musings in mayhem

writer, mom, tutor, superwoman

Archive for the category “asperger’s syndrome”

some days

….are just like that.

I am thinking of people who need to be thought of.

I am appreciating the beauty in tiny moments, but I can’t upload the pictures from this morning’s drive to preschool. In fact, I lost my header photo and can’t seem to retrieve it.

I wanted to do more edits, had an awesome session of it yesterday and finally completed for the thousandth time the emotionally relevant chapter that is twice as long as the rest of the chapters, but I finally accepted that it was okay, because a middle reader can handle one 10 page chapter in a book of 35 chapters that are 3-5 pages each. But see people statement re: doing more edits today, but maybe I still can. And there is laundry, of course.

I wanted to go to a retreat this weekend, but it isn’t in the cards. I am sending Mr. Cynic, and he is cool with that.

It’s a gorgeous day, the library book I was waiting for was finally in yesterday, and I checked it out. I feel like going outside to watch the blue jays and cardinals flit between the changing trees, listen to the wind rustle them, too, and maybe, just maybe read for half an hour uninterrupted, outside, where there is beauty to be found everywhere, if you just look.

That last option is sounding the most appealing at the moment….

And then I will go pick up Toots, and the mayhem will resume. Captain Comic is having a rough first quarter of the school year again, and Mr. Cynic still needs to pack for the weekend and I am not sure when his ride is coming for him.

But yes, tra la la – opting for some time in the warm autumn breeze and light and colors.

safari part deux, belated

Now that I have half a chance to sit down and accomplish something while the boys are at school, I am heading back to vacation land of the first week of August. I am returning to the day I covered in this post, when we safari’ed in the morning, journeyed into the deepest caverns east of the Mississippi at midday then returned to the safari place in the afternoon. 
It was a very hot day. Before we entered the Natural Bridge Caverns, we sat and ate lunch outside. Toots said, “I will sit here, and you will sit there, and we can have a picnic!” to Mr. Cynic, who nicely obliged her.
I will eventually post some cavern pics, as soon as I have a good chance to go through them and single out a couple of not so dark highlights from Luray and this place. After a chill visit deep underground, we headed back to the Safari Village to walk around and feed some more animals. Thank goodness for all day leave and return tickets!

African Pygmy Goats and my somewhat pygmy teen

I can’t recall the name of this primate, but he was way too hot. Can you see his tongue hanging out?

African Pygmy Goat. They tickled.

Hot peacock. I love peacocks. This guy found a rare piece of shade.

Here is where he found the shade – in Kangaroo land. This Red Kangaroo looked like a playah. 

What?

Take your picture and get outta here.

Lorikeets! They are loud and sound cranky. 
A friend of mine in Sydney talks about the racket they make often in his yard.

Squawkity squawk squawk!

What are you looking at? Squawk! 
Rainbow birds
Captain Comic was fascinated by the warthogs.

Hot Tigers.

Hot Honey and Toots

These box type turtles – sorry can’t recall species – got very horny later and all three kids were like “ew!” and Captain Comic couldn’t stop giggling while he was repulsed.

Different kind of llamas. Thank you, Mr. Cynic for humoring your sister.
And okay, your mother, too.

I wish I could have gotten this shot in full context.
Captain Comic walked up and the lemur jumped right at him to say hello.

Spider monkeys!

This giraffe was very disingenuous. But he still ate from our hands after he huffed indignation.

De Brazza’s monkeys again, like at the other zoo earlier. 
They clearly did not want to be there or to have us look at them.
They do this cool thing where they turn from you and sit super still for hours at a time when they feel threatened. Hide in plain sight. 

You smell good to eat.

Tamarin monkeys are among my favorite. Creepy little humans.
After the overheated walk around, we got back in Bertha with Captain Comic in my old passenger seat from the morning. Why should I have all the fun just because the back windows don’t roll down? Honey was ecstatic to sit in the air conditioning and drive around again.
Captain Comic was a little fearful, but thrilled to feed the animals.

Especially the large “raptors”
Just look at his face in the side mirror.
I love that kid.
He loves Emu.

And Ostrich and Rhea, too. 
In fact, he didn’t want to feed anymore mammals after they pecked in his bucket, rather like dinosaurs.

Gorgeous Rocky Mountain Elk I fed in the morning.

Bison closer and in the shade after their morning plains walk.

I kind of forced him to feed the Elk. He was very intimidated, but I got him to pet the big guy.
Hello again.

Captain Comic ran off with my reference pamphlet since my last safari post. 
This was one of the Oryx. Jogged my memory hard for that one. 

Arabian Oryx

Wildebeast, I think.

Hotchatta-cha-cha Llama. 
And thus concludes our safari adventures in the mountains of western Virginia. Caverns coming soon.

1st day of school

Yesterday was the first day of Mr. Cynic’s Junior year and Captain Comic in seventh grade.

Mr. Cynic has been riding the bus to high school for the past couple of years, though we live .4 mile from the school. That’s closer than I lived to my high school, to which I walked – up hill both ways in the snow. Seriously, I did. It was hilly where I lived growing up in Connecticut. Not here though, and only the occasional appearance of snow.

But back to yesterday, Mr. Cynic and the first day of school. He had the same bus driver for his first two years of high school. She could probably drive her route with her eyes closed. She retired and there was a new bus driver, who drove rather like a lab mouse introduced to a new maze. She had no idea where she was going in the morning. And again in the afternoon. At every intersection she turned the wrong way, according to Mr. Cynic. When his bus was significantly late on the way home, I received a text message: going to be late. bus driver doesn’t know what she’s doing.


When he finally arrived home, he declared he was never taking the bus again. I smiled. The boy who eschews exercise will be getting some. Every day.

Captain Comic’s bus involved less drama but more nerves on my part. He has been riding the SPED bus since we moved here five years ago. He stands at the end of the driveway in full sight of his peers at the corner bus stop to get on a different bus. Last Halloween, I found out that they all knew him, but he didn’t really know them. As we walked around the neighborhood, the common cry was “I see him at the bus stop.” Last spring, his IEP team and I decided it was time he ride with his neurotypical peers. And when I had an IEP team meeting last week, they all told me, “Mom, you cannot walk him to the bus stop. You cannot ask his friends if it’s okay for him to sit with them. He needs to do this himself. He’s thirteen.”

And while my instincts know this is true for any other kid, I still want to protect him, manage his interactions. So I stood at the window with the camera and watched him. He did alright.

Which one is Captain Comic? Look at the socks.


I checked in via email with his case manager and he had a great first day, even with a homeroom teacher change. 
Mr. Cynic is excited to have friends in most of his classes, and is excited to be taking Music Theory with most of his band mates. Keep in mind, they have not rehearsed all together once as of yet, so band mates is still a relatively loose term.
In the meantime, Grandma took Toots with her to her morning pool exercises, and after three weeks without even cracking the manuscript with all the mayhem here, I had an excellent edit session at the local library. I dove into the creative river, doused myself and completely rewrote two chapters really well! The session exceeded my expectations, especially since I felt so lost as I opened the document.
Honey, post-surgery, went back to work yesterday, even though I felt it was too early, but I can’t keep him from work. It’s his thing. It’s hard to see that he loves it sometimes, but deep down, I think this is his creative drive, even when used for others’ purposes and under crushing deadlines. 
So we have returned to the usual mayhem, and having a routine for it that’s a little stiffer than summertime benefits us all, especially after this area has been hit by Mother Nature with smoke from the great Dismal Swamp fires for weeks now, and an earthquake and hurricane last week. The ten to fifteen inches of rain that came with Irene did not douse the swamp fires. Yesterday afternoon, we had a good bit of buckets full rain while Captain Comic was walking Lucy, and with them came Tornado Warnings. And still there is smoke in the air. But we go on, relatively unscathed, unlike many of my friends and family all over the East Coast and inland. Some are still waiting for power after the Hurricane while others in Texas droughts and fire fields, are now without well water. 
I feel very blessed that we are back to our normal. Almost – Toots starts preschool next week.

things and school

Captain Comic’s birthday evening before Hurricane Irene. 
Pogo sticks are fun.

My head is spinning.

I haven’t been sneaker or school supply shopping yet.

Honey had surgery, and is recuperating at home. Now to wait for official biopsy results. But the surgeon said it looked good.

I had an IEP meeting with Captain Comic and his team this morning for the start of 7th grade. He made it about a third through before claiming, “I am about to have a freak out.” How’s that for self-advocacy?

We let him have a break in his case manager’s classroom while we went over the Accommodations.

We have our old case manager, which we were told at the end of last year wouldn’t happen, so we are extra grateful that he has a familiar anchor.

I can’t get over that Mr. Cynic will be a Junior this year. How……? He informed me yesterday that he is now the VP of the Anime Club. I know he’s still interested in the Writing Club, and he’s applying for jobs and is still trying to put together his band, writing songs, a book, and going to his bass lessons, starting to go to local music open mics…No wonder every time I see him, he’s merged as one into the sofa.

Toots is going into a 3 day/3 year old preschool class this year. She’s an old pro now and asking for swim and ballet lessons.

Captain Comic is asking to get back into a Martial Arts class. It’s been about and year and half since he was a blue belt w/2 black stripes in Tae Kwan Do. Now he wants Karate.

Looks like the usual mayhem is getting started and more mayhemic than it has been before.

And now there’s my bellydancing class on Mondays and Chorus on Thursdays….

That’s okay, I like the mayhem. I just wish writing didn’t drop out of sight so easily. It’s been two weeks since I opened my manuscript to try to finish this draft, and my writing group wants to meet on the first day of school. I’ll have to see how that works for my ability to concentrate.

Happy September everyone!

he’s a teen

It’s hard to believe sometimes that 12:31am thirteen years ago and today are part of the same lifetime.

But it is, and constitutes the whole life so far of one of the most interesting, funniest and challenging people I have ever known.

At 1, 2.5, and with his brother at 1.5 years old.
Mom: Smile.
Capt. Comic: I don’t want to smile. At least I’ve got a thumbsup.

Mom: Don’t you dare laugh.
Capt. Comic: Pbbpbpb!

Capt. Comic: C’mon, Mom, I don’t want to smile. I can do what I want now that I’m a teen.
Mom: Pikachu!

Seriously, Mom. Just take the picture.
Mom: Then give me an old movie star smile, like Clark Gable.

I love this kid.

I usually post a birthday blog in which I list a number of things about the kid whose birthday it is equal to their age. This time, it took three days to get Captain Comic to come up with a list himself, and in the end he drew it in about 10 minutes. Click to zoom, they’re fun drawings.

Just in case you can’t tell what he is representing:

1. Making movies.
2. Godzilla.
3. Drawing.
4. Making people laugh.
5. If you don’t know, you’re lucky. (oops, mom’s commentary) Pokemon.
6. Other people singing hurts my ears, “it’s like my Kryptonite.”
7. Videogames.
8. Star Wars
9. Need I say more? (mom again)
10. Pugs are my latest obsession.
11. The Hill (really a berm at the back of our neighborhood baseball field)
12. Jaws
13. I like fights in movies, like Jackie Chan.

Captain Comic is becoming a teen.

I wonder if that’s why Mother Nature is bringing this epic Hurricane Irene?

He’s a great kid. He’s big, he’s loud, he’s talented, he’s an original and the next handful of years of my life will be epic indeed. I love him.

Happy Birthday, Kiddo.

that kid’s got talent

Please click to blow up. It’s worth it, really. 
It also grows funnier, the expressions more distinct the more I look at it. 
In the words of King Crimson, The more I look at it…The more I like it. I do think it’s good.


*As I proudly showed the kid that he was getting laughs all over various places, he admitted he riffed it from a ‘Cyanide & Happiness’ strip.

first this

I am still playing catch up on the vacation blogs….really I am, and we had an earthquake today – in Virginia. But first, this:

Please watch and understand that this man is talking about my family. Asperger’s Syndrome is a form of Autism that makes me feel like one of the lucky ones in the club Parents of Autism. It took a lot of work to get Captain Comic where he is now. I did it, do it, because I love him and will always have his back, even when it can be really hard. And everyday there is a little of that.


Thank you, 
Cathy



























best laid plans…

Mr. Cynic is sleeping at his friend MD’s house and I need to pick him up at 11. Then his friend TB  is coming over to form a new band. Grandma is taking Toots to Busch Gardens with her sister’s family. So Captain Comic and I are on our own for a smidge here. I was hoping to have a little writing time, and talked to him about not interrupting, but it doesn’t look that way, since his latest inquiry is:

Captain Comic: Mom, I’m taking a few of these poppits outside to pop on the deck (last box of those white throw down spark things from our bbq)
Mom: Okay.
Capt. Comic: (pop pop pop, reenters the office): Mom, can these be flammable?
Mom: Yes, they are made of gunpowder and spark.
Capt. Comic: So, like, if I tossed one in gasoline…..
Grandma & Mom: YES! of course if you throw them in GASOLINE!

So I guess I will not be writing today after all.


basenji central

My friend CW loves Basenji dogs so much that she fosters puppies regularly. She has a houseful right now and wanted us to come by and socialize them. Originally I gave a pretty hard no, because I knew I wouldn’t be able to be around puppies and walk away without one.

Of course, I came around and we visited. The one in the upper left corner is one of CW’s adult Basenjis. The rest are the foster puppies. I fell in love with the brindle, named Amber (upper right corner), but I was good and did not bring her home. Just so you know, as I write this, my heart is totally breaking about having left her there instead of coming home with us. Another friend of mine has already adopted one of the tawnies. She’s a big Basenji lover, too.

Someone else has claimed another one of the puppies, but wanted to be sure she was gentle with little ones, and that’s where we come in. Toots and this shyer of the pups were wonderful together. In fact all the puppies really gravitated to Toots because she is just about their size. Captain Comic noticed and commented about it.

Captain Comic loves dogs and researching about different breeds. He was really looking forward to going today. He was especially interested in hearing the barkless dog’s yodel.

Mr. Cynic didn’t say much, but I just know he was totally squeee-ing on the inside.

Here’s a bit of our adventures in Basenji Central:

Here’s Captain Comic waiting for a puppy attack. He wanted it so badly. But Toots got it instead. Sorry, I was fending off puppies from her and couldn’t take a photo.

This is Amber, with whom I fell in love. 
She was pretty keen on all the kids, too.

Circling pups and Toots, squealing in delight.

Puppy kisses galore.

Captain Comic was so excited to make the puppies come running.
Just look at that giggle face. He’s holding it in so hard.

Puppy love! And CW’s adults, too. 
The big one is a Basenji mix, all the others are Basenji through and through.

Apologies for the dog butt. Toots and Captain Comic were in seventh heaven here.

See how Amber just seems to belong to us already? NO, wait, stop that! 
Breathe, Cath, leave the puppy be. 
If you love something set it free….
Meanwhile, at home, not long before we went visiting the pups, a certain troublesome terrier raised a bit of hell. I heard the dog door through the garage, and immediately, half a house away, was blasted with a stink so bad… I never smelled anything quite so odiferous in my life. It was the stink of a thousand rotting corpses. It was hideous beyond belief. Captain Comic wrapped his shirt around his face as we tried to chase her out of the house. Lucy was clearly very proud, happy and excited about whatever she had just rolled in and apparently ate. We chased her out, we locked all pet door access to the house. She managed to get back in as we tried to get shampoo and green dog treats galore out to her. We chased her out again, grabbed her and hosed and shampooed her down. The treats didn’t help her lethal breath. I went into the fridge for some cilantro, anything full of chlorophyll to fight the stink of rotting zombie off of her breath.
The stinker after we tortured her with bath and breath fresheners.
She is clearly still stoked about whatever she attacked and possibly devoured. 

balance points

This week, between the kids’ first week home from school and a gazillion doctor appointments – no worries, just getting updates on old stuff – I have not written or edited, seen only a couple of friends for thirty minutes, and the continuing hovering forecast of rain and wearing a boot have prevented trips to the neighborhood pool. We’re all a bit stir crazy, one week into summer. And Grandma caught a bad cold and has been off of her usual exercise routine, too.

I think this week was an exercise in finding a routine amidst overall changes.

I have not watered the garden consistently, because it seems the rain will really pour, then not much happens. Then I think the rain will come overnight, and it really doesn’t. And it’s tougher to drag the hose around the yard with this dang boot.

Captain Comic wants to learn poker, badly, and I want to teach him. Poker was a big influence in my family life when I was a kid, I love playing cards, especially with my dad.We sure had some good Gin tournaments, mano a daughtero. But I know I need a good visual aid for Captain Comic to see all the levels of win, etc. Somehow I need the time and focus to teach him the multi-step processes of poker, when he is compromised in multi-step processing. It will take more than one session, that is for certain. Much frustration will have to be abated, on both parts.

Honey and I had a late night date at a combo pub cinema place last night for our fifth anniversary. We arrived a bit early for the showing of Bridesmaids, and sat at the bar. While we waited, I learned the difference between us and how that difference is a good thing. We were quiet for a moment, so I asked, “What would you like to see in the next five years?

Honey: What do you mean? I can’t see into the future.
Me: What would you like to see. What do you want in life?
Honey: I don’t know, I’m pretty good. A hot meal, a warm bed, a chance to relaxed a little more.
Me: Really? That’s kind of nice.

See, I am always looking around the bend, aiming for something, having big dreams, wanting something, looking for the next adventure. In his way, Honey is content to just be.

At times, this can be a source of frustration for both of us, but I think, at other times, it works to both of our advantages that we come at the world and each other from different angles. I get him off of his butt for an adventure. While it may take a little initial effort, he always seems to appreciate it after the first push. Conversely, he gets me to stay in the moment and just chill and realize that not everything needs to be done right now, not everything needs to be planned or in constant motion. A little stillness is a good thing.

So we find our balance.

I need to find a way to fit writing into the week while the boys are home. I think I will manage that a little better next week, when I don’t have so many appointments. Also, Grandma seems to be feeling a little better today and will likely get back to her morning exercises routine, away from the mayhem of home. I know how important her exercise routine is for her. She’s better about keeping one than I am.

I have written a summer daily schedule and hung it up for Captain Comic to have a reference as to what this hour of the day is for. Poor guy kept floating around not knowing what to do with himself, leaving a wake of difficult relationships, snack scraps and random detritus until I did.

Toots needs a little more interaction than I’ve been giving her this week, while I’ve focused on my medical stuff and whatnot. There’s been a bit too much PBS and Netflix children’s program selections going on.  I think if the forecast perks up to the sunny side, we’ll get to the pool more next week. This will be good for the Capt., too.

Mr. Cynic has been a big help this week, and found ways to hang with his friends and girlfriend. He’s getting more and more independent, even if he is still hesitant on the learning to drive sessions.

And, even after all these years, Honey and I continue to learn each other, and how to negotiate what it is that simultaneously drew us to each other, and what drives us most crazy on a daily basis.

Ain’t love grand?

It’s summer. I think by now, all schools across the country are out for the season, the days are long on light and open hours. Don’t forget to enjoy them for what they are, a chance to relax a little more…and maybe have a good adventure,or two.

Post Navigation