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Reentry, Casa Mir style

I went away for the weekend and it was GLORIOUS. Listen, I know I tend to exaggerate for effect, but this is simply the truth: I have not had several days free of responsibilities (read: children) in, um, a really REALLY REALLY LONG TIME, and so with the help of a few amazing girlfriends, I spent 48 hours doing every ridiculous cliched “GIRLS’ NIGHT OUT” activity we could think of, far away from my delightful but needy family.

We: Ate sushi, drank wine, went to a spa and wore ridiculous robes, window shopped, made chocolate, gabbed endlessly, took pictures of our food, consumed a metric ton of chips and pico and bacon (not all at once), and donned matching pajamas. I cannot tell you how healing this was. I am terrible at putting myself first and so over the last few months I have just become more irritable and cranky in the name of “doing the right thing” (spoiler: not actually the right thing if you’re turning into a jerk!) until Otto sat me down one day and informed me that I needed to go on a trip. “I don’t care where you go,” he said. “Just take a couple of days and go have fun.” (He’s the best.)

It was amazing and then I came home and reality smacked me in the face, because that’s how it goes. I wasn’t even unpacked before it became clear that my son’s welcome home gift to me was… well, you can read about it on Alpha Mom, but you should probably bring some hand sanitizer and vitamin C.

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Developmentally (in)appropriate

It may not make sense to those of you with “normal” kids, but we always have to do a little celebration around here whenever we see “typical teen” behavior, given that whole asynchronous-development thing that tends to leave my special snowflakes lagging behind their peers in various ways.

So anyway, I had a touch of food poisoning or something, and Otto went out and bought me some crystallized ginger because he’s sweet, and then Monkey took it upon himself to enhance the label. I tried to get mad when I saw this, because COME ON, really? But on the other hand, it made me laugh, because WAY TO GO TOTALLY NORMAL AND DISGUSTING TEENAGE BOY. Well played.

crystallized-ginger

(There’s nothing like a little orgy to settle your stomach. Apparently.)

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Life lessons abound

I know; I know—we’ve been woefully short on amusing anecdotes here, lately. I’m falling down on the job. It’s pollen season, you see, and so my head is filled with cement and when I am not working or being a terrible, horrible burden on my children (UGH MOM WHY CAN’T I JUST LEAVE ALL MY CLOTHES ON THE FLOOR AND NEVER EAT OR SLEEP, YOU ARE THE WORST) I am doing exciting things like telling my husband that I have a million things to do, but I lack the motivation to get up off the couch.

Anyway! While I set this awesome example of productivity for my offspring, I am also working on helping them figure out when disclosure of their special needs makes sense, and it turns out that’s a much bigger deal than I ever would’ve imagined. But we’re figuring it out (and by “we” I mean “they,” because it’s all them).

Completely unrelated: Someone from Barbados keeps calling my cell phone and hanging up. Is it a wrong number? Someone working up the courage to talk to me (I’m not that scary, I swear)? This is just one of the mysteries I ponder while sitting on the couch blowing my nose. Don’t be jealous.

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But what about his royal Monkeyness?

monkey-vacay-text1I actually started posting again, but a few people noticed that Monkey was nowhere to be found. Well, he rudely left us to spend some time with his father over the school break. (I kid! He is always very polite.) He was away for a bit and I tried very hard not to miss him. I failed.

Have I mentioned how much I love the kids having iPhones? I love the kids having iPhones. Of course, for the first week Monkey was gone, I didn’t even hear from him. I finally sent him a series of ARE YOU DEAD? messages and he responded.

As you can see, he’s really growing up, cursing appropriately yet succinctly (and with enough restraint that I don’t have to admonish him). It brings a little tear to my eye. MAH BAYBEE.

monkey-vacay-text2Every milestone feels super-significant with this boy of mine. Even the ones where he’s being a completely age-appropriate little turd. (Hint: Who was tasked with coming up with a project topic two weeks before this conversation? Three guesses and the first two don’t count because c’mon now.) Otto and I have gotten into the habit of saying to each other, “Awwwww, he’s being a regular teenager!”

And he is, mostly. That’s pretty cool.

Monkey also—I hope you’re sitting down, if you’ve been around here for a long time and picture him as a preschooler—turned 15. I KNOW. It’s true, though. I wrote about it over on Alpha Mom, because he’s still my baby, even if he is bigger than me.

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Poster children

And lo, it did come to pass that the edict came down from the grand high ruler of the land (if we agree that by “land” we mean “this particular science class my kids are taking”) and the charge was thus: create a poster of determinate size and scope and breadth and beauty.

First, the children diligently argued over the dimensions of said assignment, for somehow the rubric and the spoken words from the ruler’s mouth, they didst not match. A missive delivered to said ruler was mirthfully replied to including the line, “I just love your children!” which is indeed ancient code for, “Wow, I see your entire family is strange and difficult.”

Next, keys were mashed at the large computational portal at one of the kitchen whilst at the other, decorative dyes were flung thither and yon. Voices were raised. Disputes were had. And in the end, it was right and good that two children with two posters departed for school, and glory be to God in the highest, I didn’t stab either of them, not even a little bit. Amen.

[You can read more about it over at Alpha Mom. It's gonna be a long school year, is all I'm saying.]

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You can call me Shorty

It finally happened; after months of hovering just under my height—and countless mornings of not-so-subtly sidling up to me and comparing our stature—this morning Monkey came downstairs and I was struck speechless for a moment.

“Holy crap,” I finally managed. I turned to Otto. “Are you seeing what I’m seeing here? Isn’t he, like, an inch or maybe TWO taller than when he went to bed last night??”

Otto concurred as Monkey grinned and bounced by my side, using one hand to supposedly feel the plane from the top of his head to over the top of mine (though he was a bit slanted, and we had to point out that no, he’s not a foot taller than me… yet). Today was a long-awaited triumph for him, and reminder 749 to me that my darling boy is a late bloomer. He’s no longer the smallest kid in the class as he was for so long, but neither has he hit anywhere close to what I assume his eventual height will be. (People love to gently tell me that maybe he’s just going to be short. His dad is really tall; I think he’s just on his own growth curve right now, y’know?)

That brought me back to thinking about all of the joys of asynchronous development, so I wrote about it over at Alpha Mom, because the only thing more fun that trying to figure out a teenager is trying to figure out a teenager who is both ahead and behind.

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Here, I brought you this snow. It melted.

I wanted to bring you back something awesome from our trip to Breckenridge, but I realized after we got home that I brought back… nothing, really. I mean, I remembered the kids, but to be fair, we’d brought them with us in the first place and I figured the people renting out the house we stayed in might be mad if we left them behind. I managed to buy my children 0 souvenirs from our super fun family vacation week. Zilch. Nada. I DID want to buy them a couple of I GOT HIGH IN BRECKENRIDGE t-shirts that we kept seeing everywhere (it’s nearly 10,000 feet, you know), but for SOME reason Otto kept vetoing that and giving me a funny look whenever I said it. I can’t imagine why.

Weeks before we left, my parents suggested to us that we look into getting some altitude sickness medication to bring with us. Apparently there’s something available by prescription, and I agreed that that was a good idea, meanwhile thinking to myself, “Medication? Does it bring you closer to sea level? How does that even work??” Also I then got distracted by all of the work I needed to finish before we left and the fact that (stewards of awesome timing that we are) we ended up purchasing Monkey some new bedroom furniture just days before we departed and that meant an evening spent assembling and moving things and selling his old bed and then the countless bewildering discussions between my youngest and me where he insisted that he loved his new furniture and wasn’t bothered by the change at all, but could I please just get him exactly the same bedding (y’know, the bedding that is only available in twin size) OR allow him to continue using the current twin sheets/blankets on his new full bed. Because that’s logical. (Autism! Motto: Progress ain’t linear, parents.) I got busy, is the point, and we never got a prescription, but I was sure that was no big deal.

Spoiler: We all got sick. (more…)

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Something of a crossroads

When we last spoke (I know, I know; we don’t really speak so much as I type and sometimes you comment, but “when we last spoke” feels more mellifluous than “the last time I bothered to post something”), nearly a week ago, I was a few days in to the latest Germfest, which continued to permeate every corner of our family and house at an alarming rate. Yesterday I still felt like my death might be imminent, but I dragged myself around the house Cleaning Everything (again!) and washing sheets and opening doors (it was a beautiful day, not that it matters when you’re busy trying not to die) and praying for a general restoration of health here at Casa Mir.

At the same time I was having myself a jolly little existential crisis about work and life and my children and my marriage—when I have a crisis, I like to do it up, after all—and thus have I arrived at this particular Monday morning: tired, still sick, about five pounds lighter than I was last week, and panicked about… pretty much everything.

Here let us pause while I assure you that everything is fine. Mostly. Kind of. As my father loves to remind me, my life is never boring. And our challenges often feel unsurmountable, sure, but in the grand scheme of what is truly bearable in a life, I should not complain. I know this. (more…)

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One month in

Monkey’s been back at public school for a month, and Otto and I still whisper and knock on wood when we dare to speak aloud about how great everything is going. Rational or not, we are still afraid to jinx it.

Of course, today I decided that that was just plain silly, and I went over to Alpha Mom and wrote all about how my baby is finding his awesomeness, which OF COURSE meant that I then got a phone call from school that MAH BAYBEE had become collateral damage in a hallway brawl. (Yep, I jinxed it.)

But he’s okay. Better than okay, really. I hope you’ll come read about why, because I think my kid is teaching me way more than I’ve ever taught him.

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Did you know it was cold?

I’m sure it comes as a tremendous shock when I tell you that Hey, it’s cold outside. It’s not as though 1) it’s cold absolutely everywhere, and 2) the news is all OMG HIDE YOUR CHILDREN IT’S THE COLDPOCALYPSE!!1!!!

So yes, it’s cold out. (In other news: Water is wet. Amazing!) It’s so cold out, we didn’t have school today.

Today at Alpha Mom, I’m telling you why this is all my fault. And I’m only sort of sorry.

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