Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Alternate Definitions

4 months out, I can safely say that I am a different person from pre-PE Lauren.  I have learned so much about myself, my limits, my weaknesses, my strength, my resilience, and my lack thereof.  I feel strong now in ways I never have before.  Even on issues I thought I had a handle on, I have re-examined and changed perspective.

Don't get me wrong - having this has SUCKED and been incredibly challenging, and the exhaustion piece of it still pisses me off.  But what good does that do me?

So in the good-spirited nature of making lemonade out of lemons, let's come up with some alternate deciferings of "PE":

"Perfectly Educational"
Um....yes, but not.  'Perfectly' is a little too Miss Mary Sunshine for me.

"Pretty Exhausting"
This one is the most accurate.  But let's see if we can do better.

"Preponderously Exuberant"

"Petpetually Exhibitive"
Maybe, but not in a good way.  Pass.

"Parallel Energies"
WAY to hippy dippy for me.

"Pasty Exterior"
Yes, sometimes, but thanks to Laura Mercier cosmetics I'm off the hook with this one.

Eh, screw it.  Let's stick with the good old medical definition of PE.

Although "Pretty Educational" is a really good one-size-fits-all stand by.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Full Disclosure

Did I ever tell you about the time that TJ, Peter, our PCA and I were waiting at the Toys R Us Customer Service desk?

We were waiting to see if they had a Power Ranger Megazord that TJ wanted to spend his gift card on.  He was all keyed up and excited.  There was a crowd of people at the desk waiting behind us to be helped.  You could feel the tension rise off of them as the Toys R Us-er looked up our toy on their system to see if they had it in stock.  It was taking a long time and their impatience was palpable.  Suddenly TJ says to me, REALLY LOUDLY as he has no volume control, "Mom, you have a mustache.  You'd better not grow a beard too."


My PCA and I could not control our laughter.  Tears streamed down our faces.  My stomach hurt from laughing so much and it could not be stopped.  Even thinking about it now makes me laugh.

Well, not right now.

Y'see, he is right.  I've always had a little 'stache.  Embarrassing but true.  Most of those little hairs are blond and fine but clearly there are enough darker ones to warrant such a comment from my ever-observant no-filtered child with autism. 

In boarding school I used to Jolene it.  Bleach the hell out of the thing.  It's the kind of boarding school thing you would do in groups of two or more - apply bleach and hang out together and laugh while you waited for it to work.  Truly a bonding thing.

A couple of years ago we had a girls' trip to our friend's house in NH.  During a Target run we all bought mini electric shavers.  Standing in our friend's hallway by the mirror we all trimmed our eyebrows and such...I shaved the 'stache.  Again, bonding. 

Part of the glory that is recovery from pulmonary emboli has been not being able to shave.  God forbid I cut myself while on blood thinners - I'd bleed out in no time at all.  So Sean the Dreamboat brought home an electric shaver with Epilatory functionality.  I don't think that's a word but let's just say it is now, shall we?  Basically it grabs each little hair and rips is out by the root.  It feels like tiny needles poking your skin until the hair is removed.  You know the hairs are gone when it doesn't hurt.  Basically it's one of the many torture devices designed for us women to make us feel beautiful and humiliate us as the same time. 

Anyway, it works, but really hurts like a bitch.  So now that I'm off the blood thinners I can shave again.  Problem is, in a few days it's as if I never shaved at all, and I have to do it again.  I am way too lazy for this.  So this morning I busted out the electric epilator.  Pits, check.  Legs, check.  It really does the trick and lasts much longer, even though it hurts. 

Then brilliance struck.  Why not epilate my face?  I looked through the attachments for a smaller piece appropriate for faces.  Nothing. 

This is when most people would realize that maybe that is a clue that you are not supposed to epilate your face.  I am not most people.

Onward I forge.  Leg and pit hairs cleaned out, I'm ready to go.  Was that TMI?  Eh - it's too late now.

I start with the 'stache.  Ohmygod ow ow ow ow ow.  Tears spring into my eyes immediately but I'm way too bad-ass to stop now.  Little drops of blood appear where little hairs once stood.  Onward ho.  'Stache is done, and really red, but it's too late to stop now.

Chin, lower lip area, left side of face, ow ow ow ow ow, check.  On to the right.

Suddenly, the epilator GRABS MY FACE and rolls some of my cheek into it's roll-y contraption of agony!!!  HOLY OWNESS!!!!

I stop to see a red mark getting redder.  Not bleeding, but it definitely stands out.

Now this is when most people would stop and put the torture device away, right?  No, not me.  I'm almost done, I can't quit now!

Long story short (too late), it grabs my face two more times on that same right side before I finish and put the motherplucking device away. 

I have 3 angular red marks, kind of like the letter "Z" but they are not touching each other.

I also have make up.  Thank god.  It covers up quite nicely.

And my face is as smooth as a baby's ass.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


Since I last wrote, on August 1, you could say I have gone through some changes.

The most obvious is my recovery from the Pulmonary Embolism I had on July 28.  Since I have been home from the hospital this has taken over my life.  I have never felt more exhausted.  Even now, 3 months later, after I have been given the go-ahead to exercise.  All is well and good until my body revolts suddenly after 3 good days.  Or until it starts fighting a simple cold.  I have no energy for anything else.  I know this is temporary and will hopefully be gone by the time my PE anniversary rolls around, but it has changed everything I do.

Another side effect from the PE is neck pain.  I have been in physical therapy for the last 12 weeks after my neck and shoulder muscles suddenly seized up completely  Long story short, 12 weeks later and I have almost full range of motion back and much less pain.  It's amazing to me how connected everything in the human body is, and how blood clots in the lung have thrown my whole body into chaos.

Since July 28, the ground under my feet has shifted.  It shifts still.  It has effected everything, changed everything to the point of feeling foreign.  Not all day, not every day, but it has definitely been a constant.

How awful it has felt that one of the only constants in my life has been change.  Every day a new feeling.  A new fear.

I am not comfortable with uncertainty.  Who is?  It has made me question everything.  My sobriety.  My sanity!  My self to the core.  Some friends have suffered because of my uncertainty.  I have suffered because of my uncertainty.  I have questioned the stranger in the mirror every day.  She has a new fear behind everything she does.  She is terrified her boys will have to grow up without her.

Friday is my birthday.  44.  

I have learned it is ok to not always be Ms. Polly Sunshine.  It is ok to have a bad day and not feel guilty about it. 

I have learned that having TJ, Peter and Sean makes me the luckiest person to be alive.

To be alive.  So lucky to be alive.

I will find my footing.  The ground will still shift but I will be able to shift with it. 

44 will be better than 43.

Make a wish.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Do not panic!

I had a quick visit to the emergency room today - everything is fine.  A little scare.  I'm really tired right not but not too tired to post highlights from the Sean and Lauren show.

Sean:  "The docs are talking about you - shhh! They're saying...'her husband is awesome.' "

Me:  "Want me to hold my breath and make the machine beep?"
Sean:  (deadpan) "That's a fun game."

Me:  "I'm bored - dance!"  (He did!)

Me:  "This sucks - I want to leave."

Sean:  "I'll wheel you right to the car - they'll never notice."
Me:  "Yeah but they'll hear the getaway music playing in the background."
Sean:  "And hear my crazy old man laugh."

Me:  "I have to pee."
Sean shows me the bedpan display a la Vanna White.
Me:  "I'm not peeing in a pan!"
Sean:  "That's how they used to do it."
Me:  "Who is they?  They from the hospital days of yore?"
Sean:  "Yes, that is they."

Good thing we weren't there for very long.  Maybe they heard us and let us go home to spare them further performance?  Woo hoo!  Mission accomplished!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Some say morbid, I say funny

I have had some really weird dreams since this pulmonary embolism nonsense has arrived to liven things up around here, but most of them I have forgotten.  

Here's one I remember:

I am viewing my closet from above (good news, right?), like there is no ceiling.  On the floor I see three ladies sorting through my shoes:  my friends Lisa, Jennie, and Alison.  

It just so happens that these are my closest friends with the same foot size as me.  My step mom does too, and my sun-conscious and I feel badly she wasn't included in the dream!!!  I'm so sorry Kathy!

Anyway, apparently I left all my shoes to these wonderful friends, and a scuffle suddenly breaks out between Lisa and Alison.  There are slightly raised, strained voices and gentle, yet increasingly aggressive, shoe pulling.  

While this was going on, Jennie was still on the floor, taking advantage of the other girls' distraction to shove a few extra pairs into a bag on the side.

How funny is that?  

This has been so helpful to me today because every time I think about it I crack up!  The laughs have been much needed ones.  

I'm here to say, my sweet friends, that I plan on sticking around a while longer to use those shoes myself!!!

But when it is my time, Lisa, Jennie and Alison, the shoe collection is all yours.  And Kathy - yours too!!!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

There really is no place like home

I'm home from the hospital.  I haven't slept the past 2 nights because my roommate snores MUCH worse than my husband ever has, and she has 7,000 loud visitors who don't like to leave.  So this afternoon after I tried to nap and a doctor came in and said "this is a party!!!" I knew it was time to go.

We stopped at the pharmacy on the way home to fill my prescriptions.  Sean went in while my greasy hair and I stayed in the car.  When Sean came back I pretended he surprised me so I could say "what are tryin' to do?  Give me a pulmonary embolism?!?!"

Get it?  'Cause I have a pulmonary embolism???

Then driving home Sean said "that guy in the car in front of us was so scary looking I almost had a pulmonary embolism!!!"

You can imagine the rest of the ride home.  We cracked ourselves up.

I'm so happy to be home.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Here's why I can't sleep...

Apparently I will do anything to have something to write about, even if I don't mean to.

Let me explain.

The day after my last Zumba class I had some pain in my back.  I didn't remember it hurting during the class, or even the same night, but I figured I must have pulled something.  Oh well, I thought, a little hot tub time and it will be fine.

On Friday the pain was still there, and in addition to the back pain it hurt when I breathed in.  It wasn't terrible by any means, and I am no doctor (clearly), so I just figured the back muscle is connected to the chest muscle (sing it!  You know you want to...), and I power Zumba-d with such amazing force that my body needed a little time to recover.  That's how powerful I am, I thought to myself.  Seriously.

Anyway, by Friday night the pain was so intense I had to sleep sitting up in bed surrounded by pillows so I wouldn't roll over.  

Come Saturday I learned that if I'm sitting perfectly straight or standing I'm ok - the pain is much less.  Good because I had a dear friend's birthday party to go to and I didn't want to miss it.  Priorities, people.  Anyway, the party was great, but the pain started to kick in around 10, so my dearest husband and I left early.

That night was horrible.  I have never been in so much pain in my life.  I couldn't sit, I couldn't stand, I couldn't lie down...nothing.  And every breath was so painful it made me cry.  Sean and I both figured I did a huge number on my back and I finally fell asleep sitting straight up sometime around 3:30 am.

There's more.

Now it's Sunday.  I'm supposed to go to a minor league baseball game with Sean and the boys, so I lie down and rest while the pain allowed me to do so.  We finally decided that sitting in a little metal chair was not the best idea for me, so Sean took the boys without me.

Just as they leave I have a minor coughing fit.  And there is blood in the tissue.

Not yet giving myself permission to freak out, at least not out loud, I call our doctor's office and the doc on call tells me to go immediately to the ER.  So off I go, texting Sean. 

Long story short (too late), I'm admitted with a pulmonary embolism.  A blood clot in the lung.

My experience with PE is only from the show ER, and Lucy died from a PE.  Althought she got stabbed too and had a boat load of other stuff going on, so that's hardly an appropriate comparison, but still.

So when I told my ER doctor (who had nice hair by the way) that Lucy died from a PE, he said "If this thing was going to kill you, you'd be dead already.  You would have died Thursday."

Well that just stunned me into silence.  And those of you who know me know that almost never happens.

Anyway, I got admitted into the hospital and they bring me water whenever I want it.  Isn't that nice?  They give me pain meds too, which helps a little, but I still can't sleep.

Oh, by the way, don't tell my mom!  I don't want to freak her out.  Thanks.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Placenta Song

There is a song in my Zumba class called  "The Placenta Song".

It's not really called "The Placenta Song", but that's what I call it.  In the middle of the song, the lyrics go "something something placenta".  I swear.  It could be "left of center" but I really don't think so.  

Which makes me think of other songs where lyrics may or may not be sung correctly, but who cares because it's funny.  When my mom used to sing along with "Flashdance: What a Feeling" on the radio circa '82, she would sing "take your pants down and make it happen".

See?  Funny, right?  Especially if you know my mom.

I remember another friend singing "Dirty jeans, dungarees" instead of "Dirty deeds, done dirt cheap".  Her version is much better.  Another friend sang "She know just what it takes to make a pro-blem" in "Bette Davis Eyes".  Love that - much funnier.  

I'm thinking we should sing our own lyrics loud and proud - and watch people's reactions around us.  Good sociological study, right?

I think I need a hobby.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

I'm "chic"!

My high school reunion was held at my boarding school this past weekend.  I had so much fun and the no-booze thing was a non-issue for me, I'm happy to say.  

Right when I got there I told my 2 girlies I had emailed previously that I would meet them wherever they were.  They were at a seminar held by a classmate.  I registered, gathered my loot (a blanket with the school logo on it and a 4 pack of beer specially brewed for our class) and found the classroom where the seminar was being held.

I had no idea what the seminar was about.  Turns out it was about how to present the best you in any business scenario.

My business is laundry, vacuuming and car pools, so no stress for me.

We were asked to pair up with someone we didn't know and write 5 words that describe them as a first impression.

The list that this elegant woman from the class of '63 wrote began with the word "lovely".

I hugged her immediately.

I don't remember all the other words, but 3 others were "extroverted", "open" and "chic".

Can you believe "loud" wasn't on the list?!!!  I can't!!!  Great moment for Lauren!!!

I taped the list to my dorm door.

More stories to follow I'm sure, although I have been sworn to secrecy for most of them.  :)

Monday, June 10, 2013

Holy crap I'm in for it

TJ: "What the hell?!?!"

Me:  "Buddy you really can't swear around me you know."

TJ:  "Mom, I'm a teen now.  What do you expect?"

Me:  "I expect you to be thoughtful and respectful around adults, me included.  That's what I expect."

TJ:  "Well it's not like I said 'F'.  I guess I'll only swear around the boys."

Good god, now it's "the boys".  Someone help me.

PS - I not-so-secretly love it.  Take that, autism.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

It's way too late to fool you guys

My high school reunion is coming up.  I have 2 of them, actually.  One is in the fall for the school I attended from 3rd grade to 10th grade.  The other is in a couple of weeks at my former beloved boarding school of 2 years - Northfield Mount Hermon.

By the way, the word "Northfield" just autocorrected to the word "Mortified".  Hahahahaha!!!!

Since I am Joanne Average, when I think of attending my reunion, I think what most people think:  I need to lose weight! I need to get new clothes!  I need to be my most fabulous self!

Then I remember - too late for my most fabulous self.  I write about everything (almost) in this blog.  So anyone who reads this blog (is anyone reading this blog???) already knows what I'm up to.  The jig is up.  No fake outs possible.


Well, at least now that I am booze free, I can drive the 3am stolen golf cart safely.  BORROWED!!!  Borrowed, not stolen!!!!  What golf cart?  I have no idea what you're talking about.

See you soon fellow faboo'88ers - I can't wait!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Is it weird I don't find this weird?

My 13 year old with no verbal filter just came home from school sick.  

When I was signing him out in the school office, he said, loudly, "Mom, it was explosive.  Seriously."  The school Secretary and Principal tried very hard not to laugh as they refused to look up from their work.  Then he said "It just kept on comin'...." and that's when I suggested gently that maybe it's best we talk about it in the car.

Then when we got home there was more running to the bathroom, with "Leprechaun prance!" being loudly declared.

Just another day in the life.  Normal as can be.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

I DO have a job!!!

Today is Mother's Day, which in my house is a sacred day of tiara wearing, extra relaxing, and no holds barred hugs that the boys are not allowed to refuse.  My rules are clear.  

I also like to take a picture of me with my boys, so I can see how they have grown. This is this year's picture, which made my jaw drop:

When did my boys get so big?!?!  When did their youthful childish grins turn into the confident smiles of young men?  And how did I get so lucky?

A year ago, I left my job (that I loved) because I was giving the best of myself to other people's children.  I had no energy left for my own.  And since then I have been saying - and even calling this blog - "I don't have a job". 

Not true.  Not even close to true.

I am so fortunate to have the most amazing job in the world.  I am a Mom.  I am a wife.  I am a daughter and a sister and a cousin and a niece and a really good friend.  

And I really, really love all my jobs.  

Yes, I have some tough stuff in my life.  But who doesn't?  Everyone has something.  But I have wonderful people on my team.

Thanks, you faboo co-workers.

Am I lucky or what?  

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Someday you can read the book

Sometimes I push limits just for humor's sake.

I wore my stinkiest shoes today (yes, there are varying levels of stink - not in all the shoes. Just some. I digress...). After the boys were in bed, Sean and I were on the couch watching tv. I took my stinky shoes off and stuck my feet in Sean's face.

"Do you really want to play this game? My feet are bigger than yours and my legs are longer. You could be in trouble."

"But it's cute when I do it and mean when you do it. There's the difference."

As soon as I said it I knew it was time to heed his warning and end the game.

I haven't written in a while. There has been a lot going on. Someday you can read the book...I'm not giving it all away for free. :)

Try to find ways to keep a smile on your face. The alternative means the bad guys win.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Parenting autism

Today I had an interesting time parenting TJ's autism. We were waiting while Peter had his guitar lesson and TJ was playing on his iPad with headphones. He was whispering - I think he was reciting Spongebob (side note - in Montreal they call it "Bob L'eponge". I love that for some reason). Everyone could hear him and he was getting some strange looks. I tapped him on the shoulder and reminded him to be quiet, which lasted about 2 seconds before his arms were flying in the air, and Bob L'eponge was being recited again. He had a huge grin on his face.

I love that grin. I was uncomfortable with the way people were looking at him, but didn't want to take his grin away. I had a moment of panic when I thought maybe I should let everyone know that he has autism, so the looks would stop. But TJ didn't have a problem with the looks, it was only me. So I decided to let him do what he wanted to. He continued to flail away, joyously.

As we were driving home, I explained to him that everyone in the waiting room could hear him and didn't understand that he has autism, and asked if he was bothered by the way people were looking at him. He said no. I told him he could do whatever he wanted to do, as long as he was comfortable and not hurt by some of the looks he gets. If the looks bother him, I want him to understand why he is getting them. He said he was fine and had fun.

In the end my head knows that that is all that matters - that TJ understands what is happening around him and is ok. It doesn't matter how uncomfortable I am at all. It's a tough pill for me to swallow.

But his grin always makes it easier.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Dreamboat is Dreamy

This post just proves that there is nothing I won't fess up to on this blog. That's how honest I am. You're welcome.

We have a second refrigerator down in the basement - we call it "the beer fridge". The only other thing we put in it is food around the holidays when our upstairs fridge is packed. That and the boys' Halloween candy that I may or may not invade randomly.

Now in my defense, it IS called "the beer fridge". Since I don't drink, what business do I have going into "the beer fridge"? Please keep this in mind for the rest of the story.

The other day I was grabbing some frozen waffles for the kids out of the freezer part of "the beer fridge". I noticed a stench coming out of the fridge part. Lo and behold, there sat 2 casserole dishes from....wait for it.....Christmas.

Now don't start acting like you've never had anything rotten or stinky in your own fridge - everyone has at least once! You know it's true!!!

Anyway, tonight Sean said to me....actually, let me rephrase that. Tonight, Dreamboat said to me, after my return from bazoom, "Are you going to shower now or later? I ask because my Valentine's present to you is that I'm going to wash those awful dishes from the basement, and I'm going to need a lot of hot water, and don't want to disrupt your shower."


Seriously, he is the greatest. He must REALLY love me a lot.

And that's Valentine's Day around here. Have a happy one!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Blessing in disguise?

Best line of the week - TJ got in the car as I picked him up on Monday and said "Mom, there was a lizard in science class and he had a b-o-n-e-r." I love that he spelled it.

I remember 7th grade being a tough time - a time when you are trying to figure out how to be cool, surging hormones, and massive insecurity. Well now my TJ is going through it, but it's a totally different story because of his autism.

Or is it? I see some familiar behaviors that seem to be "typical almost 13". But the friend piece, the being cool piece, isn't there for him.

I've heard that some boys in his class are having a hard time with being friends with so-and-so one day, then not being friends the next day..typical teenage stuff. But TJ is completely removed from any of it.

I'm so torn over how I feel about it. I'm thrilled he is spared from any heartache or teasing - these great kids really look out for TJ. And no one wants to be the kid who targets the kid with autism - that's way too obvious. But another part of me is sad that he doesn't get the experience of going through it. It's like a right of passage. Maybe it would make him stronger, like it made me.

I don't get to go through it either, as a parent. When it gets to be Peter's turn I won't have any previous experience to relate to. Maybe that's selfish of me, but that's how I feel. I have missed out on a lot of firsts as a parent, and I don't usually think about it like that, but for some reason this situation really puts me in that place. Another glaring reminder that my kid is different. Sometimes it really sucks.

Anyway, that's where I'm at.

My next one will be funny, or at least less whiny, I promise!  This is a direct result of mid-winter blahs.

Friday, January 25, 2013


I just saw an Olay Regenerist ad that asked "How do you WOW?"

I have given it some thought, and here are some of the ways I WOW:

  • I shower (you're welcome)
  • I usually put on eye makeup, as I look terribly washed out without it IMHO
  • Deodorant
  • I have been known to randomly pounce a standing Sean, a la Calvin and Hobbes. True story.
  • I don't do it often, so when I do take the garbage out it definitely gets a WOW
  • I speak in random accents at random times
  • The shoe thing, obviously
  • On occasion, I don't let the laundry pile up. Huge WOW factor.
  • Oscar night costume changes
  • I told the boys that I would make them give me a booty shake when they ask for things until they are 18 years old. That got me a WOW, as well as some dirty looks
  • I took my 11 year old to see Les Mis, and after the "Master of the House" scene he leaned over and  asked me "Is that 'humping'?"

I think that last one is a good one to end on. Great parenting gets a WOW every time.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Dear Hot Mama O Rama is born!!!

I saw that the original Dear Abby has passed away at 94 - RIP.

I could TOTALLY do that job.

How hard could it be, really?  I mean, I dish out advice all the time, if not out loud then in my head to myself whenever I see a situation that needs my help.  And there are a LOT of situations that need my help, trust me.  I could finally be on to something here.

Let's give it a try with some sample questions:

Dear Hot Mama O Rama, I'm a stay-at-home mom with 2 young kids and the housework is really piling up!  How can I do it all?  Sincerely, Busy

Dear Busy, there is NO WAY you can do it all with 2 young kids!  Are your 2 young kids breathing at the end of every day?  If yes, then congratulations - you are doing enough.  The rest will fall into place in time.  Try not to lose your mind.

See how good I am at this???  I should have thought of this a long time ago.

Let's try another one:

Dear Hot Mama O Rama, I feel frumpy.  What can I do to perk up my style without spending a lot of money?  Sincerely, Frumpy

Dear Frumpy, SHOES!  You don't need the expensive ones, just ones that make you feel fabulous.  Take a risk and try a pair you've always wanted to try.  And no matter what your weight, your shoes will always fit.  Have fun.  


So who's hiring for this gig?  Sign me up!  And feel free to send me questions of your own - I am LOVING this!!!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Sober Sisters

Last year was a rough one for me. It sucked, quite frankly.

One of the most difficult parts of the year was learning how to be a non-drinker in a drinking world. I am a minority. I never realized how much of a minority until I was there. And one of the unwritten rules of being a non-drinker, in my mind anyway, is that you have to be an OK strong non-drinker so that no one around you feels uncomfortable. Even when you're not OK with it. It's a very isolating thing.

Now to give credit to some of my wonderful friends, who I am truly blessed to have in my life, some went out of their way to make sure I was OK, and let me lean on them when I wasn't. In case you don't know, you wonderful friends of mine, your friendship and actions have meant the world to me. I would not have been successful without you. You know who you are.

But a surprise gift I have received along the way was a connection to two amazing women from my childhood school who reached out to me and shared their own journeys of sobriety with me. I am calling these Rock Stars my Sober Sisters. Their guidance, support and advice has been invaluable. While many of my friends are so well meaning, they can't relate to my experience the same way as someone who is going through the same thing. These fabulous Sober Sisters have been there through my struggles, frustrations, milestones and successes, sharing their own along the way. They are my inspiration.

And they didn't have to reach out to me; they chose to. They took time out of their days for me. And perhaps because I have known these girls since my young days, I feel like they get me - they know where I have come from.

So thank you, my Sober Sisters! I hope you know how much you continue to mean to me, and I hope you know that you can lean on me too - anytime. Day or night.

Here's to our continued successes! LOVE to you girls!!!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

We all have autism

Things are changing here in Vermont and I had a meeting last week to get a case manager with the organization that will help us with services for TJ.  We were talking about his autism diagnosis and the re-definition of autism, and if he still is classified as having autism.

I said to the Intake Coordinator, "Oh yes, we still have autism."

It struck me how true that statement is - we all have autism.  My entire family.  It effects every one of us, in different ways, at different times.

My sweet Peter struggles with it the most, I think.  It's hard to have an older brother with autism, especially as they both get older and he can clearly see the differences between his brother and typically developing 12-13 year olds.  And when you're 11, and being cool is everything, you don't really know what to do with it.  We see it every day in him, in how he behaves, in how he reacts to us and to TJ.  Sometimes he wants to talk about it, sometimes he doesn't.  I just have to trust that he will find his way, with our help.

I hope I hope I hope I help him enough. 

Sean and I have autism, daily.  In dealing with both of our boys.  In everything they do, and in everything we do.

Our parents have autism, even if we don't hear about it.  I know it is often on their minds, hoping for his success, worrying about his future.

My nieces and nephews are beginning to notice that TJ is different from other kids.  They have autism, too.  They love TJ, and I'm really happy when they ask about his differences.  They are wide open and so not judgemental...their curiosity is pure and innocent.  This is how I wish everyone acted around him - knowing that autism or not, he's still TJ.

To their credit, most people who know us are wonderful around TJ.  Being close to us means our friends have autism, too.  Every now and then, however, I see the way some kids look at him, like he's some weirdo, and it kills me.  TJ could care less - if he does notice he does not care.  I'm trying to take his lead and follow suit, but it's the hardest part of being a Mom I've ever experienced.  It stabs at my heart.

I suppose in a lot of ways we are very lucky to have autism.  It expands our minds and our hearts, and opens up a part of the world we would otherwise never know about.  It has brought some amazing people into our lives.  It has bonded us as a family in such a powerful way.  Sometimes I find myself wanting to say "I didn't sign up for this!!!", but that's just stupid.  You never, ever, know what's going to happen, and there are no guarantees.  Like I tell my kids, "You get what you get and you don't get upset."

Well, it's ok to get upset sometimes.  But that doesn't change the fact that we all have autism, every day, and it's not going away.

And we are better for it.

Friday, January 4, 2013

A Few Things...

  1. My hands look like my grandmother's. Not in the "how lovely, we have the same hands" way but the "holy crap my hands look old and wrinkly" way. I don't think there is enough lotion in the world to repair this.
  2. Hair removal is an issue. I think I'm becoming obsessed with it. I had a dream last night that I had a full mustache and beard. I tried some cream hair remover and burned the hell out of my lip. It's not a good look.
  3. My dog thinks he's a cat. He's not. He's an 80 pound lab. That doesn't stop him from lying on me and batting me with his paw. He also talks, like Chewbacca.
  4. I have lost patience with the Real Housewives series - the girls act so badly and are horrible to each other. Is this a sign of age or a sign or wisdom? Or both? We may never know. PS - just because I've lost patience with it doesn't mean I can stop watching it. There's something wrong with me.
  5. My husband's incredible sense of humor came pouring out like a geyser on New Year's Eve and it was a cross between hysterical and mortifying. There was a label maker involved. That's all I'm going to say about that.
  6. I hate my hair.
  7. TJ said "I love you" to me tonight without me saying it first. For the first time ever. He's 12. I cried like a baby and I'll never forget it. I didn't even realize it had never happened before until it happened. True story.
  8. I'm thinking of putting on fabulously dramatic make up one day next week and walking around all day with it on, just to see how people look at me. I think I need a project.