Do They Know It’s Christmas…

I’ve been trying to write this post for over a week, but it has been next to impossible to get anything accomplished over the last 10 days – let alone find 30 minutes of quiet to write.

To start with, for the second year in a row Mason came home from school the week before winter break started with some sort of plague that wiped out everyone in the house but Kaleb.  It all started with a cough.  Then the runny nose, the fever, the aches, that damn cough… Mase was Patient Zero, Daddy went down next, and then I succumbed as well.  I think I’ve said this before, but it’s worth repeating – Mason is the most miserable human being on the face of the planet when he is sick.  It’s almost unbearable.  And I don’t just mean as a mom who hates to see her babies not feeling well.  He is a whiny, screaming, squealing bag of incoherent misery.  Everything is cause for nuclear meltdown.  Every.  Single.  Thing.


The wheels on the bus are making noise when he plays with it on the windowsill.  The sheets on his bed aren’t pulled perfectly tight.  The television isn’t loud enough.  His dinosaur won’t stand up.  His shirt is crooked.  His pants are touching his ankles.  Every.  Single.  Little.  Thing.  He screams, and he cries (and he coughs) and he throws everything he’s got into it – like he’s in the final battle at Mordor and everything depends on his war cry distracting Sauron from Frodo tossing the ring.

Of course, as if this isn’t bad enough, dealing with sick Mason after he got you sick too is just cruel and unusual punishment.  Especially when by the time you get really sick he’s starting to feel better and all you want to do is curl up and sleep, but all he wants to do is play airplanes on your face.

So, Mason came home sick, and it all went downhill from there.  Daddy was sick by Monday, I was down for the count by Wednesday.

Tuesday afternoon a neighbor friend from down the street was preparing to move and getting rid of some furniture.  She was selling an absolutely gorgeous entertainment stand, and as fate would have it, we were in desperate need of something better than the junk we were using.  So, with the help of our neighbor, poor Daddy dragged his miserably sick butt out of bed to lug the thing home.  Where it sat in pieces for four days because we were both too sick and tired to take the old ones out and put the new one back together.

Then, for the third time in 8 months a leak sprung up somewhere in the house.  Luckily, Daddy is hyper observant (I probably wouldn’t have heard it for another week) and caught it rather quickly (or so we thought).  So, off went the water while he tried to figure out where it was coming from.  Even after getting all creative with a broken headphone and some random software, he still wasn’t able to find it, so it was time to call in the reinforcements.

On Thursday it took two leak detection guys and over four hours to find this stupid leak – though they did manage to also break the valve in the garage which now has to be rebuilt.  Yet again we are faced with cutting another hole in the garage floor.  Only this time, it’s in the most inconvenient place possible – under Daddy’s tool box, next to the billion pound workbench.  So the garage was rearranged (again), the concrete cut into (again), the leak fixed (again), and another giant mess to be cleaned up (again).  But at least we had running water.  Living in a house with three sick people and only turning the water on a few times a day to fill pitchers and toilets was not my idea of fun.

In the meantime, I had promised the boys that we would make Christmas cookies for their classes, and go shopping for their teachers on Wednesday & Thursday.  Without water.  We did manage to get the cookies baked on Wednesday, and then decorated while they sought out the leak on Thursday.  Followed by a trip to three stores.  With miserable Mason, and miserable Mommy.  Suffice it to say there was a lot of screaming and crying involved.

We did eventually find the energy to put the new entertainment center together on Friday – and it’s freaking amazing.  Well, until Daddy had to spend hours and hours running wires – that wasn’t so awesome – but now that it’s all together, I’m in love with it!

Just to make matters better – or not – Kaleb is back to binge eating whatever he can scavenge while we are all sleeping.  I’m not going into massive detail on this today, I just don’t have it in me to hash out right now.  But it’s a big problem, and one I’m getting really desperate to put an end to before he ends up making himself really sick.  I actually have a lot to say on the subject – so look for it another day.

So, getting back to it.  While all of this is going on, the neighborhood is having their yearly judging of everyone’s Christmas decorations.  I am obsessed with this competition.  I don’t have any idea why it plagues me the way it does – but for years I have been fixated.  I want that damn sign, and I want it badly.  So every year my poor husband goes above and beyond to win it for me.  The lights dance to music playing from the entrance way.  And not just the house lights.  The lights around the flowerbeds dance too.  Then he set up a projector and screen and we played Christmas movies, handed out popcorn (after he fixed my popcorn machine) and hot chocolate (a challenge with no water) and had ourselves a grand old time with a bunch of friends and neighbors.

We didn’t win by the way.  One of our neighbors did (Congrats!) – I swear next year that sign is mine.

Regardless of the stupid award, the movies on the yard was really cool, and when you add in the dancing lights and speakers Daddy added to the golf cart we are totally Christmas obnoxious – and I adore it.

So now here I sit, still coughing but no longer wishing for a faster death, four days until Christmas.  My house is a shining beacon of musical festivity, my living room looks like real grown-ups live here, all the Christmas cookies are gone and we still haven’t put the star on the tree – but things could be worse.  They could be better, sure.  But they could be so, so much worse.

Even with all the chaos of the holidays, the parenting wins and fails, the stress that comes with life in general – I’m grateful this week.  I get to spend Christmas with my family.  I’m blessed enough to see the looks of joy and awe on my kids faces Friday morning when they see that Santa has made his way here after all (there were some close calls this week).  I’ll be able to share a meal with family, laugh and talk and sing and play with those I hold dear.  And that’s one hell of a good Christmas gift.

Merry whatever-you-celebrate folks.  Here’s hoping 2016 brings good fortune, great joy, and peace to us all.


Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word

Okay, over the last two years I’ve struggled… not so much that you’ve seen because I’ve basically written four posts in two years.  I have had a million excuses why I haven’t been writing – some I’ve given to you, all I’ve fed to myself.  But I need to get back into the habit.  I need to get writing again.  I need to get back to a point where I can take some time every day and be honest with myself, without feeling guilty for doing so.

Speaking of guilt – I’m full of it lately.  I’m especially guilty of being ridiculously impatient and short tempered.  As I sit here right now, It’s 6:24am.  The boys and I leave for the bus stop in exactly 21 minutes.  They’re playing together in Kaleb’s room – which means they are three feet away from me, separated only by a glass french door, a poorly made one at that.  And they’re loud.  Which is the name of the game when they actually get together (which is basically only when they think they’re supposed to be doing anything else), and that’s okay, as long as it’s good yelling.  But I’m still in “seeking coffee” mode, and hearing that entire container of LEGOs just spill out onto the floor as they run around with the world’s most obnoxious Christmas stuffed animals ever made… It’s all I can do to sit here and tell myself to shut the hell up.

They’re playing together.  That’s progress.  They’re playing together in Kaleb’s room and he’s not screaming at his brother to get out while Mason cries and sobs dramatically over some stupid toy he wants to look at (with his hands).  So what if there are now 4,562,847 LEGO pieces all over the carpet?  So what if it’s December 2nd and I’m officially over the “Let It Snow” song the ridiculous Polar Bear and Penguin are singing?  They’re playing.  And I’m drinking this cup of coffee so fast I may end up burning my esophagus in the process, in an effort to not care so damn much.

I need to get off my horse and look at my kids for who and what they are – tiny people with big voices, big imaginations, and apparently access to the world’s most annoying sounds locked in their little brains.  But they are just that – kids.  So why is it so damn hard for me to let them be?  Why is it so hard to sit here right now and keep myself from scolding them on their volume; their mess; their “backing up sounds” (which genuinely make you feel like someone is scratching your tombstone after about thirty seconds)?  Where did all of my patience go?  Where did the humor in the situation go?  Because that’s the honest problem here.  I stopped writing, because I stopped being able to find the situations funny.  It wasn’t funny when Kaleb continuously urinated all over his bedroom for six months straight.  It wasn’t funny when he suddenly lost 20lbs over two months, and there wasn’t a damn cause any doctor could find.  It wasn’t funny when Mason started peeing on his carpet, because he loves to emulate Kaleb.  It wasn’t funny when the dog started following suit, because, well, he’s a damn dog – if there’s pee, he’s gonna cover it up with his own.  Sometimes my life isn’t funny.  More so than not lately.

So I’m going to shake things up.  This is my space.  This is my place, my soapbox, and I’m going to use it.  But it won’t always be funny.  Sometimes it’ll be ugly.  Sometimes it’ll be heart-wrenching, and sometimes it’ll be gross, and maybe it’ll be funny on occasion.  But that’s my life – in true form – that’s what my world is.  I can’t sit here and pretend that there aren’t days I wake up and want to just scream.  That there aren’t times I lock myself in the bathroom just to cry for a few minutes – sometimes happy tears, sometimes tears that stem from frustration, anger, or fear.  Life is messy.  Life with autism is even more so.

I’m going to try.  I’m going to try to get back to a point where I can write on here and really let go of some of the impatience and frustration.  And I’m going to do it honestly.  Because I need this, and maybe some of you out there need it too.

Today though, I’d like to share a big moment.

Monday afternoon I was putting my empty Christmas bins back in the attic, while the boys were… just being themselves.  Kaleb was waiting for me to finish picking up because he wanted to do an ornament craft that required supplies I had to fish out of my closet.  Mason was… well I don’t really even know what Mase was doing, biding his time until I couldn’t see him, I suppose.  All of a sudden, as I’m coming down off the ladder the both of them start shrieking and screaming.  Mason is crying, Kaleb is shouting, pandemonium had broken out in the kitchen.

I ran in from the garage to figure out what was going on.  Turns out, Mason took the box of candy canes off the counter (thus, biding his time), which he was not supposed to do.  Kaleb then took the candy canes from Mase, which he is not supposed to do (if your brother does something wrong – come get mom – it’s not your job to police him, it’s mine).  Which started the shouting, which lead to smacking and hitting.  Lately, I’ve been in a “Welcome To Thunder-dome” mood – I’m not stepping in when you two go at it anymore.  Learn how to resolve your problems.  By the time I had reached the kitchen and Kaleb told me what happened, Mason had locked himself in his room and was sobbing dramatically (I’m going to make millions off this kid when Hollywood gets ahold of him).  Kaleb wanted me to get the craft supplies and I said no, sorry kid, but you don’t get rewarded for hitting your brother.  He told me he was sorry, and was promptly informed that I’m not the one who needed the apology, I’m not the one he hurt.

*Side note* I’ve been struggling a lot lately to explain to Kaleb the meaning behind a genuine apology.  He’ll do something wrong, and apologize only because he believes it will get him what he wants.  Suggestions on how to rectify this are greatly appreciated.

So, he goes to Mason’s door, and tries to talk to Mase, who yells at him (through a slew of dramatic sobs) to go away.  Kaleb comes back to me and says “Well, he’s never going to accept my apology.”  To which I reply, “Then I guess you’d better figure out a way to make things right.”  So for five minutes Kaleb just stands in the kitchen, thinking.

I’m out on the porch when Mason finally decides to leave his room, all hiccups and stifled sobs (seriously, when did my kid start manifesting Sarah Bernhardt?).  He walks out to the kitchen and Kaleb looks at him and says “Mason, I’m really sorry.  I shouldn’t have taken the candy canes and it was wrong to hit you”

*Whoa.  Back the truck up.  Did that just leave his mouth?  For real?!

Mase then says (again, he’s still doing the can’t catch my breath from crying so hard thing) “It wasn’t your fault.  It was my fault.  I shouldn’t have taken the candy canes.”

*WHAT?!  What is going on here?  Did I fall into an alternate universe?

Kaleb says “No, it was both of our fault.  You shouldn’t have taken the candy canes, but I shouldn’t have taken them from you, and we shouldn’t have hit each other.”

*That’s it.  Who are you and what have you done with my children?

After basically a repeat of the whole conversation when Mase once again tried to take all the blame and Kaleb once again took responsibility for his part in it, they both apologized and forgave each other.  Meanwhile I’m convinced I’m having a stroke, or maybe the stress has finally gotten to me and I’m hallucinating.

They came to me together and said they accepted each other’s apologies and asked if we could make ornaments.  Um.  Yeah.  Yep.  You can make all the ornaments you want after that little display.  And they did.

IMG_3824I was humbled, and flabbergasted, and astonished, and so very proud.  They might actually turn out to be okay humans one day.

It just reminds me, once more, that kids are full of surprises – and sometimes those surprises don’t even make you want to throw up in your mouth a little.

Happy Wednesday people, thanks for tuning in.

You’re a Mean One… Ms. Grinch!

It’s like Kaleb’s subconscious mind has an alarm that goes off whenever I’m in the bed by myself.  Then it rings the alarm at the a$$ crack of dawn, and he zombie walks his snoring, kicking, thrashing, singing sleeping-talking behind into bed with me.  This off course kick starts a bark-fest between Milo and Not Cat, and all I can do is pull the covers over my head and wish that I was dreaming.  You may be wondering who Not Cat is.  Her real name is Dakota.  She’s a little Pomeranian owned by some friends of ours.  Since the day he met her, Kaleb has been convinced that she is a cat.  He used to chase her around screaming for “CAT!!!!”, while everyone continuously informed him that she is Not a Cat.  Of course, it didn’t take long before Kaleb started calling her Not Cat.  Eventually he evolved to calling her Dakota Cat, and now he just calls her “Dakota, my best cat”.  She answers to all of these.  We just stick with Not Cat – the poor dog is going to have multiple personality disorder.    Now, Mason is also convinced she is a cat.  He chases her around the house, catches her, stick his face in her face and yells “MEOW!” every chance he gets.

Every Friday night the boys and I do Movie Night.  I pull out my Poppy’s old air popper, make a ton of popcorn, fill two old fashioned popcorn cups for the kids, and let them go to town with sprinkles and little candies.  Then I completely drench mine in butter and salt (heart attack in a bowl, I know), grab a bunch of napkins, and we head to the couch.  One of the best parts of this is the reaction I get from the boys when I turn the popper on.  No matter where in the house they are, or what they are doing, they will be by that popper in an instant clapping and cheering.  Mason yells “Ahcorn!  Ahcorn!”  and claps until I think his little hands will fall off.  Movie night is the longest period of time I can get the boys to actually sit still, and I love it.  We snuggle up on the couch with our blankies, turn on our movie, and spend two hours just being together.  It’s my absolute favorite night of the week.  So when my parents got me a 4 foot tall, old fashioned popcorn cart, I just about peed my pants I was so excited, and I could not wait to turn it on.

Of course, in order to be able to turn it on, there were a series of obstacles I had to overcome.  First, I had to put the thing together.  Handy Mandy I am not.  Give me a hot glue gun, or a staple gun and I’m your girl.  Anything else is basically just a disaster waiting to happen.  So when the Monsters go down for a nap, I spend the entire time putting together my new toy – and of course it couldn’t just go together easily.  Nor could the instructions be written for someone who reads ENGLISH – not techno-mechanical-geek.  Eventually I got it together, and ran directly into my next obstacle.  The place I wanted to put my new fancy smancy cart was currently occupied by the hutch filled with board games.  And the place where the hutch was supposed to go was occupied by toys organizers.  And the place where the toy organizers were supposed to be was occupied by a love seat.  And the place where the love seat was supposed to be was occupied by a Christmas tree.

So, down with the tree!  Kinda.  I had already pulled all the decorations and ornaments off the tree the night before, but of course, now the Monsters are awake, and while Kaleb is screaming at me because he doesn’t want the decorations down, Mason is running around me like he’s purposely trying to get me to trip and break my neck.  Loosen the tree stand, grab the tree, pull it out and set it down on a towel to soak up whatever moisture is on the bottom.  My phone picks this moment to ring, and Mason picks this as the first time ever to pick up my phone and try to hand it to me, instead of just throwing it on the floor.  When I don’t grab it (because I’m currently trying to get the tree out the door, while keeping the dogs in the door, and avoiding the arsenal being thrown at my head by my angry 5 year old), he starts screaming, and thrusting at me forcefully.  Now I realize if I don’t grab the thing from him, my phone is going to meet the sliding glass door, and it will not be a happy meeting.  I turn around, lean the tree on my back, bend over, snatch the phone from Mason, and miss the call anyway.

Get the tree outside with no more complications, save for a couple of issues tripping over the dogs Mason let outside.  Sweep and vacuum the fallen needles around a dancing Mason and a rolling-on-the-floor, pulling his hair out, still screaming Kaleb.  Which is pretty much pointless since they’re all sticking to him as he rolls around, but eventually I get it (after taking the vacuum to him a couple of times, which somehow ends the fit as well).  Move the love seat – which becomes more difficult by the moment as both kids and both dogs decide to climb aboard for the ride.  Start to drag the toy bin organizers, only to be tripped up by both Mason and the dogs enough times to run over my feet until they look like they got run over by a tractor-trailer.  By now I’m irritated (this is only made worse by the extreme bout of PMS I’m experiencing), but determined to play with my new toy, and I have pulled my hair enough to resemble the Bride of Frankenstein.

Kaleb resumes his “It’s still Christmas!” meltdown about the time I get to moving the hutch across the house, and tries to throw himself on top of the already insanely heavy piece of furniture.  I have now progressed from the Bride of Frankenstein to Freddy Krueger as the claws come out and “scary, hormonal, ‘you won’t like me when I’m angry'” mommy comes out to play.  Kaleb immediately backs away, and Mason starts laughing like the lunatic I’m beginning to feel like.  Finally the hutch is back where it belongs, but the living room is completely decimated by the nightmarish reorganization I have just completed.  Meaning I can’t even move the popcorn cart to the place I have painstakingly cleared for it.  Another hour of cleaning, while battling Monsters, meltdowns, and mutiny, and the popcorn cart is home.  Success!

Until I realize the power cord isn’t long enough to reach the outlet, and being three-pronged, I don’t have an extension cord I can use.  This is the point where I show Kaleb what a real meltdown looks like – jumping up and down, muttering insanely to myself, pulling on my hair, stomping my feet, and having an overall three-year old moment.  Finally, I just throw in the towel.  Make dinner, eat dinner, and move the cart to the kitchen where I fill the SOB full of popcorn and laugh with glee along with the kids.  Who promptly try to feed the popcorn to the dogs, rip apart the living room when I take the popcorn away, and end up in bed before the movie is half over.

Maybe today will be better… I’d even believe that, if it weren’t for the fact that the only decoration I’ve pulled down so far has been the Christmas tree, and I’ve got a whole house to pull apart.  I’d ask you to wish me luck, but considering Kaleb is currently 30 minutes into a giant meltdown over a paper train, I think it might be a waste of a wish.  So, I’m off to eat some Midol and brave the Monster Man’s wrath.


Have a Holly Jolly Christmas…

Merry Christmas Eve!  Okay, I apparently forgot to actually publish yesterday’s blog, so yep, I’m looking a bit silly, but it’s all good.

Today is Christmas Eve and I cannot wait for tomorrow!!  Mostly because I think we got the kids some super cool gifts, and I’m stoked at the idea that they might actually like one of them!  Also because it’s Christmas, and Christmas is my favorite day EVER!  Kaleb however, well…

He’s excited about Christmas – then he forgets Christmas and is mean, pushy, yelly (yeah, deal with the made up word), abrasive, and downright not good. Then I remind him that Santa is coming.  Then he tells me Santa is not coming for another three days.  I inform him that Christmas is, in fact, one day away – tomorrow.  To which he replied (the first time we had this talk) “GASP!  Oh no  Mommy we have to hurry!  We have to make the pies before Santa comes and it’s too late and it’s Christmas FOREVER!”  Now at this point, I’m not sure what he means by that.  Yes, we do have pies to make – but mostly because I’ve been dying to make pies with him since my Nana gave me the pie tins I used as a kid.  Christmas forever??  Well, I could see certain parts of that being awesome.  Then I think about my insanely unpleasant excursion to Walmart this morning, and think nooooo.  I’d end up hating shopping – and I love shopping (for anything but jeans).

We went shopping yesterday to get our last minute items (I don’t know why, but Mason is so much easier to shop for this year than Kaleb – and we needed to even them out).  Toys R Us wasn’t terrible – yeah, the place was a disaster, and a virtual mine field of shopping carts, but people were generally being pleasant, so it wasn’t awful.  Sam’s was much the same – though we did dawdle quite a bit.  We opted to put off Walmart until this morning seeing as how we only needed a few grocery items, and it was getting late.

The next thing I know, it’s 10pm and the boys’ Grandma called because she couldn’t find one of the gifts on Kaleb’s list – a really cool one at that!  So, a bit of Google and a few questions later and I’m on my way to Target.  Where I end up on my hands and knees, half inside the bottom shelf of a rack digging to get the very last one that some unfortunate soul tried to hide.  Mission accomplished and it’s home to build Mason’s super cool new Power Wheels.  Of course, every year one of my favorite traditions is watching Daddy put together whatever the “big” gift is – usually with a camera in one hand and a beer in the other.  This is largely because my “Man’s man” likes to skim the instructions (though 99% of the time he really does know what he’s doing – that’s why he is doing it and not me – I’d have sat there all night long scratching my head going whaaaaat?) – and it just so happens that each Christmas gift that requires building is always screwy in some way.

Take, for example, the fact that last year Daddy and Grandpa had to go back to the store many times because the bicycle they had gotten for Kaleb was a virtual disaster (halfway done building it, I ask where the seat is… and then we realize it didn’t come with a seat.  Seriously).  So this year’s problems were small – especially compared with Kaleb’s Jeep – that thing was a nightmare (again, for him, I’m really not much help in this department – I just do the shopping).  Two backward tires (don’t ask, but I’m still laughing to myself), and too many left over screws fulfilled my need for holiday entertainment!

Now, I’m off to give my walking disaster of a 5 year old acrylic paint so we can finish our ornaments, bake some pies, throw a going away party for Watson (our Elf), eat dinner, open Nana & Poppy’s presents, put out cookies, milk and carrots, and off to bed!  Of course, we still have to do, but the kids will be dreaming of… well, who knows what, as long as they’re asleep!


Another Sleepless Night

Yesterday I was officially woken up five times…

  • First:  Milo went nuts when Kaleb came into the bedroom… again.
  • Second:  Kaleb slapped me in the face… again.  Of course this led to me sending him back to his own bed.
  • Third:  Kaleb started singing Old McDonald Had a Farm in my ear… once again he is told to go back to bed.
  • Fourth:  Kaleb tapping me in the middle of my forehead asking for Disney Jr.  Go back to bed!
  • Fifth:  Kaleb licked my foot…  Aaaaannnnd that does it.

This took place between 4 and 7.  Everyone else is still sleeping peacefully – why am I being licked on the foot by a 5 year old?  A 5 year old, by the way, who got suspended from school Friday.  Seriously.  I’m still not even sure how to deal with that – my brain is refusing to accept it.  My little trouble maker, who I found sticking stickers to my good bookshelf and coloring on the walls with crayon when I kicked myself out of bed yesterday morning.  Why???  Why would you do such a thing?  Hmmm to drive Mommy crazy maybe?  Probably.  Of course Mason was not sleeping peacefully after the battle that occurred when I discovered the coloring culprit.

Our neighborhood had their annual Christmas Toy Parade yesterday.  We live around a lot of pilots, so the parade is basically like an airshow.  I thought Mason was going to go out of his mind.  Clapping, yelling, pointing, jumping up and down, and actually using his sign language appropriately for the first time in forever to sign for “more”.  One of the pilots actually saw him freaking out and came over after he landed to say he saw Mason cheering from the sky.  Of course, the guy wasn’t in a plane so Mason couldn’t have cared less who he was or what he wanted.  But I thought it was cool.

On another note – I found something this morning that is too cool for words!  It’s a train ride about an hour from here to the “North Pole” where Santa hops on board after hot chocolate and cookies (and no, it’s not a Polar Express ride – they’re all sold out).  Mason loves trains.  And cars, and airplanes, and anything else that moves.  Taking him on a train – he would lose his mind.  Seriously, his skull would open up and his brain would jump out and do omg omg omg dances.  I’m so excited about this I’m even dancing – and trust me, it’s not pretty when I dance.  Therefore, I don’t do it lightly.

So, as I sit here waiting with baited breath for Daddy to wake up so I can show him the coolest Christmas adventure ever,  Kaleb decided his car is broken and he needs to borrow mine (uhhhm no).  Then he wanted me to draw a bulldozer – he clearly forgot once again how terrible I am at drawing, and is now freaking out because I didn’t draw it right (do I even have to say ‘I told you so’?).  Mason keeps trying to shush him because Mickey Mouse Clubhouse is all about trains and Mason has no interest in listening to Kaleb yell over the sound of a choo-choo.  Of course this only makes Kaleb scream louder.  Once I managed to quiet them both down, Mason takes another ornament off the tree (because I really didn’t want the tree to be decorated this year kid, please take all of the ornaments, they are only there to amuse you).  Kaleb knocks him down to get it back, Mason screams… chaos ensues… I really need to teach myself not to go to the bathroom when they’re awake.  It never ends well.

I’m off to jump in the middle of my family room war zone before the tug of war occurring over a dog toy gets out of control.  *Sigh*

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I’m not tired!

A sample of Mason’s crazy laugh:

This is what happens when he gets his hands on the talking cat on my phone.

Yesterday afternoon Kaleb and I decorated the gingerbread house while Mason was sleeping.  I was going to wait for Mason to wake up, but knowing the kid’s obsession with both candy and frosting, thought better of it.  When we were done decorating, we left it on the table to give it time to dry.  When Mason woke up and saw the pretty candy house sitting on the table he went completely ballistic.

Kaleb immediately went into “defend my castle” mode – and Mason immediately went into “Godzilla want candy” mode.  Kaleb stood guard at the table, while Mason plotted a way to get past him, both screaming at each other all the while.  Eventually, I moved the house to the top of the microwave where neither of them could reach it.  This worked well for Kaleb.  Mason screamed for another thirty minutes – until Kaleb offered him an M&M in exchange for silence.

Two hours later, I reach into the boy’s snack cabinet for some goldfish for Mason to munch on while I make dinner.  The only way to prevent him from wrapping his arms around my legs and screaming while I cook is to give him something small to nibble on.  Kaleb catches a glimpse of the bag of gummy bears I keep in the cabinet.  He asks for one, I say no.  He says he’s hungry, I say eat a goldfish, or wait for the dinner I’m in the middle of cooking.  He says he doesn’t like dinner, he only likes gummy bears.  I say he’s out of luck then.

Fast forward fifteen minutes:  He’s stark naked, rolling around my kitchen floor, screaming and pulling his hair like a lunatic.  The only thing I’m able to make out of his screaming is the word gummy bears.  Knowing the only way to deal with this is to let it run it’s course, I continue to step over and around him while preparing dinner.  I prepare the boy’s plates, and put them at the table.  Mason sits down, throws his fork on the floor and proceeds to eat with his fingers (the kid seriously still won’t use utensils).  Kaleb continues to shriek about not liking dinner and only liking gummy bears.

Mason throws a piece of chicken at Kaleb.  Kaleb screams at Mason.  Looks at the chicken that Mason threw at him, gets up and goes to his plate.  I inform him that when he is done eating he is to put his jammies on and get ready for bed.  With a loud screaming whine he responds “I’m not tired!”  Really?  Hmmmm this is what not tired looks like?  I don’t even want to see tired.

Balls, Balls, Balls…

My kid is obsessed with his balls.

Get your head out of the gutter – I’m talking about toys here.  We have bins, buckets, and basket filled with balls.  Of every shape, size, color and texture.   Mason does not go anywhere without a ball, not to the store, the bath, or bed.  Usually he has a whole bucket filled.  So just imagine his reaction when he woke up from his nap yesterday afternoon to discover a tree covered in his most favorite thing in the world.

Now imagine the reaction of my strict ,rule-enforcing, autistic 5 year old when he realizes his baby brother is on a direct route to destroy the tree he painstakingly decorated.  Put it this way – Kaleb is now without a voice, my head still hurts, and my tree is largely without ornaments.  You’ll find said ornaments in my kitchen, living room, bathroom, porch, and primarily Mason’s bed.  At least with the new balls to distract him, Mason isn’t trying to eat the lights anymore.

You may be wondering how the candy canes fared in this.  Ask my dog.  Both of the kids have left the candy canes alone on the tree – surprisingly enough.  However, I’ve pulled more candy canes out of the dog’s mouth than I can count.  The sad part is, I know the kids aren’t giving them to him, he’s jumping up and taking them himself.  If Mason got his pudgy fingers on a candy cane, take my word, Milo would have to pry it from his cold dead fingers.  I found him yesterday eating one with the plastic still on it.  I had to go on a Mason Mouth Expedition in order to pry it all out before he swallowed it.  The kid is a candy cane addict.  Evidently so is my dog.  What are they putting in these things??

On another note, today’s adventures have already begun.  So far we’ve made Christmas shape-cakes with sprinkles, and pulled all the books off the shelf in the living room.  And then there’s this…

Mason dumps out the dog’s water bowl while I’m in the bathroom. Hears me coming around the corner and runs into the living room. Waits for me to start wiping up the water with a towel, before coming over, putting his hands on his face and exclaiming “Oh no!” followed by a lot of pointing and some very sad, shocked babbling. Oh child, I can’t wait to stick you in a drama class.