Monday, October 28, 2013

Thank goodness for boyz ... except today!

I love my boyz beyond belief -- their autism, not so much -- but just the fact that they are male is awesome!  Most days.

 Most people have an idea before they have children of what boyz or girls are "like" and I am no exception.  I clearly remembering wanting no more than one boy.  I had one brother growing up and several of my cousins and friends had similar family arrangements and they worked pretty smoothly, I thought.

I knew I did not want multiple boyz.  My husband only has a brother and my brother-in-law has two brothers and no sisters and a family we were close to growing up had three boyz and one girl and the stories and memories terrified me.

DH loves to tell the story of his brother giving pointers to the neighborhood boy on the best way to beat up DH.  Then there are the stories of the summer that DH finally caught up in size to his older brother.  World War III is usually used as the analogy and all I can think of is my poor, sainted mother-in-law -- but that is another whole blog post!  I remember going over to the house with the three boyz while I was growing up and it totally morphed my brother.  He was sweet and funny most of the time but we'd go over to their house and he would get into fart contests with the other boyz and all that gross "boy" stuff.  No way.  I had decided that was NOT for me.

But when we started thinking about a family, all I could think about was having a boy.  I had four nieces and no nephews and my brother had died shortly before my wedding and all I could think about was a baby boy.  I wanted a boy!  Everyone always says "you will love the baby no matter what the gender" but I knew I really wanted that boy.  Boyz (plural) still scared me and if I knew my second child was going to be a boy, I probably would have preferred that my first be a girl, but since nothing in life is certain, I just wanted that boy.

Lo and behold, Joe was born and there was much rejoicing.  Both sets of grandparents and mom and dad were all thrilled.

Joe was absolutely the most beautiful baby EVER (and I had numerous strangers come up to me in public to reinforce that belief) but he wasn't always the easiest baby.  It took me a long time to decide to have a second baby.  DH wanted them closer together, but I was thinking 10 years apart was about right!  The thought of two boyz no longer scared me.  I just wanted a "typical" child.  Ha!  Does karma have a heck of a sense of humor, or what?!?!?   At least Alan was a much easier baby!!

So back to why I am thankful for two boyz ...

1.  Boyz are tough.  I have a dear friend that has a daughter Joe's age.  They both got their braces at similar times.  Sweet girl would be in the nurse's office several times a week for Tylenol.  Joe never asked for pain killers.  In two and half years.  Tough kid.  Alan cut his head open and I found out when I found the bloody washcloth he used to try to clean himself up.  Even tougher kid.  Thank goodness for boyz.

2.  Boyz consider shopping to be a chore which is also how I look at it.  I never have to take them shopping to cheer them up!  Thank goodness for boyz.

3.  Boyz' toys are much better than those specifically "for girls".  I hate the color pink and find changing a Barbie's clothes or matching her accessories to be boring.  But building a railroad track?  That is fun!!  Thank goodness for boyz.

4.  Boyz' books are better.  I'd much rather read Percy Jackson or even How to Train your Dragon than The Twilight books any day!!  Thank goodness for boyz.

5.  Boyz are usually lower upkeep.  They will never want their hair highlighted, a pedicure or the latest handbag.  A suit for prom is a lot easier than finding the "right" dress -- although it might cost as much.  In general their clothes cover more surface area, too!!  Car insurance is more for boyz, but a wedding is a lot more.  Thank goodness for boyz.

6.  Drama is definitely lower with boyz.

In case you missed all the clues, I'll spell it out.  I am not a "girlie" girl.  Despite my obsession with miniatures, I don't care for most things "feminine".  I am an engineer by degree.  I love jeans and t-shirts and my boyz.  So why is today different?

Today is the day I cleaned the bathrooms.  Let's face it -- boyz miss.  A lot.  An awful lot.  Yuck.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The jacket

Some days I just want to cry.  Why does everything have to be a battle? 

It is getting to be cold where I live and I've been trying to get Alan to wear his jacket to school this week. 

Monday and Tuesday I just asked him to put it on and he refused.

Yesterday he got physically aggressive with me (hitting and headbutting me) when I insisted he wear his jacket.  Finally I ended up putting the jacket in his backpack for them to try at school.  Of course, they didn't go out yesterday and the jacket came home in his backpack.

Yesterday afternoon I had the brilliant idea that if he wanted to go outside after school he would have to wear his jacket.  He opted to stay inside and just watch videos.

This morning I tried again.  He grabbed his harness for the bus and I told him I wouldn't put it on until after he put on his jacket.  So he put the jacket in his backpack.

To add insult to injury, he was wearing his jacket when we picked him up from camp Sunday afternoon and they didn't say anything about him resisting.  It obviously fits and there don't seem to be any sensory issues with the material.

I guess if school can't get him to wear it, I just let him be cold?  Truthfully, he is such a tough kiddo he probably isn't terribly cold although he was shivering waiting for the bus on Tuesday and Wednesday.

I'm tired, frustrated and out of ideas.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Supposed to be a happy occasion ....

Any fan of Monty Python will undoubtedly get the reference in the title, but for those of you who don't find bizarre British humor funny, here is the clip ...
This past weekend was my brother-in-law's stepson's wedding.  For all intents and purposes, I consider him my nephew that I only met 6 years ago, and I dearly love his new wife.  I have been looking forward to the wedding for some time now.  

For a little background, let me say that Joe went to his uncle's second marriage 6 years ago and had a fantastic time.  He danced up a storm and charmed the whole room.

This most recent wedding was slightly less successful.  Now I won't be telling you "who killed who" (after all, everyone did survive the event!) but it just wasn't as smooth. 

This was a camp weekend and we sent Alan so we wouldn't have to worry about a babysitter, but Joe elected not to work and to attend the wedding instead.  Hindsight being what it is, DH and I should have "encouraged" Joe to work.

The actual wedding was relatively short and the minister did a fabulous job.  Afterwards we went and hung out at my in-laws' house and that was also painless.  So what was the problem, you might ask?

The reception.

We are walking in and I said, "I'd really like to get a picture of the three of us."  (After all, how often does Joe wear a suit?!?!)  Joe's response?  "Don't you have enough pictures of me at home?"  Okay.  He was obviously in "a mood".  He finally agreed to take ONE picture.  Unfortunately, I put my arm around him.  I was told in no uncertain terms to NOT do that.


Then there was the food.  Joe is nowhere close to Alan when it comes to being a picky eater, but there are certain things he will not touch and one of them is cheese (unless it is Parmesan cheese or on a pizza).  Even though he loves potatoes (and has even been known to eat potatoes with some cheese hidden in their depths once or twice) he overheard my nieces discussing how there was cheese in the potatoes.  It wasn't happening.  Then there was the pasta.  The kid LOVES pasta and it was just Pasta Alfredo with broccoli.  He always eats "pasta with white sauce" at home and he likes broccoli (it is one of the few veggies that he usually likes) but oh, no, not combined.  Even when I ended up giving him my leftover roll at the end, he wiped the little dab of Alfredo sauce on his napkin before eating it.  Sigh.

At this point I left our table to go talk with some of DH's cousins.  DH did point out that maybe I was being difficult too.  Probably.  I have often said that the reason Joe and I spark so much is that we are so similar in personality but so different in tastes.

DH did ask Joe the next day why he even wanted to go when he seemed so determined to not have a good time.  Joe's response?  "Well it had been a while since I went to a wedding." 

And it will probably be a VERY long time before he goes to another one!!!!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Miss me?

Miss me?? 
Alan -- oh so ready for the cast to be off!!

I have been blissfully absent from blogging for most of the last month.

Most of you probably haven't noticed.  Many of you probably don't care.  Some of you will probably tell me how much you've missed hearing about my antics with the boyz.  Yes, they've had them.  No, I haven't written about them.
My miniature greenhouse (made from a birdcage) is almost done!

Mainly I've been taking time for me. 


Not "Mom" and certainly not "Mom of special needs kiddos". 

A little roombox called "Tea for Two"
Just Julie.

I've been working out -- most weeks at least 3 days!  Considering I only had my surgery 10 weeks ago and the boot has only been off for about 6 weeks, I think that is pretty awesome.  Some days my foot still hurts.  I can't do more than a lunge or two before I have tears in my eyes.  I can't genuflect in church without hanging on to the end of the pew and looking like a klutzy idiot (oh, wait, I AM a klutz -- but let's not discuss the idiot part!!)

Since I tend to like working out first thing after Alan gets on the bus and that was when I usually blogged as well, that has probably been the single biggest contributing factor to my decreased blogging.

the tea cart
I've even lost 3-5 pounds (depending on the day) which is only a tiny fraction of what I probably need to lose (20) but at least my weight is headed in the right direction for the first time in a long time.
A little Southwestern themed roombox I made

I have also been working on my miniatures a lot and have actually finished two projects in the last two weeks and almost finished with my third.  Considering only about 3 weeks ago I was close to having a panic attack that I had too much started and would never finish anything, that is pretty impressive.
Climbing again ...

Alan also got his cast off last Thursday.  He (and we) were pretty miserable for the 24 hours following the procedure (he had severe nausea from the anesthesia and then didn't sleep much that night) but my happy child is back.  He has even done some tree climbing since the cast came off although I think in some ways he misses having the indestructible protection on his arm.
Fat cat

As for Joe, he is still volunteering three days a week and spouting his little gems. 

Diesel is still fat and happy.

Life at the Sparks house is back to normal -- whatever that is!!!!