Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Day 4

We are on day 4 of wearing the weenie pants. The pants are close to becoming able to walk on thier own. I  have to stage an intervention. I have a plan and am about to execute it, I'll report back later. Here goes.....

Monday, December 27, 2010

Piperisms : Holiday Edition

Pie got a new pair of PJ's that she adores that have little dachshunds all over them.

Piper: "Mom may I wear my weenie pants?"

We had a fantastic Christmas and we hope you did too!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Blog Gem's Air your Archives #5

Jen over at The King and Eye wonders: "How many posts do you have languishing in your archives? Great posts that will never be dusted off and brought out to breathe again! Maybe you created fabulous content before you had lots of followers, or maybe you have been blogging for years and your current followers haven't seen your older material. Blog Gems - Air Your Archives is a forthnighly linky list where I will give a prompt and you select a post from your archives that fits the prompt. You do not have to create content for the prompt, unless you want to. All you have to do is copy and paste the url of the post into the linky list. Voila, an old post gets a second shot!"

To participate follow the link above to her blog.

The topic this round : first post.
I worte my first post soon after I had seperated from Pie's father and was struggling with the fact that I couldn't be the one to care for her in the mornings (the hardest time of day for her). It's about timing. I must say that on this autism train I always feel a day late and a dollar short, like the knowledge I gain is too late. Of course that's just on the bad days.
I think the post can speak for itself.
The Still

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Now you may have seen this already but I just had to share, I laughed 'til I cried! If you need a good side splitting belly laugh (and what parent doesn't, really?) click the link. You will NOT regret it. KAPOW!

You're welcome.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


So here by popular command is my poseable bacon toy mentioned in last week's SN Blog Hop.

Only his arms and legs are poseable which is kind of a let down. I also don't know why he's making that face. Maybe because everyone wants to eat him. Huh.

Behold his awesome bacon goodness.

That is all.

Monday, December 13, 2010

The in laws or the "out" laws

My in laws suck. I understand that I left their son and all but did they have to drop me like a hot potato? The people have not reached out to me even once! I have sent letters and emails. I MAILED a freakin' letter people, old school. Nada. Nothing. Zip.  Some character back round : in laws run their own Baptist church if that helps paint the picture,  FIL is the preacher and MIL is the preachers wife. Their relationship with their son is estranged and they have always kept him and us at arms length. Yet, I have comforted his mother after the loss of her youngest son. I have encouraged contact, invested in them with time, effort, and heart. I left Pie's Dad in September. My birthday is in October. Did the in laws send a card? You guess. No really, what do you think? Yeah, you're right they didn't.

I know in their eyes I am a hedonist whom has made bad choices in life but I am raising their granddaughter. They understand our challenges because their daughter (SIL) is also raising a child with autism. I just don't understand their distance and lack of interest.

I want the idyllic family life. My family is crazy in a very real way and I cannot have healthy relationships with them. I have boundaries instead. I long for deep connections, shared history, loving acceptance and maybe that doesn't exist. I certainly haven't found it with anyone aside from my daughter. I was hopeful that I would forge a new relationship with the in laws after I split with Piper's father. I guess that's the irritation, that it just doesn't seem like it's possible or that they are interested. It makes me sad for Piper and for myself. I feel like I'm a good person but I begin to doubt it because of this lack of family. I feel it implies to others that I'm somehow soiled , or tarnished "her own family doesn't want her" they must think.

I suppose it doesn't truly matter. I have many loving relationships with good people who support me. At the end of the day isn't that what life is all about? I guess it's the Holiday's and all that Hallmark expectation and crap that's got me musing.

Bah! It's more fun to be an "outlaw" anyway!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Blog Hop: Random Thoughts

Special Needs Blog Hop. This weeks topic? Random thoughts.

1. I don't know what to do about Christmas visitation for Pie's Dad and I'm having a hard time being reasonable and instead want to jump up and down and say "mine mine mine" over and over. Yeah, I'm real mature like that.

2. I've ordered most of Pie's presents from Amazon and I don't understand wtf they are doing with all that packaging! I got ONE item in a box big enough to put a herd of small dogs inside.

3. I'm imagining a herd of small dogs.

4. Mama got a surprise early Christmas present from a dear out of state friend and it was like she read my mind! Love you Jodels!

5. uhhhhh....

6. I have a poseable bacon toy.

7. Pie saw a picture of Santa and exclaimed "It's Santa!" with such delight it has made my week.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


(After re homing one of our cats)

Me: We only have three cats now.

Piper: We had four yesterday?

Me: Yup

Piper: That was a long time ago.

Friday, December 3, 2010


Piper is newly facinated with me. All of a sudden her focus has shifted to outside herself and she seems to be noticing the outside world. This new (awesome) development is coupled with a poorly timed event for me. PMS.  I apologize to any male readers, but PMS happens, and the lovely hormones that make us desirable the rest of the time go into overdrive. One result: my monthly blemish. OK, let's not pull any punches.  It's not a blemish, it's a zit. Whoever decided to give us the false expectation that we should suddenly become blemish free as adults ought to be punished. But I digress, back to our story.

I have a huge zit on my chin.  It's red irritated and gignatic. Piper takes note and begins to question me about it. I explain as best I can. She is horrified!  Especially when I start to tell her that she will have them one day too. Big mistake. For the next hour she lamented her fate. She bargained, she refused to grow up at one point saying " I will not have a zit NEVER!"  I had no idea that her skin meant so much to her!

Days later, we were visitng a local grocery when we ran into an old friend, C, who also happens to be single and handsome and employed. Pie announced our arrival in her ususal way, asking me questions very loudly. She has no idea how to modulate her voice and her default volume is about a dozen decibles louder than normal conversation. C hears us and waves from another area of the store. I wave back--hey it's only polite--and we make our way to his area of the store. Piper decides to visit a display of colorful gourds nearby while C and I exchange plesantries. She wanders back after a  moment carrying a big lumpy gourd and declares "look Mommy it has a zit just like you!" OH. My. Goodness. I turn back to C and try to move the conversation in another direction, but it's too late.  This is Pipers show now.

Pie: "Who is your friend?"

Me: "This is C, Pie. He knew you as a baby"

Pie : "Did you change my diaper when I was a baby?"

C (visibly embarassed): " No, just friends"

Pie: "Mom are you going to kiss him?"

Me (omg omg omg): "No we're not kissing friends, just friends Pie"

At this moment I am so embarrased I stammer some kind of polite goodbye (I hope) and make a hasty retreat.

This is how I learned that Piper is a horrible wingman.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Special Needs Blog Hop

Ok here we go, I've never done this before and I'm ready to blow my amature status!

This blog hop is about accomplishments and I have a BIG one to share.

Piper recently had a dental appointment. It's been a full year since her last one because it was so horrible for both of us and we got little accomplished. This visit it was a whole new ball game. My baby has new skills and tools to use, her language has blossomed and she can communicate her needs and wants with out any help from Mom. She was engaged, compliant and didn't need the half dozen or so supports and modifications I had planned or brought.  She got her xrays and her teeth cleaned. She asked questions. YES questions! Which is an accomplishment all on it's own.  She loved seeing her xrays (although she was a bit disappointed that we couldn't get pics of her whole body).

 We both left the Dental office smiling and happy. Stress FREE!

Monday, November 29, 2010


Piper:  "Hi mom!  I washed my hands with root beer."

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


I feel it is appropriate that as we turn indoors for the season we also turn inward to reflect. This week I'm reflecting on gratitude.

I feel gratitude for my knowledge and wisdom , hard won though it may be.
I have a good life. I am able to work and care for my daughter. My job sustains us and I can provide all that we need. My employer is generous and seeks not only to provide me with a paycheck but also a fantastic environment where I spend my days. My daughter has a team of people working daily to give her the tools for a bright future. We have a loving, and caring "family". I am healthy. Piper is healthy. We have a home.

It's not perfect. I am doing my best and some days it is not even close to what is required.


I acknowledge the gifts I have. There is bounty. There is plenty. It is enough. Today.

As we gather around our tables to join in the feast let us also remember our wealth.

I am thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

KLN the Magnificent!!

I've stated before that I'm living in a city with no family except the one I created. My friends are my family and I've created a strong one. We have a magical friend I shall call KLN the Magnificent! She and Pie have one of the BEST relationships outside of our own. She adores my girl, has the patience of a saint, and deeply desires to provide Piper with tools for her happiness and independence. I know right? You want one too, but you can't have her because she's ours!

I don't know how I became so lucky to have this woman in my life but here she is in all her glory! She loves spending time with Piper and often steps in to give me a much needed break. She just GETS it, and we all know how I feel about that! Not only is she a great friend to Piper, she's a sweet and considerate one to me. I hope I show her often just how much she means to both of us.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Piper's Dad

Piper's Dad loves her. Having a relationship with her Dad is important to her. I want what is best for her despite my own feelings and preferences. I've learned a great deal this past year of Mothering. Pie's Dad was NOT capable of caring for her (or even himself for that matter) and it was a fact I had to face and fast! Despite his objections (or hissy fits) it was clear that their visits had to be supervised. I held my ground and despite his constant pressure I maintained my resolve. For a solid 6 months I slowly increased his time with her while slowly relaxing the supervision until he was comfortable being her caregiver and I was confident that she was safe. I had seen enough improvement to allow Piper to be cared for by him alone.

It was a hard row to hoe. It meant having him in my home, and being around him more than I cared to be. It was worth it every time Piper spoke of her Father with pride. She began quoting him to me "my Dad said...". It helped me see that while his role will never be the same as mine in her life, it's a very important role.

I am committed to making my daughter's life as wonderful as it deserves to be. I will do whatever it takes to make that happen. I will shape her exposure to her father in such a way that he is able to show her the best of him and hopefully she will forget the times when she saw him at his worst.

We are still working this out, the Dad time. It's a work in process.

That, my friends, is progress.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Sometimes it just hurts.

It hurts.

It hurts that everyone in earshot of her swim class knows her name but not any of the other kids'. It hurts when the doctor/evaluator/teacher/friend/co worker asks me "can she do ___? ".  It hurts when people stare. It hurts when my friend brags about his kids progress in school. It hurts when a milestone is missed. It hurts when a child years younger has a skill she doesn't. It hurts when it's easier for someone else. It hurts.

I am so blessed that it only hurts me.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


I am a great problem solver. At work, all day long I fix things; I help people, I give clear direction, I have the answers. I am confident that if I cannot solve the problem I can find the person who will. I know what to do. I create good outcomes. At work.
I'm lucky, I really know this. I don't complain often.
It's so frustrating though to come home and feel so lost, so confused, so unsure, so unprepared for this thing that is my life.
Can I tell you about sometimes? Do you know about sometimes?
Autisim sucks.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Halloween. I loooooooove Halloween. Being an (resting) actress I have, shall we say, a flair for the dramatic. I love that on Halloween the world belongs, for just that one day, to the Freaks. My people.

I trick or treated until my junior year in high school. I remember this last pilgrimage with relish. We'd laughed so hard! Making so much of the fact that we were getting away with participating in what is largely seen as an activity for small children. The comments from the people giving us the candy asking "how old  are you?" made us howl. I did get the message though. I was too old to go door to door and ask for candy, at my age it was viewed as begging. I continued to dress up every year though, and quests for candy turned into party hopping.

My costumes became less gruesome and more clever. I was a cereal killer wielding a box of Grape Nuts and a fake machete. I queried the host of every gathering asking if there were any Fruit Loops about. I often would get so into the character of my costume I had an accent or an affected way of speaking and would relate to everyone all night as whatever character I had adopted. This soon became my Halloween tradition, the costume with a story. I couldn't just dress as a woman from the renaissance nooo. I was Inga and I had lost my cow and he was brown, and so I spent the night asking strangers where he could be,  introducing myself and asking" have you seen my cow?". In a Barret and tight sweater I was Lulu the french girl, new in town with no idea what this holiday we call.."'ow you say? 'alloween?" ( french people don't pronounce the H). I was so convincing I fooled many many people that night. The anonymity. The feeling that we were all participating in a shared commitment to the holiday; made me bold.  I would approach any stranger and I used this feeling to approach boys. The cutest of boys, and they were charmed by me and it felt soooo good.
Why wouldn't I love Halloween when it transformed me in this way?  I especially love it here in my fair city of freaks and weirdos. This town throws down with the Halloween spirit like nobodies business!

After I had Piper this all changed, of course. I was thrilled with the idea of soon being able to go trick or treating again. I would reclaim it like an item from the lost and found. Her first Halloween we attended a party like we'd always done before. It was great for the first hour or so we were dressed gardeners and Pie was a pumpkin (haha a pumpkin Pie). I spent the first hour showing off my prize "crop" and making, what I am sure were, witty puns about what I "grew from seed", saying "she's organic!". Then one of the party goers arrived with a dog in costume. She had already seen another dog wearing a cape but this one had on a man' s shirt and for some reason it completely upset her! She was terrified and I couldn't soothe her so home we went!

The second year we stayed home and passed out candy. I was rainy and cold and I figured we would attempt trick or treating when she was a bit older and could enjoy it more. Her third year she refused to wear her costume. The one she'd begged for and worn all week. I was frustrated but just put a Halloween tee on her and we passed out candy again instead of trick or treating.

It just all seemed like too much for her. I decided to scrap the whole idea and learned to let Piper guide me. I wouldn't emotionally commit one way or the other. Would she wear her costume? Who knows! Will she enjoy the party? Maybe!  Will she have a meltdown? Could be! I would just shrug my shoulders and accept. With my new attitude I was ready to face another Halloween.

I would embrace a different way of thinking.

Guess what? It totally worked. We made adaptable plans with some friends in the neighborhood to meet at our house and if Piper felt like dressing up, we would. If after visiting with her friend, she felt like walking with them around the neighborhood, we would. So we did, and it worked, and Mom was happy!

This year armed with my new attitude and plan for action we will be celebrating again. Bring it ON!

Friday, October 22, 2010

See you at the Pancake Breakfast!

We recently made a trek to the coast to enjoy a little r&r. We camped at a KOA which was AWESOME! So many cool activites and an indoor pool. Piper LOVED it. There was even a daily pancake breakfast that was included in our cabin rental (that's right we "camped" in a cabin with beds. bliss).

Piper is socialy motivated. She wants to interact with everyone. EVERYONE. Once we began unpacking the car and loading in, she was already ramping up. Our cabin was located on the end of the row near the bathroom. This meant everyone on our row had to pass our camp when they needed to use the bathroom. As soon as she saw people passing Piper was at hand with the invites : "Do you want to come roast marshmallows with us?". I could see where this was headed and after a long car ride I just wanted to veg, not facillitate. In a moment of quick thinking I assured her that we would see them the following morning at the pancake breakfast and suggested she come join us by the fire. And so it began.

Now instead of inviting people to our camp she had a script and simply greeted every person that she saw with "I'll see you at the pancake breakfast!" in her litlting tone. I must confess; I giggled. For three nights and four days she greeted every person we saw at the KOA with "I'll see you at the pancake breakfast". 

On our last night there one family made thier way to the bathroom and Piper said her greeting and then 10 minutes later on thier way back she was ready to do the same. I stopped her. For four days I had been listening to this exchange and this group of invitee's wasn't finding it amusing and my patience had worn and well I'd had enough.  I leaned in close to her while they approached said "Piper you already invited them no need to say it". At this moment they began to pass us and Piper opened her mouth to speak and instead whispered like a creeper "I'll see you at the pancake breakfast". I laughed. Out loud. It was so absurdly funny, by trying to modify I had actualy made it worse! She sounded like a serial killer!

Ahhh the lessons this kid teaches me; leave well enough alone.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


I want to preface this rant with : I am glad I left my marriage and I KNOW it was the right choice.  It's been a year since I left him. A milestone that means I'm looking back.

I've been missing.

I miss partnership. I am envious of couple hood. My marriage wasn't perfect but he did take out the garbage. He understood my sighs. We shared a history. I miss that. I miss familiar. In the end, though he wasn't much of a partner, I pretended he was and took comfort that I could at least ask for help. I don't have that now. I have something I feel is better. I am happier. Mostly I like what I see. I've come a long way baby and so on and so forth.Yet that kernel of feeling is there. A tiny irritation.

I will never have the 20 year marriage. I have let go those dreams of growing old with my husband, my best friend. That sucks. I did everything right. I was a good wife and mother. I was a good partner. I stood by my man just like Patsy Cline directed. Until I couldn't any longer. I'm pissed that he failed to live up to his end of the bargain. I deserved better than that and so did Piper.

I'm in my mid 30's and the idea of starting over in that way seems ridiculous to me.  I'm not sure I can ever trust again or that I want to. I'm sure a woman in midlife raising a child with autism with a potentially volatile ex is what every man is looking for these days, right?

The feeling remains.

I will feel and be grateful this one isn't a frequent visitor.

Sunday, September 12, 2010


Summer is almost over!!! Here in the Northwest the weather has already given in and we're seeing cool temps and leaves falling.

I'm scared for my baby. About a month ago we began talking about school. Two weeks ago the behaviors began revving up and they haven't shown any sign of letting up. Piper's stim's from a full two years ago showed up for the party. Good times.

What is there to be so nervous about?


New school, new teacher, and a new daycare.

Poor Piper. She's not enjoying being dsyregulated either.  She was echolalicly stimming a line from her favorite documentary of the moment I tried redirecting her and then asked "are you able to stop?" and the look she gave me was one of  I wish I could and she said "no, I can't Mommy". Broke. My. Heart.

I'm not feeling any less anxious as there have been several last minute major snafu's perpetrated by her school district and her new teacher whom we've never met hasn't bothered to return my calls to set up a before the first day meeting.  I'm not inspired or excited and if I wasn't the sole financial support for this child I would be homeschooling. Color me NOT impressed.

The only reason I am happy about going back to school is that it means her father wont be at my house every day to care for Pie. He's been staying with her at my house while school's been out. I set up a kind of "camp" for them with weekly activities. He has even taught her to read and speak more than 50 Spanish vocabulary words. She has enjoyed him being more involved and I am happy to hear speak with pride about her Dad.

Mixed blessings. I guess I am used to that.

I for one hate this time of year. BAH! Here's to the speedy arrival of October, friends. I raise my glass to you!

Friday, June 11, 2010

On the Bench

I always knew I would be a Mom. It was a certainty. I had no real idea what form of motherhood I would be blessed with but I was ready for it all. Step child? no problem, I'm from a blended family myself. Adopted? I'd raise her and love her like my own. Bio Mom? Sure thing!
Of course, I wasn't prepared to have a child with special needs. It never even crossed my mind and I scoffed at Piper's dad when he brought it up during my pregnanacy. Bah! Those things happen to other people not me and my precious girl.
Don't you just love how life comes along to educate you?

So here I am in the full bloom of motherhood 7 years later. Rasing a beautiful soul who was an enexpected but welcome gift to my life. She's made me rich. I have lovingly (and sometimes painfully) received every gift she has offered. I'm trying my best to give her what she needs.

One of Piper's favorite activites is to swim. It looks more like organized drowning but she's happy and safe so who cares? I'll tell ya who. The bench. Do you have this bench at your activites? The bench of the typical Moms sitting on the sidelines chatting casualy with eachother? Talking about typical things?
I'm gonna be honest, I HATE that damm bench.

I'm exhausted by the time we get to these things since I begin my day at 3:30am every day. By the time we get to swim I've worked an 8 hour day, rushed to get Pie from school, had snack and playtime and then rushed out again for the activity. Sometimes I just want to enjoy my girl and not have to be the "advocate" the "educator". I just want to sit there and watch my baby's joy. Piper loves the water. LOVES it. She is as fond of a pool as she is of a puddle or a bath. Water makes her happy and calm. Mostly. The local pool we swim at is a flurry of activity. There are 3 classes going on simultaneously and a radio on playing music over the PA. We've had moslty group lesson for cost reasons and have had minimal success staying focused. I have worked with the staff closely to reduce the outside distractions (the radio is now off for her lessons and the swim meet teacher doesn't yell as much). We've made adaptations to help Piper but it's still challenging for the teacher to focus on her as well as the other kids cause Pie is so distracted she doesn't stay with the group. As a result, everyone within ear shot knows my daughter's name. To the uneducated her behavior looks like she's and out of controll, spoiled kid who wont listen to the teacher. To the trained eye she presents as a socialy motivated kid with ASD. I don't enjoy sitting on that bench with the other mothers. I can feel the looks from the other parents as they begin to see her differences. It's hard to watch her struggle with, what are for me, simple requests. That half hour has seemed like agony and I can't say how many times I wanted to crawl under a rock. Ugh.

Guess what I did?

I've changed my strategy!
PRIVATE lessons. Oh la la we are so chic! I had a preconcieved idea that private lesson are for "wealthy" kids and not po'folk like ourselves but I finaly investigated and it is NOT out of our range. It's the perfect solution and she is learning and thriving! We may go back to group lessons someday but for now this is what's working. Her teacher is patient and kind and has worked with other ASD kids, and best of all she is completly focused on Piper alone for a full half hour.

You know what else is working? I am enjoying the bench. I'm not chatting up the other moms yet, but I am getting more comfortable. I no longer sit in vigil evey muscle tense waiting to spring up and help out or willing Piper to perform. I can just relax and trust her teacher is keeping her engaged and safe. It's no longer obvious to everyone withinn earshot that my gal struggles. I call that a victory.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Way Piper Sees It

Piper said  "Everyone is a unicorn.They eat rainbows and poop butterflies."

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Product Reccomendations

I love a good testimonial. I could have made millions of dollars. If only all of the recommending I do for all the products I can't live without were paid advertisements by the companies that make the crap I'm so jazzed about. I practically sell the stuff! blarg. I already have a day job.

Anyhoooo, stuff. Stuff that works. Things that make life just a little bit easier, the right tool. I LOVE it! This really greases my wheels, lights my fire and's silly but um yeah. I really like stuff that works.

Same goes for this bloggy bloggy world. The stories and the "yeah. I've so lived that" moments and the tears and the joy. The community. The kindness. The love. The beauty of anothers words, making me feel it, making me see it through her eyes and feel every deliciously painful/joyful moment. Triumphs and tribulations. I cannot describe what all this makes me feel. I don't think I need to, because you get it don't you?

So that's my recommendation: Find your we of me.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


I am processing. I am not processing on the page. All the action is in my head. IEP has come and gone. Piper's goals are well set and reachable but challenging. What's got me spinning is the idea of a new school.

Piper's teacher for the past two years has been  Mr. T. He loves my baby. He cares for her like one of his own and school has been a safe place for her because of his presence. I know that she is safe and cared for with Mr. T. Piper has him wrapped around her little finger. He CARES. He cares so much he's willing to do what's best for her even though it's not what his heart wants. He has proposed a new program at a different school for Piper. After investigating, it is the right move at the right time. It is what she needs and I am grateful he was able to see that.

Now we wait...which school will it be?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

La la la random

Piper want's a VW camper van (like Daddy's) for our summer's camping excurssions.
I am taking a Zumba class.
It's raining today, of course.
The bush on the other side of the crosswalk outside Piper's school has 139 berries.
We will be taking another route to avoid the daily counting of the berries on said bush from now on.
We have a re-eval IEP in a  few short weeks.
Piper mistakenly called me Daddy the other day and it hurt my feelings.
Piper said she wants to start a reptile collection.
I am not really fond of reptiles.
Spicy dark chocolate is a gift from the gods.
Claire Danes is starring in an HBO movie about Temple Grandin.
I am struggling with the mess I've been left to clean up by Jerkwad.

La la la la la

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Question

Friend: Piper, what are you going to be when you grow up?

Piper: Eighteen

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Light Around Her

I heard an old favortie song with a new perspective this weekend. A song that for me had always been about romantic love was transformed into a song about my daughter, Piper. Like it was written for her. I found myself weeping at the truth of it, overcome.

She's got a way about her
I don't know what it is
but I know that I can't live without her

She's got a way of pleasin'
I don't know why it is
but there doesn't have to be a reason anyway

She's got a smile that heals me
I don't know what it is
but I have to laugh when she reveals me

She's got a way of talkin'
I don't know why it is
but it lifts me up when we are walkin' anywhere

She comes to me when I'm feelin' down
Inspires me without a sound
She touches me and I get turned around

She's got a way of showin'
How I make her feel
and I find the strength to keep on goin'

She's got a light around her
And everywhere she goes a million
dreams of love surround her everywhere

She comes to me when I'm feelin' down
Inspires me without a sound
She touches me, I get turned around oh oh oh

She's got a smile that heals me
I don't know why it is
but I have to laugh when she reveals me

She's got a way about her
I don't know what it is
but I know that I can't live without her any way
- Billy Joel

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Date Dish

The date went well, but no fireworks. I did really well with the talking and kept up my side of the conversation. It was fairly easy since he talked about himself almost exclusively. It was hard for me to interject and he seemed to not mind that one bit. It's probably for the best though because it kept me from pontificating about Piper and how facinatingly adorable she can be. He asked me out for a second date and the event did end with a kiss but as I've said no butterflies and no fireworks.

I've decided not to go on date # 2. I recognize he is the kinda guy who needs a mommy and I've done this style of relationship before with little sucess. It's not what I'm looking for this time around. It's less than I deserve and certainly less than Piper deserves. I'm proud of myself for seeing this for what it is right away instead of needing to learn the hard way.

No SHIT! Did I actualy lean somethign from my past mistakes? Is this a sign of healthy thinking?


Wednesday, February 17, 2010


I have a date tonight. My first one in 10 years. Gosh, I hope I remember how to talk to men......

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Meltdown Monday

One of Pie's favorite books of the moment is titled "Mixed up Monday". It's a ESL tome aimed at helping children who primarily speak Spanish understand some of the nuances of the English language. Guess what? It helps my kid with autism understand those nuances too! Our wonderful Librarian Miss N suggested it and Piper has lovingly scripted it and made it part of her daily vocabulary. The book features the members of a family accidentally receiving the wrong bags at the start of thier day and in turn they each have the wrong supplies for participating in thier preffered activity. Their things are all mixed up! One of the girls ends up with her sisters swim suit instead of her dance shoes. The book illuminates how it is possible to make the best of what you've got by using creative problem solving. There are loads of opportunities to create a conversation with your child using the book as a foundation. Wonderful!

This book showed up in our life in a rather ironic way yesterday.

We had a Meltdown Monday.

Piper is usualy quite easy for me to navigate. Sure, I've had my moments. Haven't we all? I have learned from those times past though and I have a TON of patience which really helps. I have been at this for several years and Piper has really progressed. I am not a superwoman, I just know my child very well and I do my best to steer and guide her through the landmines life loves to lay in her path. It is not possible every time, as you know, but I succeed most of the time. Which makes it harder when it bites me in the arse. Ouch.

It began with a little thing, as it always does. A forgotten toy. A rushed exit. A rushed parting of ways. No going back. We must accept the toy is left and begin anew. Move on. Can you see where this is going?


We were out in public of course.  I carry screaming Piper a block to get her in the car where she can rage safely. She yells "get away from me" which is disconcerting to passersby as they think something is amiss. This is when I wish for a sign on a stick, like a protester; "My Child is having a Meltdown, Bring Liquor". We sit in the car for what feels like forever and she is lost, inconsolable and out of reach. She finaly calms enough for me to drive. I start the car and drive a few blocks and she begins screaming with renewed vigor so I pull over.  Next, I do what I am not proud to admit, I lose it all over her there on the side of the road. Ugg. We are both yelling and I tell her I am sick of this crap and she has to calm down. I just want to go home. Yeah, great parenting. I should get an award huh?

 We're finaly calm enough to finish the drive home, both of us red faced and blotchy from crying.

 Piper says, "It was a mixed up Monday".


Thursday, February 4, 2010

Groundhog's Day

I celebrated my 8th wedding anniversary this week. Goundhog's Day 2002. Ironic? Yes. I didn't celebrate it as an anniversary. It's our first year apart leading seperate lives. So what does a newly single lady do on her first wedding anniversary as a unmarried lady? Eat bacon.

I'm not sure what inspired me to eat bacon as a clelebration but it seemed fitting. I invited over some of my close friends (there were 5 of us) and we had a bacon party. Everyone made a dish and there was even bacon chocolate cake (delicious). Piper even ate some!

I din't cry or invest in any sad feelings. I celebrated and enjoyed myself with people who love me and treat me well. What a difference a year can make.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

She is trying to maniplulate me! YAY!

Piper's fine motor skills are well..shall we say..a bit unfocused. Oh heck we're all friends here : she sucks at using scissors. She preforms most tasks that require coordination as if she were a giant person forced to live in a really tiny house. Everything is foreign and nothing seems to fit.

May I make a confession? I giggle uncontrollably during her dance classes. She lumbers about the veritable bull in the china shop. That however is not (entirely) where the laughing comes from. It's the sheer delight in her face as she's prancing around the dance room admiring herself in the mirror only able to focus on herself. Her attention flits in and out, sometimes the instructor is able to engage her sometimes not. I laugh in relief,  joy and pure love.

Anyway back to the scizzors, Pie cant use 'em so she is constantly trying to get me to cut her pictures out after hastily scribbling them with marker. She finds these tiny tiny parts to color, always animals and wants me to cut. cut. cut. I humor her for a few but then when it becomes well, obsessive, I draw the line and say I will do more cutting tomorrow.

This is where the manipulation comes in, she hears me say "I'm tired of cutting now" and counters with "Mommy you're not tired, you're healthy". With a melodramatic flair she hugs me and kisses my cheek and says "Oh Mommy you're the best cutter. You're the best maker! You're strong and healthy" and then she shows me her "guns" in a moc strong man pose.

Get's me every time.

Cut. Cut. Cut.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Furry Goats

While visiting a friend's home Piper became obsessed fixated on two little "mice" toys laying about that are made from real fur. I aplogize if you are not a pet toy afficiando like ourselves and do not know about these fun little critters made for cats. They exist, I can assure you. Pipes did her ususal inspection of the dwelling making sure all the things that cried out for her attention received it in large doses. I love these particullar friends because they GET IT. They love Piper and find her humorous and adorable. They love her for her quirks just like they should. They have taken us into thier lives and it's wonderful to be around people who enjoy my daughter. May I share a secret? That is the quickest route to my heart; love my daughter and I'm all yours!

Of course after seeing how much she liked the cat toys they insisted she take them home. So we did and they are currently being well loved and the "must have" items of the week. She calls them her "furry goats".

I must tell you I take particular delight when she asks for these items in public: "Mama may I have my furry goats?". BAHAHAHAHA! The looks on peoples faces are priceless.
Aww kiddo you always keep me grinning!

Special shout out to MoD and A for the love, the looks, and the goods!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Freedom Project

Do you want to help individuals with autism? Good news you can! Simply click here!

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Letter

Dearest Pie Maker,

You have a strong heart. You can do this; just keep your focus and don't be so hard on yourself. I'm sure you know there are enough people in this world to do that for you. 

You have a battle, tears and a journey ahead. You must begin. 
Take care of yourself so you can be the rock Piper needs, Mama Lioness. 
Get well. 
Imperative, must do. 
Be happy. 
Live as if. 
Quit trying to change him. If that is who he is then that is who he is: focus, focus, focus. No one is going to do it for you. No one is going to "save you" so get over it and do it yourself. Stop asking for his help. Stop talking altogether and just keep doing. 
Get smart. Get ready because here YOU go. You must begin or it's never going to happen for you; get your knowledge and go. 
Please dear, it's time for action. It's time to cut your heart out and shove it down your throat. You can't afford to be your Pollyanna self. 
Get real. Plan. Absorb. Do IT. 

Quit investing in everyone else and start investing in yourself. 


* letter to self written 1/10/2009

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The return of Jerkwad part II or Eye of the Tiger

Everyone survived the visit to the fast food family restaurant!! We met as planned. Jerkwad and Pie sat together at one table while she ate. I sat at my own table with a friend to give them privacy but I kept Piper in my vision. He motions me over after about 5 minutes and asked when we could sit down to discuss visitation arrangements. I politely declined to discuss anything in front of Piper and suggested he send me a text to make arrangements. He is irritated by this and rolls his eyes at me. You see Jerkwad has this uncanny ability to argue me into a corner and screw with my rational thinking. He gets my head all turned around. I'm trying to avoid this with the texting or emailing, it makes the communication more clear and less emotional. I am able to focus. He hates it because he can't manipulate me. Which is why I am sure it's the right method.

After another 5 minutes he walks over to my table, leaving Piper still sitting at their table. He says; "obviously you're too busy. I'll see Piper another time" and starts to leave. I begin to object but he just repeats himself and says goodbye to Piper. She hugs him and says goodbye but isn't upset to see him go. As he's walking away he calls back over his shoulder "Daddy doesn't live in California any more so you can see him when ever you want Piper". I am stunned. Guess he's here to stay. We finish our meal say goodbye to my friend and leave for home.

10 minutes.

He lasted 10 minutes.

Monday, January 4, 2010

The return of Jerkwad part 1

Soooo, with no warning but my dreams TA DA! Jerkwad has returned! How do I know? Why a text message at 1130am that says:  Can I come over for a few minutes this evening? I want to see Piper.   He's been 1000 miles away for over a month. Piper has settled into her routine. She's been doing so well. I am afraid that his return will capsize the fragile peace we've carved for ourselves.

 BLARG! I want to pretend this isn't happening to me.

She has missed him. I don't want to shut him out of her life, but he's really off kilter and I'm not comfortable with him being alone with her, he's unstable and not thinking clearly. Pie has no sense of danger and is inappropriately social, with every one. Can you say major recipe for disaster? I knew you could! I agree to let him see her because I know he loves her and I am hoping he will respect the boundaries I  am setting. Ahh, hope that's the old stinger for me; I keep hoping and hope keeps biting me in the arse.

Despite the surprise, I offered to meet him in a public place for a kid friendly dinner.

Jerkwad: after 6pm?

Me: that's too late for us, more like 5

Jerkwad: the earliest I can make it is 5:45

Me: (silent scream) looks like tonight won't work then, how about tomorrow at 5?

Jerkwad: what's the problem? I wouldn't think 45 mins would make that much difference


Jerkwad: I'm not trying to be difficult I just want to give you this stuff from my sister and visit with Pipes for a few minutes. Okay?

Me: I don't see why I should make accommodations to our schedule when you are unwilling to do the same. 5 is what works today or tomorrow.

Jerkwad: what about Wednesday then or are you too f'n busy that day too?

Me: Wednesday will not work. We have plans. (I was trying to be nice A@@hole and now you're trying to bully me? What else do you have to do? You don't have a job!!)

Jerkwad:  Will you please call me so we can talk about this?

Me: no. I don't see what there is to discuss. You didn't give me any warning. We are living a life. We have a schedule. I can offer you tomorrow at 5.

Jerkwad: Why are you unwilling to communicate? I'm not trying to be a dick. I just want to see my little girl.

Me: I am not unwilling to communicate. I am.

Jerkwad: Fine. I'll be there tomorrow. But I can't help but think you're doing this out of spite. You know Piper wants to see her dad. I didn't think you were like that

Me: ok we will see you at 5 at ___, and ___.

Jerkwad: thanks I guess

Tonight's the meet up. I am hoping for a quick visit that will satisfy his desire to see her. I am not planing on granting him anymore time with her outside of school.  In my opinion his visits must be supervised and I don't want to do it. Once the paperwork is filled and the judge hears our case then the court can decide, for now I'm just doing my best. It sucks.  

Stay tuned.....