this weekend, and will be putting together something special for Daddy for Father's day. I will do my best to update more.  Unless I don't. ;)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Because I Don't Have Enough To Do...

I have decided recently to try and run an entire 5k. I'm sure it sounds easy to most of you reading this, but I am not a big fan of the running thing. Kudos to those of you that love it; I am now doing my best to understand by joining the Couch to 5K workout.  Basically, if you follow the program, you will be able to run a 5K by the end of the training, which is roughly 6ish weeks.

My friend Lindsay is joining me. She doesn't much like to run either, so we thought we would be good motivation for eachother.  So far, it really has been good to have here there, if for nothing more than to complain about having to flipping run again. I like walking! I like dinner parties! I like attending running events and cheering people on from my lawn chair.

So, if you drive down Sixth street in the coming weeks, and you see me crumpled on the sidewalk dying, now you know why.  It's me against the 5K right now, and so far the Couch is the clear winner.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Kids Might Say The Darndest Things, But Mama's Got Some Doozies, Too.

Actual sentences uttered from my mouth this week:

"Don't pee on the book."

"Ficus trees are not a vegetable."

"Get your head out of the toilet...I don't care if you want to say good bye to the Cheerios, you can do it while standing up."

"The dog is not a horse."

"Sloaney, your baby is too young to eat Sun Chips. You eat them."

"You can't pee in the cereal aisle. That's what the bathroom is for."

"Stop licking the television."

Never a dull moment around here.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Friday Confessions

It's been an interesting week here at my house. I mean, they are always interesting, but this week has been super fun.

Sloane's new favorite phrase is Gosh Dammit.  Hmm. Wonder where she's heard that. I went to yell at the dog for getting into the garbage yesterday, and there she was "Gosh dammit, Duncan." She couldn't find a shoe, and out it came again.  And again when she dropped her ball.  Yeah. I'm not going to make a big deal of it, but I also dragged out the ol' cuss jar again.  Old habits and all...

Sam has made a major breakthrough in potty training. He's stayed dry for 2 days. The catch? He'll only pee outside, like the dogs.  No peeing on cheerios, no peeing for chocolate, he wants to pee with the dogs.  Again, I think I'm just going to roll with it for now, though I can see this becoming an issue at school when he decides to drop trow on the playground.

Sloane ate ketchup for breakfast. Not sausage, not hashbrowns....just ketchup.

I've been totally lazy today, and my excuse is that we're potty training. In actuality, I'm just tired and the weather is not conducive to getting anything done.

I really hate Friday the 13th. I really have had a fair share of horrible things go on during Friday the 13th, so I am content to stay home and hibernate today, so as to avoid driving.  I know it sounds silly, but I don't care.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Aloha Friday!

We made it through another week!  I am looking forward to some warm temperatures, and I really really miss Hawaii today. So, when you can't just hop a plane, you bring Hawaii to you.  Cheese! Man, those are some adorable little binks. Happy Friday!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

It's Raining, It's Pouring...

Pouring down new appliances, that is.  Good grief.  They say it comes in threes?  OK, so fridge...check. Vacuum cleaner...check. Wonder what will be next? My money is on the dishwasher.

Anyhoo, today my vacuum cleaner bit the big one. Paulina. My purple Dyson whom I use every single day of my life. Every. Single. Day.  I'm not terribly OCD, but when you live in a house with 3 hairy pets and 2 messy kids (and yes, maybe one messy husband and a long haired perfect woman), your shit gets dirty real fast. So I have just made it a habit to vacuum all the rooms every day.  And, I'm a stay at home mom, so a vacuum is kind of a big part of my job. It's like a working woman's laptop, or 80's shoulder pad power suit.

Today, I was doing the stairs. My son Samuel has a flair for the dramatic these days, and he thought it would be so super fun to push Sloane's little toy baby stroller down the stairs. "OH MAMA. THIS IS SO MUCH FUN." So much fun, in fact, that he started hurling things down the stairs, one of the things being my beloved Paulina. Crash. Bits of plastic broke off, canisters won't go back on, Paulina has swept her last floor.  It was a scene right out of a soap opera, and I watched Paulina tumble in slow motion, in her purple boxy everyday evening wear, down the stairs into my den.  Oh the humanity.

And so, I did what every crazy vacuum lady does, and gave Paulina a proper adieu, wiped my tears, and put her into the garbage bin to be taken to the Dyson factory in the sky.  And high tailed my ass to Target for a new Dyson.

He's beautiful. I think I'll call him Pablo.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Today's Theme: Leaks, Laundry, and Lowered Expectations.

I love themes. I love themed dinner parties, birthdays, and really any sort of themed event.  Today's theme? Not so much.

Right now it is 2:32pm. I have cleaned up:
-Nail polish, head to toe, on a 2 year old girl. Cherry red, too. Nice.
-Nail polish, again with the Cherry red, on berber carpet, an end table, and the wall.
-Two dog accidents. The dogs? They are now in a crate, and lucky to be alive.
-A 4 year old boy accident. It required a bath and a pair of scissors. I will let you use your imagination.
-A 2 year old leaky diaper, which required an outfit change in the Wal-Mart parking lot.

The living things in my house are setting the bar high today, I tell ya.  Can't wait to see what the husband and the cat can bring to the party. *shudder*

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Have A Laugh At My Expense.

For what seems like a month, I have been battling a sinus/allergy attack.  Spring usually brings with it all things I am allergic to, so it was no surprise that I was hitting the Allegra, Claritin, Benadryl, and any other antihistimine known to man pretty hard.

And then my voice starting sounding all raspy, like the 70 year old, 4-pack-a-day smoker waitress in your hometown's favorite truck stop.  And then I couldn't breath while I was power walking my neighborhood.

And so I did something unimaginable; something that I hate doing more than life itself.  I went to the doctor.

Gasp! I know! I hate going. I hound all of my friends and family about going, and my kids go for all things questionable. But I never go myself. I don't have time, I'm not that sick, blah blah blah. I hate it.

But, it turns out I have a really super bad sinus infection and bronchitis. So I am on all sorts of crazy medicines now. I am finally starting to feel better!  And then I look in the mirror yesterday and I am blotchy. Like, big red, you-just-got-slapped blotches.  I have a rash.  Lovely.

The rash sends me into a panic, and I again, for the second time in a week, go to the doctor to see if I am dying. Nope. Antibiotic side effect.  It will get worse, and will last as long as I am on this medicine, and a few days after I stop it. You know, for like 2 weeks.

My raspy voice and leper-like rash should be a HUGE hit at the Easter egg hunt this weekend. :)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Between A Rock And A Hard Place

Parenting is challenging, even on a good day.  When your child has special needs, it becomes really really challenging.

Our son Sam is classified in an IEP as "developmentally delayed."  He qualified for special education services through the school district here, and has been going to his special needs classroom for the better part of this year.  The teachers in these classrooms are worth their weight in gold, and I am thankful everyday that Sam gets to be a part of the classroom.

Next year, life gets complicated. Sam will be four, and can go to preschool.  The special needs preschool at Kennedy is wonderful, but Sam is too highly functioning to be a good fit there. It would be inhibiting to keep him in that classroom, because he is not "special needs enough," says his teachers.  The other problem is that Sam is not "fully functioning enough" to go to a classroom with typically behaving children his age.

So what the hell is a parent to do? 

It is like I am setting him up to fail regardless of the choice I make.  Stifle him by keeping him with kids and teachers that "get" him, or make him the trouble making, inattentive child by putting him in with typically developing kids his age.  He'll be stressed out because he isn't good at social relationships, and will probably be reprimanded often because he has zero impulse control. 

I have toured countless preschools. None of them so far feel like a good fit for my son.  School will be good for him, I keep repeating to myself. Maybe he'll surprise me, and be really happy and excited and love it and get along great with everyone. I just hate that nothing screams out "PICK ME. I am great for your autistic kid."  Parenting is hard, and this is absolutely breaking my heart. I'm told by other parents with Sam's issues that it is just getting me prepped for teachers and life in the school system.  Yay for encouragement.

I just feel like I'm damned if I do and damned if I don't.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Mars and Venus

We are leaving this weekend for a visit to my folks' house. We leave this afternoon sometime.

How Mommy Gets Ready For A Trip:
- 2 days before trip, make a list of every possible item the kids will need, and writes notes all over everything like "don't forget to charge camera" and "wash lovey blankets"

- the night before, washes every shred of clothing and fabric in the house and folds. Leaves for husband to put away, which he ignores.

-Day of- puts away clothes and curses husband.

---packs a bag for herself, with an extra outfit for when her kid smears chocolate cake on her shirt at 10am.

---packs bags (notice, plural, as in "more than one") for each child, with extra diapers, medicines, toys, wipes, loveys, videos, snacks, and every other freaking thing imaginable that they might want

---packs more diapers, because the memories of "that one time we went to St. Louis and baby got sick" are still fresh in your mind

---packs cameras, video equipment, computers, phone chargers, and Ipod. So that when you get to your destination, you do not use any of this. You forget to record, or snap a picture, or check your e-mail. This step is a waste of energy, but we do it every.single. time.

---packs the magical, all powerful DVD player. And brings extra batteries, just in case. And every movie the kids own.

---if dogs are travelling, there is an entire other bag of stuff for them. And a giant dog kennel.

---on packing day, mom still manages to clean up house, feed kids, answer e-mails, cook, shower, and get the oil changed in the car. And write a blog.  Then she sits quietly, waiting for dad to come home, so she can pack the car and leave. She's mapped the route, and knows we will be "here" at 5:15 for a dinner at Wendy's before the kids have a total meltdown.

How Daddy Gets Ready For A Trip:
-goes to work. Works.
-comes home. Sees that wife is completely packed, as is his entire family. The bags are waiting by the door.
-sees the laundry has been put away. Ut oh. Wife is mad at me.
-is questioned by wife: "where is your bag, dear?" He told wife he packed last night. He didn't. Ut oh, it's that bulging neck vein again. He's seen it before. He is scared.
-Quick! Throw some shit in a bag and get the F outta here before she freaks out.
-Gets to destination, and realizes that he didn't pack socks. Or a tooth brush. Or any pants.

And he wonders why I drink wine. ;)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Things That I Love: Tuesday Night Supper Club

For what I think has been the last 8-10 weeks, my friends and I always seem to gather for dinner at my house on Tuesday nights. Some different friends come and go every week, but the usuals are always here. It started out as random chance, and has developed into an every week thing. And I freaking love every single minute of it.
I love that the simple aspect of people gathering around food can be so wonderful.  Our children play together and have grown to be close, and we have all grown closer as well--even the newer, or not as often members of the club.  We laugh, we share fears, we toast to another day of surviving life.  It feeds more than our bellies; it feeds our souls too. 

Sometimes I forget that there are people in the universe that do not have this. They have the same "stuff of life" happen, but don't have a group of friends to share in that with them. It makes me ever-more grateful for these wonderful friendships, and wonderful meals, and wonderful support.

Here's to you, Tuesday peeps!  Pass the salt and pepper.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Life: Hot Mess Style

Life is in full swing here at the Casa de Hot Mess.  There hasn't been a lot of time to even do all of the laundry, let alone get a whole lot of blog postings out. So, sorry. Monday recap, here we go:

1. My kids do not listen. I try to keep from complaining about child rearing too much, mainly because my children are walking miracles and I know there are folks out there who would give their leg so they could scream at their darling daughter about playing in the dog water. Honestly though, I am fed up. I know it is their ages, and I know a lot of it is Sam's autism, but I can't tell you how many times a day I hold my tongue and the top of my head so that it doesn't blow off.

2. Speaking of Sam's autism, April is autism awareness month. Every day with Sam is a challenge in some respect, and I do hope that the therapies and school and research studies and money that I'm paying out the wazoo help him to be "just another kid" some day.  The University Daily Kansan newspaper interviewed me about autism this weekend, so when they publish the article I will be sure to link it here. I'm past the anger stage of Sam's disease, and also past the sadness of it. The uncertainty is still there, and probably always will be, but the more I can get the word out about autism, and how important therapies are for kids (are you listening Kansas state legislature?), the better I will feel about it all. For now, we do the best we can and I try to immerse myself in research and new therapies for our son.

3. I got a new refrigerator last Thursday. It is the coolest thing ever...literally. :)  Yep, I am old. New appliances excite me. She's stainless steel and her name is Bertha, since she's got a wide berth. I had to sledge hammer a wall in so that it would fit, so Bertha is not going anywhere. If we sell this house, she stays with it. ;)

4. Saturday I had the first of many (I hope!) Mamacitas and Margaritas patio parties.  I've got lots of lady friends from all walks of life that have needed a good old fashioned breather these days. So my friend Megan and I threw together some taco stuff, guacamole, and made a pitcher of margaritas, and all of our stressed out women friends came over to chat, vent, laugh and have a great time. Just what the doctor ordered for a lot of us.  I think it is important to have a breather every once in a while as a mom/parent/wife/member of the female race, so I was happy to host. It was also a great opportunity for many of our friends to meet new people/eachother.  Good stuff.

That's pretty much what's been going on the past week or so.  This week will bring more adventures I am sure. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

One of the Best Vacations Ever.

Hubs and I recently returned from what I would consider one of the best vacations ever.  We were in Maui, Hawaii for one of my best friend's weddings.  Everything was beautiful, and tropical, and WARM! During the time we were in Hawaii, it snowed 9 inches in the state I live. But in Maui? It was 85 and sunny every single day, save for about 45 minutes between 3:30 and 4:30 when the skies would cloud up.  I have no shame in admitting that I did not want to leave. While we were laying on the beach, I was conjuring up ways we could find jobs and send for our kids. We could just live at this nice, fancy hotel until we could find a house. HA. HA.

This vacation was more than just a fun trip to a friend's wedding. Hubs and I will be married 5 years in April, and since we plunged right into "real life married people stuff" after our wedding, we never took a proper honeymoon. I figured Hawaii for the 5 year mark would suffice just fine.

So, here are a few photos from the trip. We had wonderful times aboard snorkeling tours, at luaus, whale watching excursions, driving up volcanoes, and hanging out with our best friends on their very special day.  I missed our kids dearly, but knew they were in excellent hands with Aunt Kath and Sammah. Hell, it was like they were on vacation, too! There is one thing I can tell you for sure: we will be returning to Maui. Maybe with our children, maybe for another couples-only vacation, but it is absolutely too beautiful and too wonderful to never see again.  I could write a pamphlet for Maui's convention and visitors bureau. ;)

 The sunset over Kamaole Beach. This beach was literally 1/2 block from our hotel. And it was beautiful.

 This is the sunrise over Haleakala crater. Yep, it's a volcano. It was awe-inspiring, and I was so glad to be able to share it with hubs. We were there with over 300 people, and not a word was spoken as the sun rose over the clouds and the crater. Gorgeous. Closest thing to heaven on Earth.
 This is the spot where my friends exchanged their wedding vows. Down there between the grass and volcanic rocks is a beautiful little beach. It was perfect.
 This is a whale that I saw on our snorkeling tour. Between November and April, there are thousands of whales around Maui, there to mate and have babies. It was the coolest thing ever.
 Sam was very nervous about us never coming home, so he gave us two of his dinosaur things to take with us to remember him. We ended up going all "Flat Stanley" with them; they came along on all of our adventures, and we took pictures and sent them to Sammah's facebook page for him to see. It was awesome.
 This is at the Feast at Lele luau. Wonderful food, and great dancing! This is also the night the tsunami warnings came. There is no photo, but shortly after this wonderful luau ended, we spent the night at a school parking lot inland as tsunami sirens blared, and we flat freaked out. 
 This picture creeps me out. It is the beautiful Kamaole beach again. On a Friday. Completely empty.  They closed the beaches this day, because of tsunami threat, and very strange tide patterns. Scary.
 This is the Lahaina port, as we are leaving for our whale watching dinner cruise. So pretty!
North Shore, in Paia.  Awesome surfing and more beautiful beaches.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Happy Birthday, Baby Girl!

Before hubs and I ever considered having children, he was always wary of the Ides of March. You know, the alleged day when Julius Caesar was stabbed by his best friend, an event predicted by a crazy soothsayer or something.  It was a bad luck day for my ever-so-superstitious husband.

And then, our full-of-life, tiny, outgoing baby Sloane was born. On the Ides of March.  It became a wonderful day for us, even though I still think John is wary of it. Not because of a stabbing these days, but because it marks the day our little girl gets a year older.

Happiest of birthdays, Sloaney Baloney.  You have brought such joy, light, laughter, and craziness to our family. We don't remember life without you. You smile with your whole face, and don't know a stranger.  You love your brother, and are daddy's little girl.  You've got mama wrapped around your finger as well.  You love dress up, shoes, ponies, and baby dolls.  You never miss a snack time...heck, if given the chance, you would snack all day long.  You are kind to all children, and are sympathetic to anyone who is crying. You are a natural caregiver, and you can dance like a rockstar.  We worry about you in your older years. ;)  You are a force of nature, and bigger than life.

Happy 2nd birthday, Sloane Elise.  We love you more than you could ever imagine.

 Birthday donut.

Blowing out the candles with friends.

Dressed to impress.
Giving mommy some rockstar kisses.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Dude You Don't Understand, I'm From Kansas.

Kansas is a flat, non tropical, landlocked state in the US.  We worry about tornadoes, and blizzards, and the occasional range fire.  I can deal with all of these things, probably because I have lived in Kansas my entire life.

Until 2 days ago, I had never given a second thought to a tsunami watch.  And then I lived through one, hunkered down in a school parking lot in our rental Subaru Forester.  Fun times people, fun times.

We probably overreacted a little bit, but at the time I could not wrap my head around "wall of water 10 feet high coming for the island", so we shagged ass out of our hotel resort for higher ground.  The news casters here in Hawaii are worse than Katie Horner with their worst case scenarios, and they had us plum freaked the F out. Our front desk people did not seem terribly concerned about it either, and I kept saying "But you don't get it. I have no idea what to do. I am from Kansas."

So John and I did the only thing we thought we could, and packed up our car with water and clothing and money, and got the hell out of Dodge.

The town we are staying in got some localized flooding, and the shore was eerie and weird for most of yesterday, but I am happy to say we did not fare too badly.

I think I might get a shirt printed that says "I survived a tsunami".  It's probably the closest I will ever get to experiencing one, and that is OK with me. Kansas is looking pretty awesome and safe right now. Sure, there are tornadoes, but you can hide in your basement and still be living large.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Mele Kalikimaka in March

Aloha friends!

As I type this, there is a lovely island breeze blowing through our room, and I am sitting in a chair in a swimsuit.  It is a balmy 85 degrees, and the humidity is about 80%.

I am in paradise.

Hubs and I are in Hawaii for a friend's wedding. We have been climbing volcanos, going to the beach, and doing crazy things like snorkeling and body boarding, all at like 7:30am thanks to jet lag.  It has been wonderful.

But you know what? I miss my kids. Bad. Super bad.  Sam gave us 2 of his beloved dinosaurs to take with us on our trip, so we've been snapping shots of the Dino Dudes at various tourist spots on the island. They go with us everywhere--our friends even let the Dino's take wedding pictures with them, and atop their wedding cake.

The "flat Stanley"-esque photos are serving 2 purposes...first, they show Sam all of the experiences that we've had. Secondly, they keep me always thinking of the kiddos, but also being able to enjoy an adult only vacation.  Facebook has been blowing up with our Dino Dude travels.

Paradise has been wonderful, but I am realizing that even Hawaii has it's drawbacks if I can't come home every night to my sweet children.  I'm certain that by the end of this adventure, we will be happier than ever to come home to our freezing cold, relatively inexpensive Midwestern city. With two well traveled Dinosaurs.

Monday, February 28, 2011

What's Goin' On...

I haven't been feeling particularly witty lately, and frankly, I've been busy as heck.  So, my apologies for the lack of postings. 

So today, I give you a dose of adorable. I'm too tired to do anything else. Hopefully I have something more for you soon. We're taking an adventure here in the next week, and by the end of it I am sure you'll all be tired of me.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Super Bowl, stupid bowl...where's the food table?

This weekend is the Super Bowl. It's on Sunday. And that is about the extent of my knowledge of this event. Who is playing? Which one is it? I have no idea, and I do not care one bit.

What I do care about is that it is a good excuse for a party. Mama loves a good party.

Sunday, my husband will gather with friends somewhere other than our house. I told him this year that I will not be joining in his macho football watching debauchery, so he is free to grunt and pound his chest and make other rude noises. He will gather with friends who are all married to my friends, so there is a good chance that there will be some female hating going on as well. Whatever floats your boat boys, so long as you're home by midnight. It's a school night. And take your shoes off on the tile, I just swept!

Anyways, I am having girlfriends over for the Super bowl.  But instead of watching foot ball, we are going to eat awesome tail gate foods while flipping between the Puppy Bowl and Netflix seasons of Sex and the City. I am so excited. About the food especially, because it will be a veritable buffet of white trash awesomeness.  Chicken wings. Little smokies. Rotel cheese dip.  Be still my heart.

I love these foods. I do not eat them too often, mainly because I need to fit through a door frame, and the ingredients in most of these dishes could survive a nuclear fallout.  Cheese that you can leave out for 5 years and still eat is probably not too good for you.  But Sunday, I erase these sorts of things from my mind and get down on some nuclear fallout, while watching Mr. Big be an ass to Carrie for the 1,394th time.

And the puppies will be cute, too.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Who Has Two Thumbs And Is Sick Of Winter?

This girl.

Here's a picture of my house yesterday afternoon, not even half way through the snow storm of the flippin' century.  I am tired of this stuff!

Five weeks to Maui. It cannot come soon enough.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Mama Don't Get Out Much.

Generally speaking, I do not miss my carefree, child free days. I like raising kids, and knowing what is for dinner every night (because it is made with my loving hand), and being able to pay all of my bills and still have money left. And get to bed at a decent hour. And not wake up wondering how I could have possibly drank the bar's entire stock of Bud Light bottles. And then looking at my credit card statement and saying "oh. maybe I did."

Sometimes though, it is fun to dabble in your former life.  This weekend, the perfect storm of distant friends, awesome bands, and wonderful husbands who don't like awesome bands came together. Our friends were visiting from Wichita and Phoenix, and my friend Miss Nickel scored me a ticket to see one of my favorite bands, the Old 97's, play.  Husband stayed home and played Mr. Mom with our Phoenix visitor Chris, while I danced around and sang my heart out in a super loud venue full of too many people.  We stuck around after the show, and lo and behold, stumbled upon Rhett, the lead singer. 

I felt like a teenager with Bieber fever, and Rhett is a super cool guy. He even showed me pictures of his kids when I said "I'm a stay at home mom, and I don't get out much. You rock."  Awesome. Even rock stars have their kids pictures in their wallets.

Saturday was spent eating biscuits and gravy and drinking mimosas at 9am. Followed by Wii beer olympics.  Followed by sushi with the girlfriends. Followed by a KU victory.

Sunday? I went shopping, and found cute things. Lots of them.

Yep, this was my blast from the past weekend. It was a lot of fun, but I sure am tired and broke today. :)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Picture Worth A Thousand Dollars. Of Savings, That Is.

Well as you all know, we've had a bit of an issue with potty training. To say the least.

Boys are difficult to potty train. Boys with autism spectrum disorders? They are even harder. Super hard. Like, take-a-xanax-and-say-to-hell-with-it hard.  I've been preferring the xanax cocktail over being a super mean mom, but here lately I've been given some interesting tools to try to get Sam at least in the ballpark of bathroom business. And, since I really am none to keen of changing a Pull Up on a boy who can bring me all of the supplies and say "Mom, I need a Pull-Up", I figured I would trudge through the advice I was given and see if any of it might possibly work for us.

Miss Janice, Sam's teacher who basically walks on water, suggested that I make a story strip with pictures and tape it on the wall of the bathroom. Step by step instructions, with pictures, on what exactly you do in the bathroom.  Sam is a visual learner, says Janice, and perhaps seeing it will make it click in his head.

Oh Miss Janice. You get a gold star. No, you get a platinum star.  He has actually used the potty today. He reads the steps, follows them, and gets his job done.  Sure, he's had accidents today, but seeing as how yesterday the boy didn't even try to go potty in the vicinity of the bathroom, I am calling this progress.

Sorry about the potty training obsessed posts here, but Sam being on the road to potty trained? I'm as excited about it as I was about the lovely diamond ring I sport on my left hand. No lie.

And just an FYI- If any of you who frequent my house walk in my bathroom, there are cartoon pictures of poop and pee adorning my bathroom wall. :)

Parenting really is comedy gold.

Monday, January 24, 2011

If You're Wondering Why My Children Are Filthy And The House Is A Mess...

There are few things better in the world than getting wrapped up in a good book. Seeing as I have been cranking out kids and doing tiny baby duty for the past 4 years, it hasn't been until recently that I picked up the reading habit again.  And I didn't realize how much I missed it.

I was on bedrest with my son for almost 12 weeks. True bed rest. Do-Not-Leave-Your-Bed bedrest.  It was some dark days, and since even I can only stomach so much bad daytime television, I turned to books to keep from putting a plastic bag over my head.  Books saved my life. I read so many books in that 12 weeks, that I was actually sort of relieved to have a tiny screaming baby to tend to instead of reading. Too much of a good thing.  Good thing I was looking for change, because for the next 4 years I really wouldn't be doing much adult reading.  I can recite Goodnight Moon and Bear Wants More for you, sure, but the adult reading became a thing of the past.

And then, the most beautiful thing kids got a little bit older. They wanted to play in the dirt, and I didn't have to sit with them and show them how.  They wanted to climb the swingset "like a big kid" and have mom sit and watch from a bench.  So I went to the library for myself, for the first time in forever, and got a few Mama books, and have never turned back.

The problem with this sometimes is that I get super wrapped up in them. I read the whole Patricia Cornwell Scarpetta series and started dreaming of dead people. I called my husband Benton, and in the middle of folding laundry would wonder if Benton was really dead, or if he and Kay would ever see eachother again.  My husband thought it was a sick infatuation. And it was. And I loved every minute of it. My children were living off of frozen pizzas and Goldfish crackers, and my house was a mess, but it was a glorious time for me.

Fast forward to now, and I am reading another murder mystery series which I have become completely wrapped up in.  John teases me that my new boyfriend is Mitch, and in my mind darling Mitch looks like Harrison Ford. So naturally, I have been having dreams of Indiana Jones, and the kids ask for Totinos without me even asking.

Ahh imagination. I sure have missed you.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Cabin Fever.

We've got it. Or had it, I should say.  Today mama reached her breaking point. I pulled up my big girl panties, threw a container of Purell in the diaper bag, and took the kids to open gym, germs be damned.

Three hours of screaming, running, throwing stuff, and riding tricycles in a gymnasium, while I sat at a table with a bunch of mom friends drinking coffee.  It. Was. Awesome.  Restored sanity. Exhausted kids. Worth any communicable disease we happen to catch there.

After our morning of energy burn off, my children took a glorious nap.  The stars aligned, and my husband got home at like 5:15, so we could actually all have a family dinner at the same time. We decided to take everyone out to Free State, where we enjoyed a lovely dinner where my kids ate THEIR WHOLE DINNER quietly.  There were zero leftovers. John and I got to linger and talk over a beer.  We took the kids for ice cream, and they were ecstatic.  Then, we hopped down Mass St. to our cars, came home, got a bath, and are now all watching a quick cartoon before bedtime.

If only I could guarantee Sam would sleep all night, this would be a perfect day. Perfect.

Apparently I need to get out more with my kids. Cooping them up at home makes them as crazy as it makes me.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Winter Fun

I have always maintained that the months of November to January are some of my favorite.  There's hub's birthday. There's my birthday. There are 3 major holidays, and two of them are in two shifts between two families. On opposite sides of the state we live in.

Regardless, they are some of my favorite times of year, and they are busy. Here's just a few things we did during those months.  Happiest of Fridays to all!

I cooked turkeys and hams. Four sets of them, to be exact. I believe this is ham #2.  So pretty.

This is the closest we could get to a "Grandma with Grandkids" photo.  Multiple child photography is like herding cats, and the Culver grandkids did not disappoint.

Sloane with her beloved purple unicorn Pillow Pet.

Tutu day at Casa de Hot Mess. Everybody needs a tutu day.

Daddy and Sloane snuggle time.

My children are not allowed soda, save for special occasions. Christmas, and a visit from cousin Lolo qualify as a special occasion, and Sam is taking full advantage.

Sloane playing dress up. She can rock a pair of heels better than her mama. God help us all.

New Years eve was a success. The prime rib turned out fantastic, and my friend Ms. Flying Fork even brought me a super appropriate name tag. Yes, friends, that says "Hot Mess." Too true. :)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Hail, His Almighty Powers

Sam's got a new party trick.

What is his new trick, you ask?  High five? Jazz hands?  Guess again.

Vomit. His new trick is vomit.

Last night I had had it up to "here" with Sam. He was whiny. He was hitting his sister. He was tired.  It was bed time. Early, yes, but only by about 45 minutes.  He was unhappy.  Parenting experts tell you that the easiest and fastest way to get your child to calm down and stop throwing a fit is to completely ignore them while they are doing it.  My child must be a prodigy in the tantrum department, because he screamed and thrashed and clanked around his room for a solid hour.  It was hard for me too, since I am usually all about trying to find out the issue and make him happy. But last night, I took the advice of his doctor, and his therapists, and my mom, and I'm sure the baby Jesus has written about tantrums, so we'll throw him in there too. And he screamed for an hour.

Finally, he fell asleep. Sam's other new party trick as of late is to stand at the top of our stairs and scream for us at 2 am, promptly, every morning. Since JT and I need sleep in order to function, there have been a few days that we just threw him in between us so we could try to sleep. Not that it worked, because the boy flops around in his sleep like a fish out of water.  Sam called out at 2am "I sleep in mama's bed."  Mama decided the answer was no.

Again, Sam was none too happy. Since he'd worked himself into a tizzy earlier in the night, it came as no surprise that he was again thrashing and upset. But this time, he decided he'd puke on everything in his room.  Repeatedly. Until he got to sleep in his mama's bed.

Ohhhh people. We've got a problem.  I held to my guns and didn't let him in our bed, but it was ZERO fun cleaning up his room and doing laundry and giving a bath at 2am. I was pissed. He thought it was a field day.

I do hope this doesn't become a habit. Because I will send myself straight to the looney bin, first class. And our washer will get quite the workout.

I may never sleep again.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Mittens on My Heart

To many of you reading this, this looks like your basic 3 year old's craft project.  For those that have children, young or old, you've probably recieved countless scraps of these  works of art, with nary a care to post them on your fridge or bulletin board.

To me, this is the most beautiful art I have ever seen in my life as a mother.  This, my friends, is Sam's first non-forced, totally on his own art project. Glued strips of paper to a pair of cut out mittens.  I could not be happier right now, and I'm going to Hawaii in March, for goodness sake.

My son has...something. Autism? Asbergers? We don't know yet. The team of therapists that work with him 2 or 3 days a week haven't been able to wrap Sam's issues up into a pretty bow with a name yet. They may never be able to.  All we know is, he is a different child. A brilliant, happy, thriving child, but a different child.

He's always marched to the beat of a different drummer. He's shy to those who don't know him, and cautious even with the ones that do.  He can read countless books to us, count to 40, but cannot tie his shoes or put on a shirt.  He has never in his 3 years and 5 months of life taken it upon himself to make something with his creative mind.  We've always sort of joked that he doesn't have a creative mind.

Until today.

I am the proudest parent on the planet today. He did art!  Therapy really is making a difference in him, in the way he interacts with people, and the ways that he plays and laughs and loves.  I cannot wait to see him reach his full potential, to be able to deal with the ins and outs of what makes Sam tick.

I know it will take time. But for now, I patiently art project at a time.