Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Third Ugliest Car in the World

I picked up my rental car this morning. I got in it and sniffed. The Camry (ironically the same color as ours) smelled smoky. I went back and asked for a different car. I got this.

The Chevy HHR. I guess it could be worse. It could be a PT Cruiser or a stretch Hummer limo.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Lizzy and The Experienced Traveler

On our flight to Detroit our seats ended up all over the place. My husband and I were on the exit row, Bri and Will were in front of us, Jake was a couple of seats forward and Lizzy ended up several rows behind us.

We managed to switch around so I was on the same row as Bri and Will; and my husband and Jake were across the aisle. During the long wait on the tarmac my husband went back to trade with Lizzy.

The man she was sitting next to was taken with Lizzy. He said that he asked her how old she was.


"Is your mom or dad on the plane?" She tilted her head to the side, twisted the bottom of her chin and shrugged.

"Where are you going?"


"You know that this plane doesn't go to Utah?"

"I know. I'll get on another plane."

"Is anyone meeting you?"

"My aunt, I think."

"Well, I'm an experienced traveler if you need any help."


He told my husband that story twice, then as the wait lengthened on the tarmac started pulling out his free samples of Absolut and drinking them down.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Point At Which Our Luck Started To Change

The hotel's shuttle bus dropped us off at the terminal. As we walked to the door I realized that I'd left my purse on it. I ran into the road and waved the shuttle down.

Even though we hadn't eaten we checked in and went to a flight that was scheduled to fly directly to Salt Lake City. We were scheduled to fly from Detroit to Atlanta then to Utah; arriving after 10:00pm more than 26 hours later than expected.

All six of us made it onto the 12:15 flight to SLC; ironically, with three seats in a row and two the row ahead on either side of the aisle. Only Bri was off by herself.

We arrived in SLC at 2:20pm which is either 17 hours late or 8 hours early depending upon how you look at it.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Yes, It Really Was That Bad!

Thursday, we got to the airport in plenty of time for our4:20 flight. We were ecstatic to find out that our six seats were scattered though out the plane. Really? Who's the lucky person who gets to sit next to my autistic 9 year-old? Please remember to take him to the bathroom frequently. We waited at the gate for about an hour because Detroit was stormy. We finally got on the plane only to wait on the tarmac for over three hours.

When the time passed for our connecting flight to leave, my husband made a reservation for a hotel in Detroit. We finally arrived in Detroit at 10:00pm. I waited in an endless line to find out about my checked bag, only to find out that it would stay at the airport.

The one bag we checked had all my clothes, toiletries and most of William's. Fabulous. My husband tried to call the hotel for over an hour while we waited for a shuttle bus. We gave up and moved to the taxi line. We made it to front of the line. "Please be a van!" I chanted to myself. No, no, no, no. One arrived only to be put out that we weren't going very far. I told the kids to get in the van because I wasn't waiting any longer for anything else.

"It's dark over there." The driver said a couple of times.

"What does that even mean?" I wondered.

We arrived in that section of town only to see that indeed it was dark-- because all the electricity was out. The driver drove into different parking lots, muttering angerly, as we scanned the signs looking for the right hotel.

We found the hotel. Obviously, they weren't answering their phones because they didn't work. The shuttle buses weren't running because they had been sent out to buy glow sticks; which, naturally, ran out before we got there. My husband checked us in. I hoped for a low floor. When he finished I asked him what level. I thought he said two and I was pretty excited. We followed a guy up a few flights of stairs. "What floor are we on?" I asked again as William and I fell further and further behind the group. I tried to hurry Will up the stairs with only a trickle of light to guide us. But he was only going to move as fast as he was going to move.

"Seven." He called down to me.

We schlepped the kids, the suitcases, the backpacks and assorted crap up seven flights of stairs to our dark, hot hotel room where William was now wide awake. It was after midnight and all I wanted to do was sleep.

"Mom bed sit. Dad bed sit." Will requested. Fine.

"Fall asleep." I chanted. "And don't wet the bed!"

I dreamed twice that I took Will to the bathroom. In the morning I sent my husband downstairs to see if they were serving breakfast. "The power is off." He protested.

"They'll still have something." I insisted.

He agreed to go after a quick, dark shower. "Ohhh." I heard him say. A while later he came out. "There isn't any hot water." I knew I was wearing the same clothes for a second day so I didn't have a choice. I took a refreshing shower. Bri takes long showers regardless of water temperature. She even washed and conditioned her hair.

My husband brought up three bottle of apple juice. "Breakfast is ready." He announced.


Thursday, June 25, 2009


I'm getting ready to leave and if the preparation does kill us 12 hours from now we'll see my sister Eileen, Yea!

Poor Marcy came over this morning and left with the tadpole and assorted veggies from the CSA.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Living out the Myth of Sisyphus: Will is the boulder

William’s latest obsession is driving me crazy; completely over the edge!

There are a few things that are organized in my life: my kid’s schedules, most of my books, my 6 month supply of tampons (because if there is one thing I don’t want to run out of in the case of a nuclear winter it would be tampons! Even thinking about that makes me want to buy 3 more 100 count boxes from BJs.) One of the few things that are relatively organized is my mound of autism/school/therapy papers. At least they were.

I’ve filled a filing cabinet drawer with records. But some things I like to file in three ring binders. The problem is that Will loves binders. He loves to rearrange them almost as much as he likes to write on any available piece of paper. (I’ve found entire notebooks with one letter written on each page.) I have a cabinet in the living room that I use to hold folders.

Will discovered them a few months ago. He started rearranging them binder by binder. For months I spent a few minutes every day reorganizing binders. I slowly removed binder after binder from the cabinet. And as I removed favorite binders he started rearranging new ones. When we got the point of mounds of paper on the floor in front of the cabinet, two scattered photo albums, one three-ring binder labeled School Year 2008/2009 that was completely empty and three-ring binders filled with odd stuff like dollar bills with holes punched in them along with miscellaneous crap I keep around; I gave up and emptied the cabinet of almost everything. But I left a binder for Will filled with stuff I hoped he’d like --which he promptly emptied.

Monday, June 22, 2009

End of Year Wrap Up

It's official. School is out. Summer vacation started about three hours ago. Bri celebrated by going to a friend’s house for a party and Jake, Lizzy and I met Marcy and Dave at Bertucci’s for lunch.

We are going to Utah for three weeks on Thursday; so, I have a little bit to do to prepare. My husband isn’t going to be much help because he’s in Connecticut today, Danvers tomorrow and Philadelphia on Wednesday. Hopefully, he has enough time to pack.

A complete non-sequitur I know, but could it rain any more here? I might as well be living in Seattle.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Lizzy Got a Pet!

Yes, it’s true. In a moment of madness I emailed Lizzy's teacher and said that we’d take one of the class’ tadpoles home. In what I can only see as foreshadowing, I forgot to send in a container for Lizzy to bring it home in. I washed out a peanut container for Lizzy to put the future frog in and when I looked at it my stomach got queasy; because yes, I really am that much of a wimp.

I went on the internet to find out what tadpoles eat. Internet, I found out frogs can climb out of their containers! If I had known that, someone else would have been the proud owner of a future frog. But I didn’t.

The poor, little, creepy tadpole didn’t have anything to eat so I went to the pet store and asked for help. I bought a HUGE glass aquarium because Pet’s Mart assured me the frog couldn’t climb out of one that big (Pet’s Mart, if he does get out of it I will call you and scream at you over the phone!). By this time, I was partially mentally deranged and told the cashier I didn’t like pets. He looked at me, considered kicking me out of the store and removing the tadpole from my care but decided to let me buy the frog supplies and hope for the best.

Lizzy was thrilled at her tadpole’s new digs. But Jake was worried. When Bri was three she won a gold fish. I accidentally killed it when I put it in regular tap water. Bri still remembers this and occasionally brings it up. (I did learn from that about the dangers of chlorine. However, I prefer not to kill something to learn the next lesson.) Jake was pretty concerned about the life span of the tadpole and warned me, “Mom, don’t kill it like you did Bri’s gold fish!”

I’ll try not to, but it’s already creeping me out. Today while I was doing yard work I almost touched a frog and started screaming -- loudly. And what are we going to do with the frog while we’re gone on vacation for three weeks? You guessed it. Marcy is frog sitting.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Wasting Time

When Lizzy was little a couple of people told me she was brilliant. “Sweet!” I thought. “I don’t have to teach her anything because if she's so brilliant she'll pick it up on her own.” It really hasn’t worked out well for her as her reading and math skills are sub par. So, naturally, I told her teacher I was signing her up to be evaluated for the gifted and talented program.

Her teacher looked at me in confusion. “Oh, well ... let me know how that goes.” She said.

I got a letter in the mail today from Framingham’s Gifted and Talented program. It said there was a meeting tomorrow for parents to learn more about SAGE. My thought -- “Fine, but did she get in?” I called the number on the paper to ask but they said they couldn’t tell me over the phone because of privacy issues.

No problem. I understand that. I didn’t tell the lady, but I was thinking I have kids with special needs; Lizzy not getting into SAGE is not even my biggest thing today.

My biggest concern at that moment was honestly not wasting an hour if she didn’t get in. I can waste that hour in so many more enjoyable (or even, frankly, boring ways)! But heaven forbid I waste that hour on anything pertaining to my children if I don't have to!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Fun Site for Anyone Who Wants to Challenge Their Brain


It’s Nice To Know That I’m Doing Something Right

The intense work ethic my children consistently demonstrate when asked to perform any labor that doesn’t directly benefit them warms the cockles of my heart and lets me know that I’m successfully molding responsible future citizens. Last week, I asked Lizzy to do the recycling. “I’m going to die!” She cried as she dramatically threw herself down on the kitchen floor, hitting it with a thud.

Sunday, June 14, 2009


Will found a jar of shaving cream. He, naturally, spread it all over his belly. Then he wrote his name in the cream.

That's graffiti -- William style.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Poison Ivy

I think I have two tiny dots of poison ivy on my face and it’s driving me crazy! It’s not bad considering I removed an entire bush yesterday but I’m slowly going insane and I believe that the best way to move forward is to cut them out with a dull, rusty knife. That way the tetanus will distract me from the pain/itching and I will lose weight once I have lock jaw.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

"Help Please"

This morning, after Jake and Lizzy had left for the bus stop, I was finishing up a few things to get Will ready when he came in the bathroom and said, “Help please.” He handed me the bloody, stainless steel crown covered tooth that he’d been trying to put back in his mouth.

“Oh crap, his tooth broke off!” I thought. I told him to open his mouth. I looked in and saw what I thought was a root amidst the blood. As I was mentally calling the dentist I looked out the window and his bus in the driveway. Then I realized with relief it was a baby tooth. So, I gave him a rag and put him on the bus in his bloody pants…. But I called his school so they wouldn’t freak out at the sight of my blood soaked boy.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Our Tree House

The kids helped my husband design a tree house for the back yard because I plan on having a very dangerous back yard. A couple of weeks ago my husband started working on it. He screwed the base together. We lifted it and knew very quickly there was no way that the two of us could get that in the tree. We tried attaching just a corner. That didn’t work either; but when it fell my husband caught the boards with his head so everything worked out. The biggest problem is that I want a zip line from the tree house to the tree across the yard; so the tree house needs to be up ten feet in the trees. And I’m neither tall nor strong enough to hold it while my husband attaches boards to a tree.

We corralled some help. Merrill (or Mike as Will calls him) and Marcy’s husband Tom came over on Saturday to help us get part of it done. Tom showed up first. He looked at the ingeniously designed project, sighed, asked me to watch Pete and left. My husband had already bolted one of the boards to two trees. He’d attached hinges to the board in the tree and the other half of the hinges were on the platform. The idea being, we’d hold up one side of the platform, put the pins in the hinges then swing up the other side, and put the supports under the other two corners. Then go back and screw the whole thing together. (I say we meaning him of course.)

Merrill couldn’t fit his ladder in his car. I said, “No problem.” My neighbor told me anytime I wanted to borrow his ladder I could. I went over and rang his doorbell. He wasn’t home. I walked around his house – no ladder. I called Tom. “Can you bring a ladder?”

“Yes,” he said. “That was one of the things I was getting.”

It worked really well. And the rope Tom also brought came in handy securing the platform while “we” got the supports in place. The most pathetic part you ask? Oh that would be when Marcy called and asked if she needed to send one of her dinner guests over to help.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

ID Bracelet

Jake found Will’s ID bracelet. Will had hidden it in the bottom of the toy bucket. It was a pretty good hiding spot because it’s been lost for months! I attached it to his wrist on Saturday. He started wailing. I heard a lot of “No’s” and “help please!” When I continued trying to attach it to his wrist he started calling to Brianne for help. “Brianne help off please!” She looked at me with bitterness. I tried to explain that it was for safety. But he kept screaming. I believe there was even a swear word spoken -- twice.

I had the brilliant thought of writing him a social story. (Unfortunately for William, it was after I’d already put on his bracelet.) So, I ran to the computer and started typing one up. He screamed the entire time I wrote it! I printed it up and started reading it to him; after the third time through his screaming had turned into sobs. Good Times!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

I love this song

Sometimes I can’t believe the words that come out of my mouth

One day while talking to Will about the importance of pooping in the toilet; I actually said, “Will we have a special pooping spot, it’s called a toilet.” I shocked myself! What did I just say? A special pooping spot … did I really just say that? We have a special pooping spot! Is that why I went to college; to look back 15 years later and have things like that fly out of my mouth?

I’d be more entertained if I hadn’t been the one to actually say that.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Sometimes I really am that pathetic

I think I scared Marcy. Bri has a piano test in Boston tomorrow. I get a little nervous driving in Boston because I don’t know my way around. So, naturally Marcy offered to go with me. It’s a good thing; because I looked up the address on Google maps and sent a copy to Marcy only to receive an email in response that asked me if I was sure I had the right zip code.

No, I did not (. . . I was so relieved to find the right address in Allston rather than down town I stopped investigating.) There's no way that situation would have ended well.

Today I received an email from Marcy that said and I quote: “I am driving.” I can only assume she wanted to be home in time to get her kids off the bus after school and worried that if I drove, she might arrive home a day or so late.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Swim Team

I signed up Bri, Jake and Lizzy for the town swim team. I thought great, it’s a three-for-one activity. But it’s Monday through Thursday, overlapping, two hour marathon and I can never take Will there because he would do his best to go swimming too. And he’s a big 9 year-old! (I’m basically saying that if he’s truly motivated you should put your money on him.)

So, my husband dropped off Bri at piano and took Will to MyGym. I took the kids to the pool for the 5:30 parent meeting, left to pick up Bri from piano, took Lizzy and Jake part way home, went back to get Bri from swim team and returned home at 9:00.

I’m starting to rethink swim team.

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