One More Cup of Coffee…

I woke up with only one thought this morning:

Oh crap, the cupcakes!

Okay, yes, I know the cupcakes have been a reocurring theme this week, and for that I apologize.  But I can’t help it.  Really, I can’t.  I’m thinking about starting a support group.  But it wouldn’t be just for cupcakes.  It would be for all the things I’ve learned I absolutely, beyond a shadow of a doubt, cannot live without.  Caffeine – in the form of coffee or Diet Pepsi; Gum – Trident White Spearmint gum (no, I’m serious.  You should see what happens when I run out of this gum.  It’s like a blind panic.  I will buy three cases of it at Sam’s go through it all in less than a month, and then have a total panic attack when I’m down to my last piece – digging through old purses and tote bags like a complete addict); and now, cupcakes.  It wasn’t always like this.  I quit chewing gum years ago.  Until I get pregnant with Mase and wanted some form of Spearmint so badly I was ready to eat my toothpaste.  I ended up in Walgreens buying one pack of each kind of Spearmint flavored gum they had – and boy did I find me a winner.  Cupcakes weren’t a problem until I got pregnant with Kaleb.  Just ask my dad.  I have, however, always been a coffee and soda addict.  I know.  You do not have to tell me how unhealthy it is.  But take my word for it, you wouldn’t want to encounter me on day where I was denied one of these life-sustaining things.

I was going to say sanity-sustaining (Poppy, if you are reading this, stop laughing.  It’s not funny), but then it dawned on me that my sanity jumped ship a while back, and I really should just move on and stop pretending like it’s coming back.  Clearly the reward posters I have strategically placed all over my world have not worked (although, I wasn’t sure what a proper reward would be for finding one’s sanity –  maybe a pie?  I can bake one hell of a pie).  Unlike Milo – who takes off at will and just comes back whenever he’s tired of trying to get run over by a car or eaten by a hawk – my sanity is never coming back.  It’s time to welcome the crazy and enjoy the ride, right?


Anyway, back to my 6am panic attack:  cupcakes.  I left them out.  I know I did.  I know I was tired and it had been a strange day, and I dragged myself to bed without re-hiding my precious cakes of joy.  They were still sitting there.  On the counter.  The one Kaleb was going to walk right past if I didn’t get to him first.

And then I got kicked.  I mean, really, I got pummeled with a little size two foot by a snoring five year old.  Oh no.  Oh he’s here!  When on earth did he crawl into bed?  Was I really that tired?  I didn’t even hear him!  I vaguely remember telling the dog to put a sock in it – ahhh so that must have been when Kaleb came in.  Grab my phone, open my handy dandy flashlight app, and shine it on his mouth.  No frosting.  Hands, no crumbs.  I might be okay.  He might have sleep-walked right past them.  Then the alarm went off – with the phone in my hand, six inches from him.  He shot out of bed like a rocket, and I realized I had to move.  If I had any chance of keeping him from those cupcakes I had to get there before he realized they had even been brought in the house.

I take off down the hallway, trip over the Jake wagon (what the hell??  Did he drag his wagon in here too?), stumble into the kitchen, just in time to turn around and block the cupcakes with my body as he walks around the corner.

 “Hi buddy!  Good morning!”

“I’m still tired mommy.”

“Okay bud, why don’t you go sit in the family room and I’ll bring you your clothes.  Then you can have a snack”  *Ears perk at mention of the snack – never underestimate the power of fruit snacks*

“Okay.  I’m not tired anymore.  I just want a snack so I can get dressed now and get one.”

“Yep, sure thing!  Go on now.”

Whip open the candy cabinet and shove my cupcakes inside.  Crisis averted.  Thankfully the kid hasn’t yet caught on to the fact that mommy actually has a cabinet in the kitchen filled with emergency candy (partially because my blood sugar plummets sometimes – but mostly because… well, who doesn’t like to eat a Hershey’s bar when the sky is falling?  And the sky is always falling here).  Get his clothes in a hurry, start a cup of coffee, remember that he doesn’t have a folder to fill out (Well, why would he?  What are they going to say?  Kaleb was good for the first 60 minutes of school, then he had a meltdown in front of the principal and got suspended?).  Kaleb starts hollering at me because he needs “today pants”

 “I gave you pants.”

“No mommy, I need today pants.”

“Kaleb, I gave you a pair of hunter green pants – they’re on the couch.”

Oh, wait, no I didn’t.  In my panicked relief, I gave him a hunter green button down shirt.  Bad on me kid.  Whoops!  Let’s try this again!

Kaleb goes potty, and I go to close the pocket door – only to see Mason staring at me.  No way.  You were up way too late kid, there is no way you are awake at 6:30 in the morning.  I look at him and say “Nigh’ night!”  He goes back to sleep.  Thank heaven it’s still dark that early in the morning, or he never would have bought it.

Kaleb gets on the bus, I grab my coffee, and here we sit.   I’d like to take Mase to the beach today, but we have some errands that need to get run, so we will have to wait until another day.  Maybe.  I don’t know.  We’ll see.  Anyway, my cupcakes are safe, my coffee is great, and all the doors and window are open which rocks.  So, good morning world!



The irony of Kaleb getting suspended for having a violent meltdown:  he hasn’t had a single one since.

Actually, today was one of the best “hang at home” days we’ve had in a while.  He actually took a nap (whaaaatt?  I know!), something I only discovered when I got worried about how quiet he was being. Then Sho-Sho arrived bearing gifts (for me, in the form of cupcakes and beer, for Kaleb in the form of a new Lego Friends set, and for Mason new trucks).  Kaleb woke up with a very Joey Lawrence-like “Whoa!  Mason woke up much the same way when she showed him his new trucks (his very loud trucks.  Thank you Sho-Sho for both saving and ruining my day all in the same move!). Kaleb then ate his lunch, and painstakingly built his new Lego Friends set, only asking for help to find pieces, otherwise waving me off saying “I can do it mommy, I can do it.”

The whole time he was building I was pleased to see him keep it together when the pieces fell apart or didn’t fit right; even when he had leftover pieces and had to go back to see where he missed something.  Once it was built he flew it around the house, showing it to Mason, and he even kept it together when Mason slammed into him and he dropped the new Lego plane on the tile (thus scattering half of the newly built pieces).  He calmly asked for help and put it back together without batting an eye.

Meanwhile, I’m starting to wonder when I fell down a rabbit hole.

He ate his dinner and put on his p.j.s with no argument, (thus cementing my belief that I really must be in a coma and having some drug addled dreams).  When Mason came up to me hollering “Uh oh!  OH no!  Diyy Diyy!  Heow heow!  Yo ho ho!  Yo ho ho!  Diyy!  Diyy!” I followed along and pulled down Bucky for him (see, what he was actually saying in Masoneese was “Uh oh!  Oh no!  Ding Ding!  Help!  Help!  Yo ho ho! *AKA pirates* Yo ho ho! Ding!  Ding!”  Which I know means he needs Bucky so he can ring Bucky’s bell like Jake is doing – and you thought I wasn’t psychic, tsk tsk).

Not realizing that I handed Mason Kaleb’s Bucky (okay, I’m not that psychic).  Kaleb noticed right away, but instead of freaking out and insisting that Mason play with his own Bucky, he told me very calmly that I gave Mason the wrong Bucky.  Since Mason was already happily playing, I asked Kaleb if it would be okay for Mase to play with his Bucky, since he was playing with his new airplane.  He went totally still for a moment, and I thought Oh crap.  Good goin’ mommy.  Way to ruin the good streak.  But he nodded, and said “Okay Mommy.  Mason can play with my Bucky.  But only if he doesn’t destroy it.”  I solemnly vowed to not let Mase destroy it, and off Kaleb went to play with his plane some more.

Then, the icing on the cake?   Five minutes ago he gave me a hug, told me he loves me, did the same with Mason and Milo, and headed to his room.  When I asked him what he was doing he told me “I’m still so very tired now mommy.  I’m all done building my new Lego Friends so I’m going to go back to sleep.  May I please have Madagascar?”

Um, let me think about this for a minute kid… Heck yes you can have some freakin’ Madagascar!  You can have all three of them!  You can sing “Move it Move it” for the rest of the week for all I care!

So, now he is in bed, with his new plane, watching Madagascar 2 (“I want Alex’s mommy and daddy”), curled up with his blankie and milk, half asleep.  It wasn’t but thirty seconds later Mason dragged me into his room, pointed at his tv, signed “car please”, curled up in bed, and said “Nigh’ night!”

I am insanely proud of my Monsters today.  I’m impressed, and simply thrilled with how enjoyable this day turned out to be (once I got off the phone and finished freaking out to half the world that is).

I don’t know what I did to deserve this day, but I’m off to eat my cupcakes while I’m on a hot streak!

(Footnote:  Mom, don’t shoot me!  These are awesome pictures!  I love you!  And my cupcakes!)

Sho-Sho & The Mini Monster

Sho-Sho & The Mini Monster

Sho-Sho & The Monster Man

Sho-Sho & The Monster Man

Basket Case…

So, in light of the fact that I feel like I’m going crazy, and it seems like I’ve spent the past week doing nothing – we’re gonna have a review day.

Basically I’m using this as a way to prove to myself that I’m not a total loon.

In the past ten days I have done the following:

  • Drove Kaleb to Orlando for a neurology appointment the day after he gets suspended for the third time (“Insubordination, refusal to listen to adults, running away twice, causing campus disruption).
  • Introduced Kaleb to the Solar System (and no Daddy – I did not bring up Pluto pre-declassification)
  • Spent a night doing everything in my power to keep Kaleb awake until midnight – then promptly woke him up at 5am to prepare for a sleep-deprived EEG (this was harder on me than it was on him – he was pissy, but totally cool with the lack of sleep by the end of it)
  • Drove back to Orlando for an EEG – which ended up including bribery (of the ice cream variety), and a 20 minute power nap for the kid whose second wind hit like a hurricane
  • Vent to Daddy until he’s ready to strangle me.
  • Send Kaleb back to school, have a walk meeting.  Walk meeting promptly interrupted by Kaleb being suspended again (Refusing to stand up, refusing to go to special area).
  • Talk to a Special Education Attorney as I pull my hair out and start shopping for wigs.
  • Blogged about my frustration (is Blogged even a word?)
  • Watched the Biggest Loser and felt like a slack-a$$
  • Got insomnia and wrote Anything But Ordinary…
  • Entered a manuscript in Amazon’s Breakthrough Novel Award contest – seriously nail-bitting stuff
  • Dealt with an average of five hours of Oscar worthy meltdowns a day from both Monsters
  • Made breakfast, lunch and dinner each day
  • Bitched to Daddy some more, just because I know he’d feel like life was way too smooth without me freaking out about something.
  • Made cupcakes that sucked.
  • Bought cupcakes that were amazing.
  • Lost cupcakes to theiving thief Monsters who learned what happens when you’ve Been Caught Stealing…
  • Learned that I can add links to my blog posts and made a decision to make everyone crazy
  • Studied my tail feathers off for Kaleb’s IEP meeting
  • Worked on the assignments for my non-profit class
  • (Mostly) reorganized my closet and our bedroom
  • Kept the house (mostly) clean
  • Booked the location and date for this year’s Walk kick off and awards ceremony
  • Secured food donations for the kick off
  • Played with my kids, went rollerblading, danced like a lunatic, and made a mess of the (mostly) clean house.
  • Rocked the socks off Movie Night
  • Patched Kaleb’s blanke
  • Worked on timelines, goals, agendas and job descriptions for the upcoming Walk meeting
  • Had a two and a half hour marathon IEP meeting
  • Sat down with my co-chair to discuss upcoming Walk meeting (Thanks again ‘C’ for hanging with Mase!)
  • Got a phone call from school telling me Kaleb has been suspended again
  • Lost.  My.  Mind.

So… there you have it.  That’s what my life looked like over the past week – and that’s the crap I can remember.  Countless hours on the phone, the computer, and a rockin’ lack of sleep.

Now he’s been suspended again.  Because he hit another child in the face (who, according to Kaleb, was breaking the rules) – even though we just spent a large chunk of time detailing the things that will set him off, the signs it will happen, and ways to prevent, or intervene.

Here is what I am going to do next:

I’ve made my phone calls and left my messages.  I’ve (as soon as I post this) officially bitched online to a group of strangers who probably couldn’t care less about my problems – but it still makes me feel better.  I’ve picked up my house, made lunch, and put the boys down for a nap.  Now, as soon as Mason is done taking a nap I am going to the store, and I’m buying cupcakes.  A lot of cupcakes.  Then, after the kids go to bed, I am going to sit myself down, and I’m going to eat those cupcakes with the kind of glorious satisfaction one can only get from doing something so insane.  I’m going to do that while I watch The Biggest Loser.  Then I’m going to drown my mommy guilt in more cupcakes, while I try and fool myself into working out tomorrow (yeah, ’cause that’s so going to happen).

Mommy & The Monster Man

Mommy & The Monster Man

Under Pressure…

I would love to know why I get sick every time I de-stress.  This is boarding on absurd.  Since August, it’s gone like this:

  • Kaleb starts at a new school and does well- I get sick.
  • Mason’s birthday party goes off without a hitch – I get sick.
  • Silent Auction & Poker Run both successful – I get sick.
  • Autism Walk knocks it out of the park – I get sick.

Now, granted, I’ve pretty much been stressed out non-stop since Thanksgiving.  Between the holidays, family drama (because what is life without a hearty dose of family drama all heaped on at the worst possible time?), Kaleb’s problems in school (the kid has more black marks on his record at five years old than I did when I graduated high school – and believe me, I wasn’t an angel); the neurologist, getting Mason’s paperwork moving, Daddy’s work, and so on and so forth…

I’ve basically been a bundle of stressed out psycho momma since November.

As soon as the holiday stress was gone, I had all of this school drama to deal with – all leading up to today’s IEP meeting.  Of course, now that those two major stressers are gone, and everything else is minor in comparison, I’ve got a sore throat, swollen glands, sneezing, coughing, running nose… in other words, I have Why-does-life-hate-me-itis.

The IEP itself went WAY better than I expected.  We got just about everything we asked for.  The Psycho-Educational evaluation; CTOPP; FBA & BIP; copies of all of everything in his files (both files – not just the pink one); it IQ test; an updated receptive & expressive speech evaluation; OT to address his sensory issues; and finally, FINALLY transportation agreed to pick him up in front of the house – minimizing the odds of him getting run over while waiting for the bus in the morning.  We addressed the suspensions, the meltdowns, the seizures…

I walked out of there with such a feeling of relief – I hadn’t realized just how heavy the weight was – the one that has been sitting on my chest since before Christmas.  Hopefully we will be able to prevent, circumvent, curb, and all around improve what has been happening.

I came home, put Mason in the stroller, tossed on my rollerblades and took him for a ride around the neighborhood.  Then down for a nap he went so I could get some work done on some Walk stuff – only to have my phone ring non-stop for two hours straight (and of course I can’t turn it off in case the kid gets suspended again), so I basically accomplished nothing.  Now, Mason is in doing his speech therapy, Kaleb is playing with bucky, and I am staring at my menu for the week thinking I need to change tonight to soup.  Lots of soup, since I ate all the tomato cheese stuff we made last week.  And I’m in a soup kind of mood.  Or is it just because I feel like ick?  I don’t suppose it matters – there has to be another soup on this menu somewhere.

Which reminds me, I’ve got to start on next month’s menu, because as of Monday January is done.  Crap.  That’s a lot of shopping.   And I still haven’t finished tearing the bedroom apart (though my closet is done).  Oh shoot, I forgot to make at least three phone calls I was supposed to make today.  And I really need to go to the post office.  Oh yuck, Kaleb just let out the sneeze of the century.  I haven’t ordered Kaleb’s yearbook yet either.  I need to see if my mom can watch the Monsters for the PTA meeting I was just emailed about.  Thankfully it’s not next Tuesday, because that’s the same day as our first official walk meeting.  I sure hope people show up for that, we haven’t gotten a lot of response yet.  Speaking of which, I really need to get back to editing these job descriptions.

I don’t know why I think I’m actually going to get anything accomplished.  My brain just keeps swirling around in circles like bathwater around a drain.

I need to get off here.  I need to find a recipe for a thick soup I can pass off as a dip to my picky little Monsters – if it’s thick enough and I give them some form of breadsticks to dip, they love soup.  However, if Kaleb so much as hears the word “soup” it’s all over.  No soup for him.  Time to hit up the Google machine.

Last week's Tomato Cheese Soup with Grilled Cheese Dippers

Last week’s Tomato Cheese Soup with Grilled Cheese Dippers

Never Know…

It figures.

The one day I could actually sleep in, my insane wild-child-paranoia won’t let me.

Pre-children, my Saturday nights consisted of waiting tables followed by varying levels of intoxication at my favorite bar.  If someone had come up to me and told me that seven years later I’d be spending my saturday night studying I probably would have laughed.  But, that’s exactly what I did.  From the minute I put the kids to bed, until Mason finally fell asleep at midnight, I studied.  I drank two glasses of cheap boxed wine and I studied for Kaleb’s upcoming IEP harder than I’ve ever had to study for any test in my life.

Which is relatively sad, because I had no idea how much I didn’t know until I talked to the special education lawyer.  It leaves me to wonder how many parents are walking into these meetings completely uninformed.  Why isn’t there more information out there?  Why isn’t the information that is out there more easily accessible, and easier to understand?  Isn’t the point of sending our children to school to teach them, and help them become intelligent, productive members of society?  Shouldn’t the parents and the school systems be working together?

The answer is yes.  We should all be working together to help our children.  But we’re not.  We’re working against each other.  Fighting each other in silent battles of will and power instead of pulling our resources to do everything we can to build our children up.  Instead of an open system of information and communication we are closing doors and blocking each other out.  This person only tells you this much.  That person only tells you that much.  And then you go to a meeting missing vital information you have every right to know, get blindsided and end up walking away more confused and upset than you were walking in.


Why has nobody changed this?  I don’t know, but I do know that I’ve had enough.  As soon as I get this all straightened out I will be sorting through every bit of information I can get my hands on.  I will then be adding an IEP section to the Monster Marchers website.  I cannot stand the idea that there are more parents out there like me.  Who want nothing more than to do everything they can for their children, but don’t know where the information is or how to use it once they find it.  Something needs to change, and I have every intention of doing my part to change it.

Moving on from my little sidebar…

I was up half the night studying for Kaleb’s IEP.  Kaleb got up to get in bed with me at midnight, and I took him back to his room.  Then I woke up at 5:30 as he crawled into bed with me again.  Of course, I fell asleep with a notebook in the bed, and he sat there next to me flipping through the pages until I gave him the option of being quiet or going back to his room.  It was not wake up time!  After about fifteen minutes he got up and headed back to his room.  Or so I thought.  Ten minutes later I heard him in the living room.  And I would swear on my life I could hear him flipping the pages of a notebook.

All I could think was Oh CRAP! The only notebook that he would have easy access to was the one on my desk.  The one with pages of important information scrawled on them.  One I really needed.  And there went the idea of sleep.  I practically flew out of bed in a panic to get to him before he scribbled all over my notebook, only to be stopped short by what I saw.  Kaleb was sitting on the living room floor.  Playing.  With blocks and Bucky.  Blocks.

I am so insanely paranoid these days, I took the sound of building blocks for notebook paper being flipped and destroyed.  He looked up at me and smiled that sweet little smile and said “I’m playing nice mommy.  See?  I’m playing blocks and Bucky too!”  Yes buddy.  You certainly are.  Now, if you’ll excuse me, Mommy is going to go kick herself all the way to the coffee maker.

Story of My Life…

Oh this day just keeps getting better.

Kaleb has a Blankie.  It’s the comforter from his nursery set.  He’s been carrying this thing with him, by the tag, since his first ear infection just before his first birthday.  The fabric around this tag has been worn so thin I’ve had to stitch it together time and time again.  Well, this time he really went and did it.

Kaleb ripped a big hole in his blankie. Big enough, that for the first time, I couldn’t just stitch it back together – it needed to be patched.

I am not a seamstress. I am not even close to a seamstress. The Blankie already looks like something out of a Tim Burton nightmare thanks to my incredible sewing skills.  When I sew buttons back on pants – they usually fall off in the washer.  This is how terrific I am at sewing.

So, now he’s having as close to a panic attack as he’s ever gotten, and I’m starting to panic myself. Where on earth am I going to find something to patch this with?  I don’t really want to cut up one of my shirts, and it’s not as if I just keep random scraps of fabric hanging around the house. As far as I know, there is only one random scrap of fabric – and it’s been sitting on a shelf in my closet for years. I wouldn’t have even remembered it was there if I hadn’t just been cleaning my closet two hours ago.  So, I grabbed it, ran to the garage, and did my best to minimalize Blankie’s damage…

Congratulations Kaleb. You now are probably the only 5 year old in the world with a Social Distortion patch on your blankie.
I don’t know if I should be proud that he’s such a badass, or if I should hide my head in the sand.

Been Caught Stealing…



That’s been my theme since Wednesday.  All I wanted was a cupcake.  I baked them – they tasted like garbage (pretty much how they turn out every time I try to make them).  So, I bought some.  Yummy, moist, delectable little cakes of joy.  Twelve cupcakes in a package – I’ve had four of them.

I decide today to finish cleaning out my closet (which happens to turn out more like burying myself in chaos) when the kids go down for nap/quiet time.  Turn up the monitor, and get to work.  Stop every twenty minutes or so to peek in on the kids, because Mason rarely sleeps on days when Kaleb is home.  Then, catastrophe.  Complete cupcake catastrophe.

I pop my head in to check on my Monsters, and I see white smears on Mason’s carpet.  I think, oh no, he’s sick.  No.  He is not sick.  He is covered in my delectable cakes of joy.  I see two wrappers on the floor, and I think how??  How could he reach them??   Then it dawns on me – he couldn’t.  And I checked his room this time – I know he didn’t sneak any off before nap time anyway.  Kaleb.  That sneaky snook!

I walk back to Kaleb’s room, and what do I find him doing?  Dancing around in his underwear with an empty cupcake case while his little orchestra plays music.  Victory music.  I’m flabbergasted.  And I briefly consider throwing the two-year-old temper tantrum that is welling up inside of me.  Kaleb looks over, sees me, drops the cupcake container, and goes flying into his bed.  I still just stand there.  My brain is stalled.

What do I do with this??  Take away his coloring utensils and withhold paper for a week?  Probably ineffective as we have paper and pens all over this house.  Take the orchestra.  Still stand there staring, haven’t been able to squeak out any words yet.  Then it comes to me.  You clean this mess.  Ha!  Brilliant.  I hereby sentence you to…

  • Clean your room.
  • Clean Mason’s room.
  • Vacuum the cupcake crumbs off the floor of both rooms (now I’m not that nuts, I do realize I’m going to have to have a hand in that).
  • Give Mason a bath since he is now covered in cupcake (again, I realize I’ll be doing most of the work here).

When I’m done, and he’s staring at me as if my head has just erupted worms, I ask him what he did wrong.

“I made a mess?”

NO!  Okay, I mean yes.  You made a mess.  You made a mess with my cupcakes.  You took my cupcakes!  – Promptly shut mouth before I start stomping my feet like a child.  Walk away.  Turn around.  Pick up cupcake container and shake it at him in an ineffective showing of anger.  Walk away again.  Stare sadly and longingly at missing cupcakes.


I miss my cupcakes.

Almost as much as I miss my sanity.