My Husband’s Pervy Pastime

Matt is making me benches for Christmas! 

I’ve been wanting some for my table, but dispaired at the prices, and dubious quality, at the stores. 

Also, Matt needs a project while he is sequestered at home between Christmas and New Years…as the Lab is closed. 

Matt with no project…bad. Very bad. Boys need to stay busy. 

So, I made Matt a deal…we buy him the power tools he needs to make me benches, as his Christmas present. 

He makes me benches for my Christmas present! 

It’s a win, win!!

We found a great Craigslist deal on some tools…and Matt did some research on woods, and things. He’s very excited. 

Yesterday, we went to pick out the wood. I found myself to be weirdly picky about it. (I shouldn’t be surprised, committing to a kitchen sink was rough for me)

There are different cuts, that display the qualities of the wood, and I quickly found I had some fairly strong opinions.

We…well, I…decided on a wood I had never heard of before, called sepele. It’s an African hard wood, similar to, but prettier, and less expensive than, mahogany. 

  
It’s gorgeous, and heavy, and I am weirdly excited about it!!

  
The swirlies! The color! I swoon!

The only thing Matt and I disagreed on, was the width of the board. He wanted it wider, I asked if he was saying my butt was big…it was quite the funny bit for the wood guy. 

He won that round, but I secretly love how beefy these benches will be. 

So, now…we got the wood, and I’m all excited to tell people, and I get ready to post some pictures online…

  
The captions…well, that’s where things got dirty…

“Matt took me on a date and I got some wood!”

No.

“Look how long and thick it is!” 

Uggh!

“Matt is working on some wood for me!”

*headesk*

“Exotic hard wood!”

Aaaaaggghh!!

I settled on…”Matt is making me benches, look how pretty!”

Even composing this blog post…it was like navigating a mine field. Note, I didn’t say that Matt and I had differing opinions on how wide and long the wood should be. B’cause it sounds DIRTY!!

 Instead, I carefully composed an innocent, and amusing anecdote. 

Then, I went and told Matt that his new pastime is totally pervy. 

I didn’t even mention that we planned to use pipes for the legs…I just…no. 

The struggle is real people. 

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Things that go bump in the night…

Tonight the thing that went bump in the night, was me! 

Gideon woke up with a nightmare. 

After a cup of water, and a scary story (my scary story makes them giggle), he decided his “lips really hurt,” and he needed some Chapstick. 

Umm…it’s 1 am, my brain is barely functioning…where the hell is some Chapstick. 

I dug through my night stand…and only came up with some lip gloss. 

The genius child was not fooled.

“Is this the regular Chapstick?”

*shlump* 

*sigh*

“No, I will go find some.”

I stumbled to every nook and cranny that I may have stashed an errant Chapstick…mine always disappear, so when I find ’em, I stash ’em.

I came up empty, until I practically emptied my entire purse on the table, by the light of my cell phone…EUREKA!!

Ooh, I like that one! It has shea butter. 

I stumbled back to the hurtie-lipped elf burrowed under my blankets.

Lips moisturized.

Kid comforted. 

Monsters slain. 

Hit the “eject” button.

I’m going to sleep…hopefully, unless one of my kids has a hang nail emergency in the immediate future. 

Oh. No. You did NOT just start snoring Matt!!

What did do to piss off the universe?!?!

Likelihood of husband being smothered in his sleep…steadily rising. 

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Growing Up Still

 

Growing up.

I am actually starting to feel my 40 years fairly acutely. Not in a bad way, but I am starting to look around and see that…lots of people are SUPER younger than me! It takes me by surprise when I AM the grownup around.

Bad news folks…I’m a terrible grownup.

Every time I think I have it together, and I have my feet under me, something comes along and knocks me off kilter. For instance, I have been applying for jobs…that has been fun, disheartening, and encouraging…all at the same time. It has occasionally shaken my perception of my personal awesomeness.

Which is why I have Matt…to validate my awesomeness.

“Hey, honey! Tell me how awesome I am!”

He’s good like that.

I guess, I’m still growing, and learning. I DO have my tidbits of wisdom that I have carefully accumulated over the years. In those areas, I usually feel pretty smart, and together, and downright awesome.

But, I also acknowledge my own ignorance…and maybe that’s wisdom in and of itself?

So, perhaps, I am instead, very wise…in my ignorance…and not such a terrible grownup?

*grins*

In other Nelson news…

I have a Scentsy warmer. I feel I have entered a new stage of life. One in which my house smells like smells. Smells, that I choose, rather than smells that have been foisted upon me by dogs, children, and baked beans.

I’m so grown up. Choosing smells and everything. *pats self on back*

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Love Languages

So, a while back I did that “love language” survey. You know, so I can better understand my chosen partner in life and reduce the chances of a domestic violence incident involving a Clorox toilet wand. 

Apparently I, like to get my jollies (any and all warm fuzzies and mushy feels) through words…whether they be spoken, or written. 

I totally agreed with that assessment of myself. Please, tell me how awesome I am! 
My hubby falls into the “demonstrative” love language category. He feels loved through action, and service…and let’s not forget, that OTHER way of showing affection. *wink wink nudge nudge*

Interestingly, I find myself dishing out the “love language” that I want. I’m always telling my hubby how awesome he is, and how much I love him. 

He, likewise shows his love by serving me, cleaning, doing projects around the house, etc. 

I always feel loved by it, because even though it isn’t my specific love language, I can translate. I know what he’s saying. If I need something more vocal, I just ask for it. 

Just for fun though, I decided to try and speak his love language…

I cleaned our room, flipped the mattress (it’s a king size, and I won’t bore you with the details, but had there been a video taken, I would be famous), and then I washed the sheets, and window treatments. Then I washed the window over our bed, inside and out. I was feeling pretty great! 

I hope he felt loved. 

I sure did when I asked him to verbally praise me. 

Spread tales of my bodaciousness far and wide. Perhaps hire a bard? He could strum a stringed instrument, and follow me around (in a totally NON-stalkery way) and regale the masses with my accomplishments…

“Hear ye, hear ye! Let it be known far and wide, that Abbie single-handedly flipped the king size mattress! She also, washed sheets, window treatments, and a window.”

So. Much. Love. 

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Summer Trips 2015

In a nutshell…

Trip 1 – 

1. Mesa Verde – hail, hike, camping. I love my cot. 

2. Emergency room, trampoline disaster. 

3. Camping in a “yurt.” Family fun time. I love my cot. 

4. Stephie’s wedding…adorable! 

Trip 2 – 

1. Dodge City…cowboy dinner, gun fight, museum, camping…trains. 

2. Hannibal, MO…painting the fence, Mississippi River, lunch at a park, Mark Twain museum.

3. Nauvoo, IL…ride on a cart, Just Plain Anna Amanda, dress up. Rain swamped tent, and cabin rescue. Daddy long legs. 

4. Aunt Vicki, Museum of Science and Industry, deep dish pizza, Aunt Vicki

5. Nauvoo, IL…playtime and a pageant. My pal Greg. 

Home. 

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Summer Trip 2015 Day 1

We started the day by trying to frantically clean all the things that I hadn’t gotten to the day before. I’m generally pretty OCD about planning and packing for trips, but for some reason, I was off my game. I like the idea of thinking that I’m getting more easy-going in my old age (I’m 40 now)…so yeah, let’s go with that. 

We had homemade cinnamon rolls for breakfast. Yeah…I’m kind of a big deal. 

   
 I didn’t get to the floors…so, I shot off an apologetic text to our house-sitters after I finally gave up on getting them done before we left.

We headed out of town, and it was a little weird going a different way than we have ever driven before…going east?! Weird. 

  
Do not be fooled by this picture…the children were actually insane. Here are some highlights…

1. We went to the slowest Dairy Queen in existence!! It’s in Clayton, New Mexico…if you ever want to experience it. I recommend using caution. It strained my keep-hungry-children-happy-without-threatening-to-kill-them skills to their limit! 

2. Cowboy dinner in Dodge City. Best creamed corn I’ve ever had! I hate creamed corn…but, I can see now why people like it! The children were forced to eat a bite of a new, and horrifying dish…apple crisp. There were tears, they all hated it, and they wrangled a deal that in the future we would limit new foods to one-per-day. 

I’m not sure how they swung that deal. My only excuse is…I was tired and weak. 

3. Cowboy gun show!

  
We sat in the back…my kids have sensory issues, and guns are loud. Keeping them from running away screaming was a task. 

4. More Wild West stuff!

   
   
5. Sarsaparilla and a show! 

   
    
 
They loved the sarsaparilla!! Mommy and Daddy had Diet Pepsi…which was dubbed “Cowboy Diet Coke” by an adorable Gideon. 
6. The show was…eh. So we left early and spent a good while on a train instead. It was definitely more their thing. 

   
   
7. Back to the campground for sunset, 

  
8. Playground

  
9. Catching toads…not pictured because Mommy was taking a shower when Daddy let the kids get up to THOSE shenanigans. It was already 2.5 hours past their bedtime, and they were clean!! Seriously?! Boys. Uggh!!

10. Bed! 

  
This magical night of sleep was brought to you by perfect weather, a comfy cot, calming music, and train horns that blew during the wee hours of all. Night. Long. 

My children were weirdly immune to it, but I was blessed to experience each and every incident. My body was quickly conditioned to wake up just from hearing the rattling of the train on the tracks. Then, in my half-conscious state, I would start my own personal mantra…praying that THIS time, they might forego the horn. My body would tense up in anticipation of the long, and repeated horn blasts which was the equivalent of opening my skull, and taking a wire brush to my brain. So, thank you, my new diesel-powered friends. It was magical. 

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The End is Near…

It’s coming. Summer.

Summer-is-Coming

Y’know how I know?

The Jaws theme music constantly playing in my subconscious? Well, yes…that too…

But, I REALLY know, because the children are slowing going insane…and taking me with them.

The end of the year comes with some serious challenges for spectrum peoples…like my adorable munchkins. Spectrum peeps thrive on schedule, consistency, and organization.

For example…like say…my house is a mess…well, then they are a mess. I would love to tell you that because of this, my house exists in a constant stake of organization, and cleanliness. But, those that know me would laugh me off the internet. So instead, I will say that I try to keep things organized, and I recognize and acknowledge the difference it makes for my kids…and accept my failure in this area with grace, and dignity.

The end of the school year throws consistency out the window. What with field trips, and parties, and activities…everything is different. That strains their ability to cope. Now, I gotta say…my kids have amazing coping skills. Seriously…there are times that I am in awe of their ability to function when things are harder for them.

But, even their amazing coping skills are no match for the madness that is…the end of the school year. Their behavior slowly deteriorates…as does my sanity.

Today, I had to come and pick up #1 from school…he didn’t make it to his field trip because he had a breakdown about not getting the seat he preferred on the bus. *blink blink* Okaaaaay. Normally this would be something he could cope with easily…so, I can only assume the End Of The Year strikes again. *sigh*

“Find a happy place, find a happy place…”

He’s home now…like I was gonna leave that hot mess at school… *rolls eyes*…and I am thinking, MOVIE NIGHT!!

Because sometimes you have to let your children watch television on a school night. And let’s be real…at the end of the year, is it really even a “school night?”

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Y’had a bad day…

So…we had a bad day. Not me specifically…just…y’know…collectively.

First off…we’ve been sick. Gideon went down first, then me (as I am consistently his cuddle-buddy of choice), then Matt (as he is consistently MY cuddly-buddy of choice), then the other kids dropped like flies.

It was just a summer cold. Matt and I were down a couple of days…as were the other kids. Except Gideon. He has been the last to fight it off…with only a few days of holding my breath. A couple nights of low oxygen, lots of neb treatments, and steroids. But…no hospital stay!! Yay!!

Oh…wait…we are concentrating on the bad. Umm…I sprained my ankle. It turned a LOVELY shade of almost-black…and was really quite impressively disgusting. Still is.

Today, the kids were finally back at school…’cept Gideon…of course. But, he’s back tomorrow. FO SHO…that kid was WAY too healthy today…if it wasn’t for that horrible cough…

Anywho…so the nurse called me. I really love that she’s not a freaker-outer. At our OTHER school the nurse had me come and pick him up because his shoes were too muddy. *blink blink*…really? Well…today…#1 got hit in the head with a tennis ball…which broke his glasses, which then in turn…cut him near his eye.

…I’ll wait while you take a moment to get the Ralphie references out of your systems…

…ready to move on? No?…

…Okay, ready or not…moving on…

My #3 got hauled into the principals office, because a boy in the group he was playing with was punching and kicking the other kids…

…no…the kid was not named Scut Farkus…

…but, #3 was devastated. He’s a tender-hearted soul who puts on a tough persona. Y’know the tough guy with a heart of gold? Tortured soul? AKA…girl magnet? So, he was acting out at home (all kinds of naughty)…until I finally pried the trip to the principal’s office out of him (he doesn’t like to talk about his feelings)…and he was sobbing his little eyes out. ¬†Aww…cuddles.

Judy…she had play practice after school.

After we dropped her off…one of the kids left the door open in the car. Apparently they had also left all the lights on. So, when I put all the kids in the car to pick Judy up 2 hours later…my battery was dead. Matt was late coming home from work…so I had to call him to race over to get Judy…did I mention, she freaks out (full on panic attacks, and nightmares for DAYS) if we are late? Made that mistake…ONCE.

He made it. Crisis averted…except for MY panic attack about being late.

Matt was late…because he lost track of time…and his laptop got locked inside a secure building.

Oh…and my house key started breaking¬†off in the door to the house. Luckily I was able to remove it from the lock before it finished the job.

So…yeah…it’s been a weird day.

On the half-full side of things…went out to lunch with my friend Gerty (names changed to protect the criminally insane)…and that was deliciously awesome!!

So, I’m calling it…

Bad…but, not pitchfork-in-the-ass bad.

IMG_6540

I can live with that.

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Another Adventure in Parenting…and romance.

The day had gone well. I had felt…vaguely productive. My kids had come home from school, played outside, and worked on homework. I headed to the kitchen to start dinner…which is always when the screaming starts. And, it inevitably did in this case as well.

Since it didn’t sound like a permanent injury, or hurt feelings that would require professional intervention…I went about my business of trying to throw together a dinner that would stave off vitamin deficiency for one more day.

ABBIE’S SCREAM CHEAT SHEET:

Screams not to worry about –
1. Screams followed by laughter.
2. Screams and sobbing that moves closer to me…mobility = no permanent injury.
3. Screams followed by yelling. Hurt feelings can be dealt with later.

Screams to worry about –
1. Screams that DON’T move closer to me…and another child comes to inform me of the “injury.”
2. Screams that suddenly stop…and another scream follows. Someone is exacting revenge.
3. Screams that suddenly stop. (ARE THEY UNCONSCIOUS?!)

So, my stove was on, and I was gathering various leftovers. I felt like a chemist, trying to find a combination that would be marginally acceptable, and healthy. The kids were playing…though, I could tell it was a tenuous cease-fire. With bellies rumbling, I knew that they would soon turn on each other like rabid wolves.

Naturally…the doorbell rings. I turned off the stove, and answered. The person at the door – “Hi, I’m a student and blah blah blah…earning credits for college…”

I’m generally a nice person. I usually will let them finish whatever long-winded monologue they have prepared, but I really didn’t have the time. I had four the equivalent of 4 ticking time-bombs bouncing on my trampoline, and a culinary science experiment to complete. So, I interrupted and said…”I’m sorry, I really don’t have the time, I have dinner on the stove.”

He must have thought I was just handing him a line…”But, this will only take 5 seconds.”

Really!? So, I responded, “1, 2, 3, 4, 5…thanks, gotta go.” And I closed the door.

Not 30 seconds later…I had two weeping children at my door. Well, one was in tears, the other was tattletale-ing. Bah!! My time was running out. We were getting down to the final seconds before hangry armageddon.

Sidenote…Hangry – hungry/angry

I put the two children in charge of clearing off the table (when you have boys that are itching to beat on each other…I find that keeping them busy is key) and getting it ready for dinner.

I was able to finish dinner in the nick of time. Children were called. Bowls were on the table. Favorite cups and utensils were distributed. Prayer was said. YES! I can take 2 minutes and run to the bathroom.

I perched on my porcelain throne…noting that the bathroom was…eh, clean enough, though the counter could do with a wipe down. I listened to the sounds from the table…giggling, laughing…I would probably have to sit with them, because I wasn’t sure my science experiment would be universally well received. *shrug* It would give me a chance to ask them about their day at school.

I leisurely lathered my hands, and noted my recent PMS-induced breakout was healing quite nicely. All was well.

What I returned to was a scene out of Lord of the Flies…or a monkey cage at the zoo. Child #3 was standing on the coffee table, being stalked by Child #1, who was trying to slap him on any available surface. Both were laughing hysterically. Child #2 was trying to force-feed Child #4 his drink of water, and clearly had been for some time…judging by the amount of liquid covering the table, and floor. These two were ALSO laughing hysterically.

I just stood there…waiting for them to notice my presence and tremble before me. #2, and #4, noticed almost immediately, and looked sufficiently cowed and repentant. It took #1, and #3 a little more time…they scampered quickly back to the table. But, I could tell…they were only upset that their game had been interrupted. Grrrrr. They sat back down at the table…but, their poking/tickling/pestering continued.

Me…well, my blood pressure was rising, my eye was twitching.

I explained that I was getting frustrated, and I would appreciate their cooperation. They didn’t stop. I broke out my I-mean-business voice. They didn’t stop. I yelled. They didn’t stop.

Do these children have NO sense of self preservation?!

I told #1 and #3…”Put your noses on the wall and don’t move, until I tell you to!!!”

Sidenote: Noses-on-the-wall is not a punishment. It is a device whereby children can stay out of trouble long enough for Mommy’s blood pressure to return to normal, so she can devise rational punishments. Otherwise she starts going a little overboard with the consequences.

This is when the doorbell rings again. I stalked toward it…”If this is that salesman again, I’m gonna make him put HIS nose on the wall.”

No…it wasn’t…it was someone from church who needed to borrow a crockpot, and a stock pot. I smiled, invited her in, and we headed to the kitchen…but, not before I reminded the boys on the wall that they had better not move.

I began digging through our stuff…the larger stuff, Matt puts away, and I have remained intentionally ignorant of his organizational paradigm. After a little digging, I found one of the crockpots, and promised to send Matt over with the stock pot. Then, I heard giggling.

Poking my head in to the dining area, monkey cage, (soon to be torture chamber)…I saw the offenders with their noses still on the wall…all OVER the wall. They had used this moment as an opportunity to rid themselves of any allergy related nasal drippings.

Magical.

I firmly informed them that they had each earned two jobs after dinner, for that behavior…then turned to smile at my guest, who was no-doubt wondering if I worked as a drill sergeant in a previous life…and walked her to the door…again promising to send Matt over as soon as he got home.

The boys were sent BACK to the table, and I wish I could say it ended there. But, no…dinner ended with even more jobs handed out as consequences. Matt got home, and I sent him off with the desired kitchen supplies. The children finished their dinner…which was actually not complained about as much as I expected.

When the food was gone…it was time for the followed through…let’s face it, this is just as exhausting, and psychologically taxing, as the naughty behavior. But, I held it together…and soon my trashes were all empty, and bags taken outside. The table was washed and a table cloth put on. The dishwasher was emptied. The kitchen floor was clean…ish…he’s 10. My family room was tidy. And, I was a frazzled mess of nerves. I retreated to my room to catch my breath…and maybe a few brain cells.

Then, Matt came in to let me know he was leaving for his usual Tuesday meetings.

I wanted to cry.

Matt reminded me that it was a youth fundraiser dinner for camp…and lamented that we couldn’t go as a family.

*lighbulb*

*huge grin*

“You can take the children!! I will stay here!!”

And he did. And I did.

They were gone one blissful hour. *swoon*

Did I ever mention how insanely in love with my husband I am? Like head-over-heels in love. Like dreamy-batting-my-eyes in love. You can keep flowers, chocolate, and wildly romantic gestures. Taking four wild children, and braving a church event alone…that’s hot.

Hats I wore today…drill sergeant, chemist, zoo keeper, prison guard, borderline She-Hulk (there was definitely a tinge of green to my complexion), and damsel in distress.

My Knight in Shining armor wore jeans…and I fell in love all over again.

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Vaccines. Autism. Blahbitty blah.

The vaccine debate rears it’s horribly deformed and obnoxious head once again. And once again I find myself in a near-constant state of wanting to punch people in the throat.

So…last week #4 was officially diagnosed. That’s right…THREE kids on the Autism Spectrum for me! Once again, I find myself the object of pity, and an “I’m sorry for your loss” attitude. Umm…have you MET my #4? He’s kind like of a cuddly baby penguin, crossed with a cartoon character, wrapped in rainbows…but, in real life! Everyone adores him. He’s smart. He’s adorable. He’s just a little socially, emotionally, and physically delayed. And, he’s got some processing issues. And probably ADHD.image

But, those things don’t detract from him as a person. Aww…wook at ‘im.

Anywho…back to the vaccine thing. I know I need to avoid reading these threads, or comments. They make me CRAZY!! It gets under my skin SO badly because…people keep using Autism as a scare tactic. Someone actually called it “brain damage,” and I wanted to claw my way through the internet to personally deliver a throat punch. Seriously…I was like…going all gansta mommy.

Here’s the deal.

Vaccines don’t cause Autism. Yes, there are vaccine injuries. That’s not autism. That is the equivalent to a horrible allergic reaction. It’s extremely rare…but, it does happen. I’m not disputing that.

Also…Autism isn’t something to be feared, or pitied. There is so much talk about Autism, but rarely do people encounter it on a regular basis. Having personally studied early childhood development, in an Autism immersion program, for the past 10.5 years, (also known as “my house”) I am fairly confident in my understanding of Autism. I have come to the conclusion, through observation and study…that my kids are freakin’ awesome, aaaaand that Autism is genetic.

Each of my kids are different. They each have different personalities. My three ASD kids are each SO different. My NT (neuro-typical) child is no less difficult to raise because he is “normal.” My oldest was…challenging as a young child. But, that’s because of his personality…and because I was, as yet, unschooled in the nuances of Autism parenting. #4…has been my easiest child to raise…also autistic.

So…quit pitying me, or my kids. We are doing fine. My kids are rad. I’ve got this.

BUT…here’s my biggest issue on vaccines.

My penguin/cartoon/rainbow child has crappy lungs. My biggest fear every winter is…Pertussis (Whooping Cough).

Don’t get me wrong…Influenza is scary too.

But, when you have a kid who has landed in the hospital, packed in ice to lower his fever, on constant nebulizer treatments, and it’s touch and go whether he needs to be life-flighted to a larger hospital…all because of a little 3 day respiratory virus…you get a little paranoid.

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That was a little virus that ALL my other kids had. No big deal. Fever, a little wheezing. It was over in 3 days. Meh.

With #4…it was the ICU, packed in ice, steroids, neb treatments, and 6 weeks of oxygen afterwards…you just wait it out, and pray that medical intervention can get them through it.

Pertussis, could END my kid.

The higher the number of unvaccinated people…the weaker the herd immunity…the greater the chance of my penguin/cartoon/rainbow kid dying.

So…if people want to be scared about something…be scared of death. NOT Autism.

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