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.