WDW Trip: Pre-gaming Part 1

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Here I am! Home 3 weeks later! Back from Walt Disney World. As soon as we opened the car door in our driveway my hubs and I hit the ground running and before you know it-here we are almost a full month later. Time really never stops. But you all already knew that.

I’m excited to share about all the Disney pre-gaming I did, our during, and after. All the things I think I did right and all the things I know I did wrong. Like I’ve mentioned before there is a growing list of things I thought and said I would never do but yet here we are:

  1. Drive a Minivan (barf)
  2. Live in the burbs
  3. Dress up my chihuahua
  4. Have a chihuahua for a pet
  5. Like cats
  6. Call my pets Fur Babies
  7. Have facial hair
  8. Dedicate a binder for planning a WDW family trip
  9. Obsess and fall in love with WDW

The list continues…

I went straight to Pinterest to look up any helpful info about planning and booking a trip to WDW (we’ll go over that later) and before we all loaded up to go to Walt Disney World I saved my (literal) pennies. Every cent. We are a family on a budget and I really tried my best to get all we could out of our trip while not spending our annual budget. I am also a optimists, so/so crafter, and hold the title in my house for the Worlds Okayest Mom.

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This was super easy. I wanted to get the kids excited about the trip and feel like they contributed to the trip. I made several jars for our immediate family and for my in-laws. In all I made 10 jars.

I bought a box of jars from Wal-Mart. I used left over (Apple Barrel) craft paint. I’ve got those tiny bottle all over the house. My apologies to my husband.

I gave each family member a jar to put their change in. I had imagined that by the time September came me and the kids would go and cash in our coins and the sum would be…well I don’t know what I thought it would be. I guess I imagined it would be more than it was. Maybe I shouldn’t have dipped into the jars from time to time for the kids lunch money BUT the jars DID serve their purpose which was to 1) get excited about the upcoming trip 2) have all family members contribute and 3) collect shiny pennies that I would use for the Penny Press found everywhere at Walt Disney World. I also underestimated Florida and it’s Toll Roads and since we didn’t stay on site we drove a lot. The change we collected was mainly used for Penny Press’s, wishes, exact change since we tried to use cash when ever we could, and change for the toll roads. I’d say this little craft was a success. We’ve already started saving for our next WDW trip.

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Catch’em all. Or don’t.

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I’m sure by now if you haven’t downloaded the PokemonGo App you’ve heard of it, seen pics on your IG, and at the very least read an article or saw a meme.

About 3 days ago I downloaded the app  at N-Zilla’s request. Here’s the thing…as you know by now (or maybe you don’t) I am not a very fanatical individual and I have a love/hate relationship with not only myself but with social media but I said what the hell and pressed Install. I know nothing about Pokemon or PokemonGo except that my little brother was a Pokemon master sometime in the 90’s. I am learning the rules as I go but this is what I do know:

1. FRESH AIR

By now it’s a given that this game gets you outside. Good for the kids. Good for me. I can’t tell but I think I have seasonal depression during summer and about mid summer I have to talk myself into leaving the house. Same goes for N-Zilla. He likes predictability and structure. Spontaneous trips outside (other then the park or our yard) are not as frequent and easily done as they use to be. Past few days right at 8 o’clock my kids are waiting at the door to go outside. We all get outside and although it’s only been 3 days I feel a little bit better.

2. Family time

We’ve divided ourself into our own teams. Me and N-Zilla and the Hubs and Tula. My Son number 1 is an independent texting us when he’s found something. I’m with the kids all of the days of the minutes of the seconds of my life. Even when I am at work I am emailing or texting or skipping my lunch to go to an IEP meeting. Basically something having to do with any four of my children. My hubs not so much. He can not have his phone on him at work. His schedule does not coincide with the kids. He gets to see them the last 3 hours of thier day. Mostly just dinner and bedtime. Again, in the past three days he has been spending the last three hours of the kids day with them. Talking and laughing and catching ’em all. I don’t get to take pictures because…well….my phone is occupied but I’m taking mental pictures of father and daughter looking for Pokemon.

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3. Meet and greet

Thier is is a misconception about people on the Autism Spectrum “They” say that individuals on the spectrum are not social. In our Autistic prism that is not really the case. In my opinion, N-Zilla wants very much to be social. He wants to play with his peers. The difference is that he is hyper-focused on things he likes. That being of course Minecraft. When his peers have moved on to the next activity N-Zilla is still wanting to talk about Minecraft. When someone he meets at the park asks him his favorite color  his reply might go something along these lines, “Green, I like green, Jesse in Mindcraft wears green” and of course the conversation will once again go around Minecraft. Some are just as hyper-focused as N-Zilla, others go along with it, and then their are the ones who just walk away.  The last few nights that we have been walking looking for Pokemon so have many, many other people. Old, young, families, couples, and singletons.  So far in our experiance everyone has been friendly saying hi. Stoping and having conversations with eachother. Including N-Zilla! At the moment everyone is hyper-focused on the same thing. N-Zilla is not sticking out like a sore thumb.

4. Designated Walker

Self explanatory! Everyone should have a DW. I happen to be the families DW. I’ve set up some house rules that the phone goes down when crossing the street and when someone is talking to you put the phone down and engage in conversation. Of course given the age of my younger kiddo’s I am with them when playing. I wouldn’t  suggest to let them go free range as of yet.

5. It’s not Minecraft

My mantra with my kids has always been if you love it I love it but not that much. I can only handle so much of anything. First it was Thomas the Train, then PacMan, then Target Commercials, then Sonic, then Super Mario Bros, then Legend of Zelda, then Minecraft. It’s like being stuck on a elevator with the same song on repeat. I know that the Minecraft kick is not over and that’s okay but it’s nice to have a little variety.

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I’m sure I won’t know much more about PokemonGO then I do right now. Honestly, I don’t care to. I am totally enjoying my family NOT  in the house, I’m a little less depressed, and its cool to see everyone outside.

How ’bout you? Every having fun with PokemonGo?

 

Target Dressing Room

*Originally Posted July 4, 2013 on my original site Thirty on Mom. Edited.

If you have a low self-esteem about your body like I do…never take your kids into the Target dressing room with you.

Never! They like to announce loud enough for the dead to hear about your stretch marks. After they focus on the size of your ass the fart noises will soon follow.  Another announcement will come that mommy and daddy fart.

Their is nothing more belittling then shushing your 3 and 5 year old while your left breast is being smashed and your right one is being pushed up your neck because you’ve entirely underestimated how much your breast have change after having kids.

Target Dressing room

The D word.

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Let’s talk about the D word.

I don’t want to.

I’d rather talk about the time my sick toddler threw up in my mouth and at the same time that happened my sick infant crapped all over me.
I want to tell how that all three of us fully clothed covered in shit and bile cried in the shower
until my husband got home.

I’d rather talk about how the women in my life have inspired me through their blood, sweat, and tears and through their sacrifice have emerged this beautifully dysfunctional person who you see today.

No.

I have to talk about the D word.
The D word is much more debilitating than most know
It’s a silent killer choking you every day

Their was a time that for days my mother would stay in a dark room talking to nothing.
Not eating
Not wanting to shower.
Not even recognizing me as her daughter.

Fast forward to my own child.
Their was a time that I had to carry my own “physically” healthy daughter to and from the shower and dress her as if she were paralyzed from the neck down.
I felt that I did everything I could
and nothing seemed to help.

It’s not just depression is it?

Not a day goes by that I do not hate myself for my genetics.

Don’t worry they say.
She’ll grow out of it they say.

“She’s a teenager”.
“She’s a girl.”
But I know better. Our situation is different.

We gotta talk about the D word.
To the people who are supposed to listen I felt like I was screaming on deaf ears.
…And then it happened…
I got a phone call saying that my daughter was in the hospital.
Suicide attempt one.
(I say the number one because there has been many more since that first time)
With every phone call, with every moment that the house becomes silent my heart stops.
Life kinda stops.

You’re alive but time doesn’t run the way its supposed to.
As the parent you divide yourself.
You divide yourself into categories.
mom. wife. doctor. happy. sad. present.

Your brain is eating itself.

Thinking and Thinking and Thinking.

And coffee no longer does anything.
You eventually set yourself to management mode

I don’t want to talk about the D word.
I just want to talk about the time I accidentally flashed my vagina over a morning cup of coffee with a friend.

But I can’t. All I can think about is death and dying. And Depression. Appointments and medication. Genetics and judgment. And it’s not even my depression. I have my own demons. This time this D word isn’t mine.

I’m angry. I’m angry at myself, I’m angry at mother, I’m angry at you, my daughter.
because the D word is all I can think about it consumes my mind. My 7am alarms goes off. Give medication. 6pm give night time meds. 9pm check/lock all doors. 3am check to make sure she’s in bed. I’m angry at you, my daughter because the house is peaceful when you are gone but my heart aches for you when you’re not home.

The D word.
Depression and more.
I can’t fix it.
I don’t know how except to concede that what I know-I know
and talk about it. The D word.

8 years ago.

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When I was a single parent. I lived in an over-priced 2 bedroom apt on the second floor in a so/so part of town.

I worked night and swing shifts. And all the over-time I could get. Needless to say I was exhausted.

On the days Son# 1 didn’t have pre-school and I had a day off-I slept in and took lots of naps during the day. On these days when I slept in and took naps I still had a 2 and 3 y/o to take care of. And that’s were my parenting skills got creative or lazy. All how you look at it.

It seemed as soon as I put my head on the pillow a kid would come in asking for milk. Which was more like “asumamilt-phese”. Shortly after the other kid would come in and ask, “asumamilt-phese”. Translation: Can I have some milk please? I would float to the kitchen and pour 2 sippy cups of milk. Bring 2 bowls and a bag of Cheerios in my room. I would bring a basket of toys in my room close my bathroom door that was in my bedroom and the closet door, put on a movie. I didn’t have cable and PBS cartoons didn’t run on the weekends. I’d make a bed for me right in front of my bedroom door so no one was coming in or out without stepping on me and waking me up.

Son 1 and Crazy Horse sat on me. Played with my hair and watched hours and hours of Disney movies.

Most times when I woke up Son #1 and Crazy Horse would be asleep on the floor next to me.

Today…was one of those days. I, no longer a single parent still get as exhausted from time to time as I use to in those survival mode days and I have one son (N-Zilla) who wakes up sometimes as early as 3 am and will wake up his younger sister. I don’t have to worry about the two older ones awake while I am asleep. They are capable of pouring their own glass of milk and making eggs if they want. The younger two…not so much.

Today at 6 am I heard N-Zilla and Talulah fighting in the play room.

Then I reacted…

THAT’S IT!
BRING ALL YOUR TOYS IN MOMMY’S ROOM!
NO!
NO YOU CAN’T HAVE CEREAL IN MY ROOM!
OK. GO IN MY ROOM I’LL GET THE CEREAL!

It went something like that.

N-Zilla brought his trains and Talulah brought her make-shift gang of  little toys. I put the Disney Chanel on Closed all the doors. This time around I stayed on my bed. 23 I am not.

When I woke up the movie Disney’s Cars was on and all four of my kids where laying on my bed watching the movie. Nostalgia of that crappy apartment, Cheerios all over my bedroom floor, watching my babies sleep and feeling so much at peace rushed my head.

I felt that this morning with all of them. We laid in my bed in our okay house, in a decent neighborhood with Cheerios all over my bedroom floor.

10 tips to surviving Teens

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* Originally Posted 3/3/2012. Edited 
1. Don’t take it personal
You too were an asshole between the ages of 12 and 17 y/o.

2. Don’t be scared to say the ‘N’ word.
Scream it. Yell it if you have to but for goodness sake say ‘NO’! Later when the kids go to bed you can cry in your closet.

3. Don’t let your teens @,KIK, tweet, etc
Have you ever found an old letter you wrote in Jr.High or High school to a BF/Gf? ‘Nough said.

4. Make sure to drink all the wine.
Left overs might tempt your angles.

5. Have the talk. Don’t be afraid to use your life experience as an example.
“Do you want to be 30 with a 13 y/o ?” or “I’m to young to be dealing with this shit.”

6. Always keep chocolate and Coke (the drink)in the house.
For both your daughters and sons. MENzies!

7. Always encourage them.
Remind them that they are gifted AND talented AND anything they do they will be great. You will love them AND you just spent your last 100 bucks on a Clarinet and a Jock strap so stick the f*** to it until the season/semester is over.

8. Don’t forget to shop for yourself.
At some point you will have to buy sexy lacy panties so not to confuse your cotton underwear with your daughters.

9. Be clear.
When talking to teens talk slow and be very clear about what you are saying. If you want the dishes washed, you will have to say, “Wash all the dirty dishes, dry and put away.”
Or, “Empty out the dish washer by putting the clean dishes away, then put dirty dishes in the dish washer then put in the detergent then start.”

10. DON’T TAKE IT PERSONAL (it’s so important it needs to be twice on the list).
Don’t take it personal and call you mother and say sorry for being an ass hole.

SEX. Drugs. Cell Phone Usage.

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Adding internet to the phone is the best and the worst thing to happen to society and parents.

Raising teens is tough. Dare I say it…it’s a bit more difficult than toddlers. The great debate teens or toddlers! I mean hands down in the diapering and potty training area I will deal with a mood swing any day of the week. Having said that do I have to deal with mood swings every day of the week? I mean theirs tons that people do not tell you about giving birth or babies and theirs less info about teens. Like for instance you should start prepping for your child’s teen-hood when they are 10. I’ve got 2 teens and I’m under 35. At this point it doesn’t really matter how old I am or feel. I forget half the time and have to remind myself how old my daughter is then do the math. Then remind myself how young I was when I started having kids. It’s a whole If You Give A Mouse a Cookie type thing. Not always good for my self-esteem.

Having “The Talk” with my kids hasn’t been something that is hard for me to do. Awkward? Absolutely. Talking about a Sexually Transmitted Diseased Penis isn’t something I look forward to talking about with my sons let-alone my daughters but it needs to be done. So boom I’ve got the sex talk thing down.
Keep an open conversation.
Check. Respect their thoughts. Check.
Talk honestly. Check.

Same with the “Drug Talk”. This is something I take very seriously. For whatever reason mental health issues and drug abuse run in my gene pool. Not something I’m proud of but it is what it is.

Talking about not only the dangers of street drugs BUT how prescription drugs can be just as dangerous. Mom is prescribed those antidepressants for a reason. Don’t f**k that up kid. I would never say that…It’s just implied.Wink.Wink. JK. JK.

By the time your 13-year-old becomes 15 you think you’ve gotten most of it down.
Sex talk. Check.
Drug talk. Check.
Personal Hygiene. Check.
Cell phone…wait. WTF!

Kids don’t have journals they keep their inner most private details hidden in the depths of the cell phone-that we the parents pay for then they share it with the world through social media and hashtags. Then scrolling through your IG account you see that your teen takes selfies in the bathroom or worse in the middle of class. You can see the teacher blurred through editing and filters. Again I say-WTF! You’ve got to be freak’n Nancy Drew. Checking on their Twitter and Snapchat and IG which by the way all of that I have. You got to block sites like ask.fm and ask your kid to please stop doing surprise photos of you then posting them…THAT is defiantly not good for my self-esteem. Not only do you have your parenting and morals challenged by your family you’ve got stand up to Two Chanz and Drake. Don’t get me wrong I do appreciate Drake’s love for BBW’s like myself but I’ve got to teach my sons to respect women. Where is the parenting book on Sex, Drugs, and Cell phone Usage?

Autism Acceptance: Girls and ASD

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Something to think about:

Girls are held to different social norms then boys.

Girls are more likely to go undiagnosed and less likely to get early intervention.

AUTISM DIFFERS BY GENDER.

Visit this sites and learn more.

http://autismwomensnetwork.org
Safri.org/…/autism-characteristics-differ-by-gender-studies…
WWW.oposingviews.com/i/autistic-girls-more-likely-to-go-ind…
Telegraph.co.uk/…/autism-and-girls-Why-we-urgentaly-need-to….       http://www.friendshipcircle.org/blog/2013/12/19/36-autism-facebook-pages-you-should-like/
‪#‎nzilla‬ ‪#‎autismacceptancemonth‬ ‪#‎autisawareness‬

Autism Acceptance: Empathy

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*First posted 4/7/15. Edited
Children and Adults on the spectrum do not lack the ability to have empathy. Sometimes it is just a matter of knowing how to communicate or show the emotion.

  • Cognitive Empathy- The ability t predict other’s thoughts and intentions including the ability to read between the lines during communication
  • Affective empathy- The ability to share another person’s feelings with them
  • Compassionate Empathy- The desire to help others.

When N-Zilla was very small and didn’t have the communication skills that he has now I was sad that maybe possibly I would never hear my son say that he loved me. I obsessed if he would even know how.

I use to be hung up on those things. I’m gonna say it…I was so dumb then. It didn’t take me very long to get over it.

Recently, at the beginning of the school year N-Zilla did something completely inappropriate at school. Still to this day I don’t know why he did what he did. (I don’t know if it was AU or ADHD or OCD or a bad day or whatever.) After talking to his (wonderful) teacher I did my walk of shame back to the car all the while N-Zilla was talking about Minecraft. I asked him if he did what he did. He said yes blanked faced a bit annoyed that I interrupted him. As soon as we all got settled in the car (minivan. Barf) I turned to him and the tears poured over. I ugly cried. I managed to ask N-Zilla why he did what he did. He couldn’t give me an answer. What he did next made me cry even more but this time tears of happiness. He unbuckled and gave me a hug and wiped my tears,

“I’m sorry mommy”.

“Mommy, you sad”?

Sometimes when he is eating he walks up to me and gives me a piece of his food without saying a word. Just last night while I was watching T.V N-Zilla came up to me, licked his finger and made the sign of the cross on my forehead. I just went with it. I know that N-Zilla may not have Cognitive Empathy but I know with all of my heart that he has the ability to share another person’s feelings with them and the desire to help others.

Everything in life Autistic or not boils down to communication.

*Here are links to post about AU and Empathy.

http://www.defyingthespectrum.com/2013/02/14/mythbuster-children-with-autism-are-affectionate/
http://www.defyingthespectrum.com/2014/04/25/autism-empathy-myth-day-2530-going-beyond-autism-awareness-2014/