Bifocals and braces

I made it through adolescence fairly unscathed. I never struggled with acne or had braces, and didn’t get glasses until either late my junior year or my senior year of high school. In my twenties, I struggled with acne during my pregnancies and in my thirties stress and hormones cause my face to break out like nothing else. My eyesight has continued to require stronger and stronger prescriptions, and the word bifocals has been tossed around for the past 3 years. In fact, I am currently doing this weird thing with my contacts in hopes of staving off the dreaded bifocals another year or two. I never thought that at 38 I would succumb to braces, but here I sit with a mouth full of metal and very sore teeth.

Unknown to me, I’ve always had a slight overbite and years of clenching my jaw made it so that at times I couldn’t chew at all. The remedy-  braces to fix my overbite. This will give my jaw a chance to rest and heal, because I can not clench it (I know, I’ve been trying.) And, when the braces are off if I continue to clench I will not longer be doing it on a misaligned jaw.

I am learning what and how to eat with wires and brackets- I am fairly certain that this might be the best diet aid ever! While wondering if my brain will ever adjust to the new contact routine. Chances are that by the end of the year, I’ll be going to my orthodontist appointment in a pair of swanky new bifocals.

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Discoveries made while cleaning the garage

I cleaned the garage for the first time since we moved in almost 5 years ago. It was the dumping ground for things we didn’t want to deal with and all of our junk. We have never had a car in it, and often we put our lives and limbs at risk trying to get to anything. I made several interesting discoveries today.

  • I found baby Jesus! Baby Jesus has been missing from one of my nativity sets for 6 years. The only time I think to look is when I go to put Him into the manager, and don’t really have the time to look. He was in a box of memorabilia.
  • If, say, your drill has been MIA for over a year- on a lark look in your husband’s drill case. There is a good chance that is where he put it the last time he borrowed it.
  • The people that sing the wonders of Crocs are liars! I have one pair that I wear for gardening, and this is the first time I have spent several hours in them. After about an hour, the sole of my left foot was killing me from all the bumps.  I do  wonder if this is due to the fact that my foot is really sensitive ever since the MRSA incident in January. When all was said and done, I had a blister on the top of my left foot. Now, I do have crazy narrow feet- but it wasn’t like I walked a marathon. I am now sporting a bright green band-aid.
  • While the garage seemed insurmountable, the bulk of it is trash. My pile of broken down boxes and packing materials is HUGE. My minivan is full of donation stuff and I have a second donation pile started because I literally couldn’t fit another thing in it.

I can not believe that for so long we have chosen to do without the use of our garage due to a bunch of junk and trash. Yes, there are a couple of boxes of memorabilia that we need to go through and repack- but the trash far outweighs what we want to keep. I know that I am an emotional hoarder and have a thing for keeping boxes, but I was allowing that to control my life and keep me from using my garage. I have been letting junk hold me back and keep me from using my house to its full potential.


I wonder what else I am holding on to that is preventing me from meeting my full potential.

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I always thought that once the kids got older they would no longer saw those priceless lines that I laughed over and wrote down when they were younger. In reality, it seems that the opposite is true, and the things that they say stop me in my tracks and make me laugh even more.

The other day that, Kathrin and I were in a popular girl clothing store that is filled with pink, glitter, and sequins. Kathrin hates pink and doesn’t want her clothes covered in glitter and sequins. She was in the dressing room trying on some jeans when she ask “Mom, why is it that I don’t like clothes like this? ” As I explain how everyone likes different things, when Kathrin says “I think it is because I have taste.”

Mark and I were talking one morning and Mark was lamenting how tired he was, David says “Why are you telling me, it isn’t my fault.”

We had an incident with a crazy woman in target that greatly upset David. I was telling him not let her get to him, because she was crazy. “He says “Yes she is, she doesn’t even know not to eat at McDonald’s.” (SuperSize Me is a favorite here.)

Kathrin asked me “Mom, am I different? Not autistic different, but just different from other girls? You know, since I don’t like a lot of normal girls stuff.”



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Apps- Seriously?

I couldn’t sleep and my taxes are done, so I decided to peruse Itunes in search of some education apps to torture, stimulate Andrew with. I am flabbergasted at the number of apps for infants and toddlers. Flabbergasted.

I get the need for all the apps on s*x, alcohol use, and even the ones on weed. I mean the world needs these or anarchy will ensue, but apps “to help keep your baby entertained while at the grocery store?” This is a need?

I understand the app makers, people buy them.There is a market and they are going to take part. But come on. I know that going out with young ones is hard. It wasn’t that long ago that I had a non-verbal, barely walking two year old, an infant on my hip, and a 5 year old that I schlepped through the store. Would an iphone have made my days easier- doubtful, but I can grasp the parents that say how much easier it makes their lives- I truly can. But, it is a cop out.

Contrary to popular belief they are not intentionally making life hard. They want to know what is going on in their environment and to help you. If they are fussy there is a reason: there might be too much stimulation, they could just need mom snuggies, sleepy and hungry seem to occur simultaneously with the grocery store.  Engage them, don’t ignore them by handing them your phone. Talk to them, have them help, but for goodness sakes don’t hand over your phone so they can hear animal sounds or “learn” their colors. If you want them to learn their colors point out the red apple and orange orange. No one is going to commit you if you break out in a symphony of animal sounds or make fun of you.

No wonder so many children and teens are addicted to electronic devices, we put them in their hands as soon as possible and teach them to leave us alone so we don’t have to deal with them.

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to purge or not to purge

I am a pack rat. I come by it honestly. My mom is the Queen Rat. Some of my children pack and others don’t. Recently, some have decided to purge their rooms, and this has caused a bit of an internal conflict for me. Do I throw away the stuffed animals that hold memories? They might not remember, but I remember. I remember chubby, dimpled hands holding on with a death grip. I remember chubby legs toddling down the hallway, squealing with delight, running to get the lovey. I remember tears at night when lovey was left at a friend’s house. I remember the first time we were able to leave the house without it, and the twinge of sorrow I felt. Cleaning out under his bed to find it buried with the dust bunnies. Now, he doesn’t even remember the part it played in his beginning.

So, do I purge what he feels he is ready to let go of completely? Or, do I put it away for when he is grown up and has his own wee one with chubby hands longing to grasp something?

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Mommy’s arms

Looking back, we can see that something was wrong. No, I don’t mean the hospitalization at 2 weeks- I mean the autism.

David never cuddled like Andrew. At four months old, the only way we could get him to stop crying , was to lay him in front of the train going around our Christmas tree. He always loved to be held tight, almost squeezed.

As he approached two, more and more seemed “off.” The constant repetition, the perfect row of matchbox cars, the lack of speech, the fits- oh the fits. I would sit on the floor, put him between my legs and give him a bear hug. I don’t know who I was trying to protect more- him or me.  Mommy’s arms were safety. Mommy’s arms never let go.

At 8 1/2, mommy’s arms are tight squeezes, deep pressure, safety when the world is spinning out of control. In mommy’s arms, David can hide- escape from the world. In mommy’s arms, nothing and no one can come close without permission.

I would have never guessed that my insistence at holding him, squeezing him tight and loving him when he didn’t want to be loved or even know what it meant would some day become his security.

Today, at his 2:20pm meltdown- I sat on the floor like so many times past, pulled him in my lap, wrapped my arms around him, rocked him back and forth, squeezed as tight as I could squeeze, and quietly whispered in his ears that it will be alright. Then after dinner, when he wasn’t feeling himself, back into my arms he crawled- to be held as tight as possible and hide his face from whatever out there made him need to hide his face.

I remember holding him when he was younger, tears streaming down my face as I rocked him praying that he would KNOW and FEEL how much I love him. That he would know what love means. Today, in the midst of a rocky afternoon- I realized, that to him my arms are love, security, safety. Those many  years ago, when I’d hold him in a bear hug to keep him safe, I taught him that my arms are safe for him.


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Watering the garden

We have started our spring vegetable gardens and the daily task of watering is a favorite chore.


David is very diligent in his watering. Making sure that every blade of grass, tomato leaf, cucumber leaf, squash leaf, and flower petal is drenched. And, if he makes a couple of mud puddles- all the better!


He also makes sure that every bare spot is flooded, in hopes that something will magically spring up!

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