Friday, August 27, 2010

A Lesson in Neurodiversity- Your Brain is A Rainforest

I came across this from a Facebook friend (and former classmate).  I could not have expressed it better myself and therefore I am sharing it.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Tender Moment

Last night, M and I snuggled in bed after his bath to watch Marley and Me.  C was already asleep.  I wasn't sure that I'd make it through the whole movie.  I was sure that I'd turn it off before the end came.  M rarely watches anything from beginning to end.  Especially if it is not animated.  So I was pretty amazed when he sat through the whole movie.
Somewhere in the middle I got up to check on C, make the sure the house was locked up tight, and brush my teeth.  When I emerged from the bathroom, M was curled up in the bed, rocked with huge sobs, the fat tears just rolling down his cherub cheeks.
I crawled in next to him and he rolled over to me and clasped onto me so tight.  Tighter than any other hug I've ever gotten from him.  He buried his face in my neck.  It took a good few minutes for him to answer my question, "What's wrong, baby?"
When his sobs finally took leave long enough for him to answer, he gazed up at me and said, "Mommy, I just miss Ripley so much!" and the sobbing returned.
I was gone.
I was right there with him, clinging onto him, sobbing in grief over the loss of our pet.  It's almost been a month since our loss, and I don't think I've cried that hard since the first week.  We spent the next 5 minutes cuddling and crying together.  I wiped his tears away and stroked his hair until he fell asleep.

I wasn't just mourning our pet.  I was ecstatic with the boy who was sobbing with me.  Like all Autistics, M struggles with emotions.  He can't read the emotions of others very well.  He cannot put his emotions into words.  Whatever he is feeling inside challenges him daily.  Autistic tantrums are usually the result of the inability to filter and deal with the world and the emotions it evokes.

But for him to spontaneously recognize his emotion, label it, and deal with it appropriately is the true miracle.  And I can't think of a harder emotion to deal with than grief.  Neurotypical people of all ages struggle with it, including myself.

This is my boy, M.  His Autism tries to hide him from me but I see him breaking through more and more each day.

Some people may think I am exaggerating this small feat.  I felt like time stood still in that moment.  I felt the earth move.  This encounter came with the strangest combination of grief and elation.

This memory is one that will stay with me forever and I am fortunate to have it.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Cakes of Birthdays Past 2

C's Mystery Machine cake from his 3rd birthday.  It also had chocolate donut wheels which is why he demanded them on his cake this year.

M had a store made Spongebob cake.  I was heartbroken that I couldn't make it for him but I was sentenced to bedrest because I had Frankenfoot surgery the next morning.

C's Mickey Mouse cake for his 1st birthday.  

My biggest failure at a cake.  It's supposed to be Buzz Lightyear.  Yeah. You can stop laughing now...........Anytime.....

More later.......

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Cakes of Birthdays Past

Last October, my friend P turned 40.  Since it was so close to Halloween, I got a little psyched at doing a Halloween themed cake.  This cake is a 2 tier round with my Mom's famous buttercream frosting.  The ghosts are Nutter Butters cookies smothered in white chocolate with black cookie icing eyes and mouths.  The headstones are Mint Milano cookies with black cookie icing writing.  The 'dirt' is crushed Oreos mounded generously to simulate fresh graves.  The cake is embellished with candy pumpkins.

C offered his help in case P couldn't blow out all 4 of those candles....

I also made these because I thought they were sooo cute. They are made with 3 marshmallows stacked and held together with a pretzel stick.  Then they are wrapped loosely with Fruit by the Foot fruit leather.  The eyes are dotted on with green cookie icing.


In case there is any doubt that I clean my house......

It stays like this for approximately 15 minutes.  Then.....

*Sigh*  This drives my Hubs nuts.  He hates disorder.  Especially disorder that seems to seep from room to room throughout the house.  I agree with him sometimes.  My Type A personality gets anxious from the mess, too.  Then I remind myself that all too soon these precious little boys will grow up and leave us.  My stomach wrenches at the thought.  I know already I will miss their noise, their boisterous activity, and the mess they leave behind.  

Well, maybe not the mess.

Yesterday's Harvest

This is the 3rd harvest of beans and the 1st large harvest of tomatoes.  I still have a garden box of personal-size watermelons that will be ready for harvest pretty soon. There's at least 6 melons out there getting nice and plump.  I picked two already, thinking they were ripe because they were so large and sounded hollow.  But when I opened them, the flesh was still white.  They tasted just fine, though!  

I will be spending the evening preparing these for freezing, save a few for using immediately.
I was always weary about starting a garden...  I think I may be good at this!  HMMMM, I have 4 garden boxes right now. To see my garden boxes click here: There's Room in My Boat: Mother's Day Eco-Mission  I may have to consider expanding to 6 next year.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

15 syllable swear word


Plus this.......

Equals  &$^#&^@&^!!@^??!##@!

I'm gonna get the nerd-let who invented this heinous toy.  Probably some 40 y/o bald, fat, loser who thinks that robots are cool....  Not that I have anything against the bald, the fat, or the 40 y/o, or losers.  It's the toy, you see.  The inventor must take all the blame-- not me, the one who should have picked up this thing last night before bed.  Just sayin'!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

This is my Pops

I thought it only fair to post a pic of my Dad as well, since I get my stubborn-ness and git-er-done attitude from him.  I think he is also responsible for my ugly temper.  I also got my hazel eyes and his creepy "spoon toes" as we call them.  Frankenfoot was no prize before the accident, either.

HAHAHAHAHAHA!  This is not really fair, because I took this picture when he wasn't really ready.  I kinda swooped in on him.  I love it because of his 'What the hell?' expression.

That's better!

This is my Mom

This is who taught me (and still teaching me) everything I know about crafting, cooking, baking, cakes, gardening, and everything else domestic.  She's an awesome cook, mentor, and everything else.  She's going to teach me how to can and make jam next.  I haven't told her yet.

 There's nothing this woman can't do.

And she's tough as nails.  She nearly died last November from a rare autoimmune disorder that captured us all by surprise.  She spent 12 days in a medically-induced coma and literally was hours away from death when she arrived at the hospital.  I hope that I am somewhat like her, although, I hear that I am my father's daughter as well.
This picture was taken at Xmas last year, only a month after her stint in the hospital.  Doesn't she look great??

Anyway, I love this picture, so I thought I'd share it.


I couldn't resist posting a few more pics of my Loves on their shared birthday party.  M turned 6 and C turned 4.  Their birthdays are two weeks apart.  They always get a mini party on their actual birthdays and usually a shared party with our family.  I always make sure that they each get their own cake, though.

Shh!  Don't tell M I caught a picture of him with his glasses!

Ugh.  Those eyelashes kill me.  C got them, too.  Not fair!

The Party

Uncle R and Aunt J brought their popcorn machine.....

and a FREE jumpy house.  Very popular among the children and adults.

We had pie dies with ham and swiss cheese, cherry, or apple pie filling.  It was July and we had a bonfire.  In the blazing heat.  Probably not the smartest idea I ever had, but I really wanted a pie die.  Because I haven't been camping in 15 years.  I think I'm going to go camping next time.

Party favors rock.

Silly string fight!!!

New toys.....

This is the first year M tolerated the singing without running and hiding.  Priceless!

A great party.  'Til next year, my loves!


M's cake.  Devil's food sheet cake (2 mixes $1 ea. at Pick'n Save's 10 for 10 sale) :)

4 heart shaped mini cakes carved into mounds by using a container.  Hint-  Carving works best when the cake is frozen.

Mom's 'secret' buttercream frosting recipe multiplied by 6.  The edging is all the leftover balloon colors striped into one decorator bonnet.  I don't like to waste anything.

C's Tractor cake is one loaf pan and half another for the cab.  He specified it had to be blue.  We raised it off the plate with a slab of white cake leftover from the Balloon cake.  This cake ended up being trouble.  During the night the heavy end of the cake with the cab broke off and fell backwards onto the counter.  The Tootsie Roll smokestack kept wilting in the heat and we ended up staking it with a toothpick.  But with all the handling, it became mis-shapen.  Oh well, live an learn.

Chocolate donuts made great tires.  We used pretzel sticks to make the grill and two strawberry Starbursts for the headlights.  It looked more like a car, but to C, it was perfect and made from the heart.