"So tonight I'm gonna party like it's 1999..."

Ah, New Years Eve! One of the biggest party nights of the year, not to mention the first and last! It was my favorite, up there with the Fourth of July for being fun, late-night, and loud!. Except for one unfortunate year (Hello, NYE 1999. It ended with a friends fiance being peed on. Not kidding.) I lived for New Years! It didn't have to be fancy or wild, but I needed to be up at midnight, watching the ball drop, and be someplace I could ring it all in with a "WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!" Then we became parents, and I have been in by 8:45pm ever since. We were invited to Pete's brother and sister-in-laws tonight for some festivities, and Pete and I agreed that we'd stay as long as PJ could handle it. Turns out, the magic number was a few minutes to 8. Party. Fail. When PJ is older, I'm sure I'll get some of my New Years Eve groove back, but for now, I'm content to be inside, blogging and trying out coffees in my new Keurig while Pete chats with his best friend, making plans for their usual New Years Day antics.

As with any New Years, I have my usual list of all of the changes I am going to make to help me become a better mother/spouse/housewife/friend/writer/Autism Warrior/daughter/whatever else. A first step my list was joining the local YMCA. That's one stone that will kill a lot of birds, as it will give me a place to work out (Resolution #628, Get in shape), a place to take PJ swimming (Resolution #137, Learn to better meet PJ's sensory needs), and is a place that we can go as a family (Resolution #46, Spend more time as a family). I have a laundry list of things I'd like to do with my blog, such as give it a makeover (#23), submit posts to other sites for syndication (#144), and make more time for writing (#12). I'd like to resolve to set aside time for dates with my husband, to try and keep my emotions in check when PJ is having a bad day, and to be a more patient wife. I don't think that the new year will magically help me erase nearly 36 years of bad habits, but there's always the feeling- that mystical, December 31st feeling- that with the New Year will come a new tide in life.

With 2013 a mere hour and fifteen minutes away, with my husband playing some zombie-killing game on the xbox and PJ finally sleeping soundly, I can sit back for a second and think about this past year. It's been one of the most challenging years of my life. I wish I could say it's made me stronger, but I really think it's starting to make me unhinged. And thus:

Resolution #336, Work on that shit.

Wishing you all- the people I know and love with all my heart, my "bloggy" friends who I also love with all my heart, and even the folks who read and don't tell me and whom I also love with all my heart- the happiest and healthiest of New Years! Here's to an amazing 2013!!!

"On and on, the story of our lives goes on and on..."

After yesterday's post,
Voicing all of that frustration,
I did the only thing a girl can do-
Indulge in retail therapy.
I loaded my best Boy and my best Sister
Into the car and drove to Delaware
(What? Tax-free shopping???).
Our first stop?
We purchased the iPad that was so amazingly, generously
Funded for PJ's birthday by so many of his loved ones!
I have already loaded on some of his favorite apps from therapy
And can't wait to give it to him tomorrow!
I also got bras
Because I needed them.
My last bra was laid to rest on Christmas day,
The right underwire being entombed in my in-laws trash can
Because it very nearly gave me an impromptu heart surgery.
And Marla exchanged a bag.
It was a successful shopping trip
Punctuated by a delicious lunch
And it was good for my soul.
Thankfully, there's just New Year's and after that
Life will begin anew and hopefully return to normal.
Or whatever passes as "normal" around here.
The frustration still is in my heart
And I am praying for the strength, patience and insight to know
The best direction to take for all of us,
PJ especially.
In little more then 24 hours
2012 will be nothing but a memory.
In my case, the memory of the most life-changing year of my life.
We have so much to face, but I can only hope that
What we have already been through
Has molded me into someone who is ready to face
All of what 2013 has to offer me.
And I know,
I know,
That it will be amazing.

"Well I try, and I try, and I try, and I try..."

*yawn* I am so, so tired.

Not to sound like a Grinch, but I am so ready for the holiday season to be over and for things to get back to normal. It can be a lot of chaos that leaves me so, so tired. I know. I sound like a cranky old bee-otch.

Not that the season has been bad. On the contrary, it's been an amazing holiday for us! Tonight, we were hosted by the sister and husband of our sister-in-law (it sounds more confusing than it is!). For the past few years they have hosted a "Night Between Christmas and New Years" fete. Christine and Rich are amazing hosts, and the food is always delicious and plentiful. They were especially patient with PJ, who insisted on derailing one of Rich's beloved Lionel trains so he could play with it, and somehow convinced them to unlock the lid on a very large organ so PJ could gleefully press buttons and flip switches. It was a great night filled with family, fun, and those Christmas cracker things that pop open and have toys inside! Crankiness aside, I always feel very blessed to be enveloped in that kind of togetherness.

I am cranky, though. I mentioned on Facebook the other day that being cranky, when I know damn well how truly blessed I am, just makes me feel like a shit head on top of being cranky. We have seen so many horrible things unfold in our world lately. Amazing, terrifying, earth-shattering things that I can't even imagine. It makes it hard to indulge in the age-old luxury of being in a bitchy mood because, really, what do I have to be bitchy about?

Still, I can't lie. It's been kind of a rough month. The transition to school hasn't been as smooth as I had hoped. I expected it to be a big change and for PJ to react to those changes, but I had no idea how flat out crazy he would be when he gets home from school. I see him almost manic in his need to expel his energy and meet his sensory needs. One day, PJ dumped out all of his wooden train tracks and trains and was rolling around in the pieces, almost swimming in them. He looked like he had no control over his body and I didn't have any idea of how to help him. We are supposed to be doing 2-3 hours of ABA-like drills with PJ daily, as prescribed by his behavioral therapist, but I have difficulty just getting him to sit at his little chair for more then three seconds. He's unfocused and disorganized and the drills end up being little more then matches of wills as I try to keep him on task and he loses his marbles. Then his therapist lets me know that the longer we go without getting the drills in, the more time is going to waste, and I just feel lost. I know that some of his actions are behavioral, but there's some other need that I am just not meeting, and I'm not sure where to start to fix it. Right now, my next step is to call his CHOP occupational therapist and create a sensory diet for PJ in the hope that I can help him calm his little body so he can reach the potential I know he has. When I think of it in terms of therapy, I can be rational in understanding what is happening. But sometimes, I just become a mama who wants so badly to help her autistic son and just sucks shit at it. I get impatient with myself, impatient with PJ, impatient with the flash cards and lists and drills. I spend time with others and I'm sure they see me as a complete parental failure. I'm not a therapist, no matter how much I teach myself about autism. I'm just a mama who feels like she has no idea what she's doing.

We have had tough patches before, though, and we have made it out better then I thought possible, so I am trying to hang on and get through this one. I know enough to ask for help when I need it, and now that the holidays are almost done, PJ will be able to focus on school and acclimatize without any disruption. I try to take deep breaths, drink my coffee, stay above water and remember that I am a fucking warrior.

Clearly, I am going to need a special bra for this kind of action. Battle, ho.

"Simply having a wonderful Christmas time..."

Things on Thursday

I am hoping that everyone that I know and love (and those that stop by in secret!) had a wonderful holiday! It all went by in a blur for me, which is part of the reason I haven't sat down to write in a week! Pete and I were very last-minute this year {shame}, so there was a frenzy of gift getting, present wrapping, and decision making for us in the two or three days coming up to Christmas! I made my usual grumbles about how I am totally marrying a Jew the next time I get married, but to be honest, I lovelovelove giving presents! It's the chaos that drives me insane! Chaos aside, we got it done, and even though we scaled back a bit, it made us feel so good to give to the people we love and who love us back!

PJ, of course, was spoiled rotten! He is still awash in the afterglow of his birthday gifts when Christmas rolls around (winter baby!) and envelops him in a new wave of generosity and love! His father and I
Santa gifted him with a train table that has been the center of his universe since Christmas morning, along with trains, books, games and puzzles (actually, he surprised me with his love of the puzzles! When he's not at his train table, he's sorting and piecing together his new puzzles, a step up in difficulty from the wooden Melissa and Doug type). Bubbie and Zaydie, Nan and Pop, and a host of Aunt and Uncles spoiled him in a similar fashion! It's the first year that PJ has truly understood the deal about opening presents, so it was a lot of fun to see him so excited!

The day was full- we slept in and after opening presents here, we headed to Pete's brother and sister-in-law's for breakfast. We have been doing that for as long as I can remember and it's a tradition that I look forward to. My nieces and nephews are the best type of kids to give gifts to- sweetly grateful and always so excited to receive! They give the type of reaction you dream about when you're choosing a gift. So it's always a pleasure to see them basking in the glory of the morning and having a blast with their spoils! PJ got into one of my nephew Carl's gifts, and instead of being annoyed at his little cousin, he was genuinely concerned that PJ might have swallowed a piece! Thankfully, he didn't need to worry, as there was no damage done to his gift or to PJ's intestines!

We headed home with full bellies to relax for a bit before we headed down to Marla and Steve's for a visit. They host Christmas for Steve's family and this was the first year that we were able to make it down and spend some time with everyone, including my own mom and dad. Another round of present-opening ensued and snacks were consumed before we headed off to Pete's parents for our last stop of the day! It was the usual cyclone of kids and food and family and presents, highlighted by the Cousin Pollyanna, a tradition started a few years ago. The kids all really love choosing gifts and enjoy the "ooooo" -ing and " "ahhhhhh" -ing in unison as each cousin opens a present!

It was a beautiful day, a family filled day, a holiday, and, if I admit it, and exhausting day! We are all still coming down from the high of the day. But, it reminded me, as it always does, of just how much we have and how lucky we are!

"I'd be merry but I'm Hebrew..."

(Just kidding, y'all! I'm merry and Hebrew! Anyway...)

Things (that were supposed to be read) On Thursday (but I went to bed instead, so I am finishing this blog post tonight, Saturday. Eh. It happens.)

...It's true. I am a Jew who married a Catholic and for the past 10+ years, I have been part of the madness known as Christmas! My years of being able to relax once Hanukkah is over are long gone. As our family continues to expand, the crazier it gets! This year, the tasks have been pared back a bit. The cousins are doing a group outing instead of exchanging gifts, so that's a large number of present-picking off of our plates! But this year, we're adding in classroom parties and teachers/aides/bus driver gifts, and as a first-time school mama, it's a little overwhelming! I want to give thoughtful gifts that everyone will enjoy but won't break the bank! I am trying something on the creative side this year (and by creative, I mean I stole it off of Pinterest!) and if it works, I'll post some pictures!!

...We are still contending with PJ's post-school craziness! Finding the balance between how long he should nap, what time he should go to bed, and how much nap will be too much nap has been a challenge. There are days that he comes home from school, clearly exhausted. When he takes a nap, he has trouble falling asleep at night, and if he doesn't nap, he's certifiable from 5:00pm on, but falls right to sleep at bedtime. Yesterday, he seemed to tired at naptime that I let him sleep, so of course, he was up until 10! Today, I woke him after an hour, so hopefully it was enough to refresh him but not so much it will keep him up. (Note: That was wishful thinking. He's still awake and he was tucked into bed 40 minutes ago. Epic. Fail.) Either way, fatigue just seems like one factor in his after-school nonsense. After that, I have no. earthly. idea.

...I mentioned before that PJ is into Monster's Inc.! He loves the scene at the beginning when Sully is being guided through a "workout" by Mike! (this is where I jumped back in to finish, y'all) There is a part where Sully drops to the ground, pretending to hide from a kid who has woken up. PJ loves to imitate this part! It's really, really cute, but he looks like someone Nancy Kerrigan-ed his little knees! They are all bruised up! I shudder to think of what his teachers are thinking when they help him use the potty and pull his pants down! I had a kiddo who was already as boy as you can get, and now he's trying to be part monster. Oy. Vey.

...Pete's sister Shelly hosted her yearly "Cousins Cookie Party" last night! She foolishly  bravely hosted 15 out of 18 of the cousins (holy crap, y'all.) for an annual gathering to decorate cookies and enjoy the start of the winter break. It was a cyclone of cupcakes, M&M's, laughter and sugar rushes! It was the first time that PJ was old enough to sit at the table with the big kids and decorate his cupcake (with a liberal dose of help from his adored cousin Riley!). He was basking in the love from all of his cousins and, as always, my heart was so full of how lucky my sweet boy is. He was also basking in the large train that Shelly has around her tree! In fact, he was under her tree, derailing her train, when I snagged this shot:

Love it.

...There are so many things that I have been wanting to write about and get off of my heart, but I want to make sure that I can do justice to the subject matter. It's not that anyone really reads this or that what I have to say it so important- it's actually because of that I want to get it right. I don't want to be another insignificant voice babbling in a way that can cause damage, so I will carefully gather my thoughts before I spill them out, in sharp contrast to the way I usually do things on this blog.

...Christmas is almost here! Time to get back to my To-Do list! :-)

"Like a bridge over troubled water, I will lay me down..."

I think that, for people who write, there will be so many attempts to sit down at computers, put pens to journals, and try to make some sense of what has happened. People will try, but I expect that there will be many unconnected thoughts, many words with jagged edges that don't fit together.

The horrible happenings of the past few days are much like that. Even in a world that can be filled with danger and temptation and terror and fear, what happened in Connecticut doesn't fit into the puzzle that makes up what most of us know. Something that huge is a piece that we can't even fathom.

Today is Monday, and like so many millions of mamas, for the first time since Friday, I kissed PJ goodbye and watched as he hopped on his little bus. PJ, of course, has absolutely no clue of the madness that has gripped our nation the past few days. He greeted his bus driver and scooted into his little seat. The world can be full of madness, but I want PJ to...not even be brave, but to simply be able to enjoy the daily, moment-to-moment joy and fun that I hope that getting his education will provide, as it did for me.

I don't know what to say about what we all do next. I want our schools to be safe. I want there to be a balance between our rights as Americans and our right to be safe and not threatened. I don't want people with Autism - or any other mental difference- to be feared, misunderstood, or persecuted. I want God to hold those families in Connecticut and their babies and loved ones in Heaven, to hold them close, and I want everyone else to "hold space" on our hearts here on Earth. There's just so many things to be fixed and pondered and prayed for that it seems hard to know from what direction to come from to even begin to tackle it all.

I'm a mother. PJ is a son and a student. Pete is a father and first-responder. This didn't happen here, but it could have. And I don't know, in the context of any of those positions we hold, that there's anything more we can do to keep something like this from happening here. We can make stricter rules in our schools concerning who and what comes in and out, perhaps make sure that our teachers are trained to discern and reach out to children who might need some help. We can face the fact that, perhaps, law written hundreds of years ago might be incongruous with the world we live in today. We can do all of those things and yet very rarely, it's all out of our hands.

“The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places.”
–Ernest Hemingway

I saw this quote on the Momastery blog and felt like it spoke to what has happened. Something like this...I think it leaves something broken inside of all of us. I don't think that as an individual, there's anything I can do to keep something like that from happening to PJ or to any of my nieces and nephews. I can help PJ prevent cavities and feed him healthy foods and make sure he gets therapy to give him the tools to cope with Autism. I can give him more clothes then Oprah and take him to his beloved playground and sit on the floor with him, pushing Thomas the Train over endless miles of wooden tracks. I can love him, love my nieces, love my nephews, love the children of my friends. I'm good at loving. And I'll fill the broken parts with more love because...well, it's better then the alternative.

Love your babies. Love your family. Love, love, love times 26 and you'll do justice to the lives of those we lost in Connecticut in the most important way.

"My body's at home, but my heart's in the wind..."

It Happened Here, Too

I am ashamed to admit it,
That my view has come to this.
I saw a blurb on the news about a shooting
But moved on with my morning.
Shootings have become so common place that
They leave a quick ding on my heart
But we go on.
I kiss my baby
And put him on the bus and
Wait patiently for him to come home.
I miss him.
I know he will come home.
My mind reaches worst-case scenarios so often
But in my heart, I tell myself
"That won't happen here".
Millions of parents do the same thing.
Later on, a text from my mom told me;
It happened to someone today.
To so many someones that there's not an official "count" yet.
And yes, today, the count is of young children
Who went into their classrooms full of life
And promise
And future
And that's where their promise and future has been left.
It's unthinkable
And it happened.
My first reaction is to hold my baby
To make half-joking, half-achingly serious remarks
About how he's never going to school again.
"We'll homeschool."
But, life will go on as will the small relief that
It didn't happen here.
But here's the thing.
We live in an age that allows us to connect
With a few pushes of buttons on our phone.
Our daily tasks documented on Instagram
And updated on Facebook.
Our world is so huge, yet so small.
And if you are a Mommy
If you are a Daddy.
If you are a teacher, an officer, a custodian,
If you are a person
Those are your babies and
It happened here, too.
These are our neighbors.
This is our country,
This is our world and
This happened here, too.

"...and dream how wonderful your life may be."

I was folding laundry today,
Separating all of our clothes into little piles.
A pile for Pete that's a mix of scrubs, jeans, and tee shirts.
A pile for me of mostly boring clothes-
Old Navy tee shirts, jeans, and a pair of maternity yoga pants that are
Just. So. Damn. Comfortable
That I can't give them up.
Don't judge.
Some of us aren't as skinny as we were in high school.
Anyway, I was folding PJ's clothes and,
as usual,
Dying over the cuteness of it all.
I may dress like a very neat, orderly bag lady
But PJ has more clothes then Oprah.
I found a random white tee that is much too tiny for PJ.
I folded it and set it aside.
Then I returned to the business at hand,
Sorting, folding, and stacking school clothes
And it hit me.
Among the long-sleeve monster tees, Union Jack sweaters,
Quicksilver jeans (thanks, Jen!), skull hoodies and
Most notably
The pile of underpants expressly made for very tiny butts,
There was not a shred of baby clothing left.
The laundry I was up to my neck in was not
Sweet-smelling, Dreft-y baby laundry but
Little boy laundry, laundered with detergent that,
Well, it doesn't smell like Dreft.
(Of course, what does? Dreft smells like Heaven.)
Babies are so fleeting, and I held on for so long
But now I realize that babyhood has been left in the dust
And the real work begins.
I got up and started putting clothes in his drawers and
They take up so much more room.
Although to be fair, PJ has a lot of clothes.
It's a whole new journey for us, and we're up for the challenge
And the wardrobe that comes along with it.

"Welcome to the new wild west..."

Things on Thursday....

...Our second week of school is almost over, and except for a pee-pee accident, it's been uneventful. It's still hard for me to put him on this bus and say goodbye, but he hops on with a cheerful "Bye bye, Mommy!" and, thus far, has moved into this new phase with relative seamless-ness (Is that a word?). My big dude! His mama, on the other hand, is still having trouble adjusting to this new phase of our lives- I miss PJ so much when he's gone. But I have amazing friends to take me to coffee or breakfast (thanks, Michelle, Marla, Carmen and Ann!), and help hold my hand- or at least fill it with coffee and pancakes- when I am weepy.

...The week started off with amazing, nearly spring-like weather, and we soaked up every possible second! We enjoyed a jacket-free, sun-shiny, beautiful afternoon picnic with some dear friends. The kids munched french fries in the sun and played on the playground with the carefree abandon that only a warm day can bring. The slides feel a little faster when the body is unencumbered with things like jackets and gloves and hats. They must cause drag or something.

The sun sets so early now, but another night, it was warm enough for PJ to take a "drive" in his brand-new pickup truck, a gift from Nan and Pop! My sweet little dude and his developmentally delayed legs don't quite have the hang of the Flintstone-style driving method just yet, but he is quickly getting the hang of it. And even if he's not moving, dude loves his truck. I can just picture him someday with a girlfriend, watching the sun set from the cab of a truck!

...Our December calendar is rapidly filling up, and I love it! There's something about December that just says hustle-bustle to me, and I relish the busy-ness of the holiday season. There's something about being busy when you can wear a sweater and scarf, clutching a peppermint mocha coffee, as opposed to being all hot and sweaty in the summer. We have birthday parties to attend, three-year-old doctors checkups to get, holiday soirees to join and shopping to get done!   

A man, his truck, and a sunset.

...I went to a PTA meeting tonight. I know, right? I seem about as well-suited to a PTA meeting as...well, there's no real analogy. If you know me, you get it. I'm not very mom-y. I can't relate to other mom's who know everyone and gossip about the other kids and moms. I'm not really a "people" person and I especially, sometimes, have trouble relating with other women. With my love of hockey, potty mouth, poor clothing choices and distaste for wine, I'm not really a girls girl. But, my son is in school and I want to be involved, so off I went, despite being ridiculously nervous. But it was a small, welcoming group and I was nicely welcomed. PJ's principal was in attendance and made sure to introduce me to other moms. Most importantly, I met the mother of a student in PJ's class. Her son is almost exactly a year older then PJ, and is very happy with the program. Being able to speak with someone in that position is a huge asset for me, so I ended up being very happy that I went. I am actually looking forward to taking part in the school programs and, in general, having a hand in the educational environment surrounding my son.

..Y'all, a huge, scary, crawly bug just walked across my living room, and Pete's not here to kill it. I went to get the vacuum to suck it up, but I lost it. So it's crawling around somewhere. I am not happy about this development.

..If you've dropped by from the Bloggy Moms December Blog Hop, hello! I have had the chance to checkout so many awesome blogs (there's a lot of great writing out there!) and have had such nice visits here. It's good stuff, so if you're new, welcome! :-)

...It's time to go pack Pete's lunch for work tomorrow, and go hide in my bedroom so the bug can't get me go to bed. Goodnight, friends! :-)

"Five hundred, twenty-five thousand six-hundred minutes, how do you measure a year?"

It's December.
I don't know how that happened.
It seems like it was a month ago
that we gathered at my sister's house for
PJ's second birthday.
But, it must have been a year ago because
we gathered in that same spot to celebrate his
3rd birthday!
How. Did. That. Happen?

The party had a Thomas the Train theme.
Of course.
My sweet Boy loves his Thomas!
My sister, her husband and I
decked out the house in all things train
and when we walked in with PJ
he smiled his sweet smile and said
"Ohhhh...it's Thomas!"
It sure is, baby Boy!
We laid out all the food and soon,
the house was full of family and friends and
So. Many. Children.

It was awesome!

I felt myself getting so emotional at times.
Watching the kids have so much fun,
the adults noshing and chatting,
all there to fete my Best Dude.
(In fact, I spent so much time watching
I forgot to take any pictures.
Fail. Fail. Fail.)
Eventually, it was time,
and I brought out the very large
Thomas the Train birthday cake,
complete with a working Thomas sitting atop an icing track.
Everyone sang while PJ cheered and clapped his hands,
and his Mommy and Daddy could not stop smiling!
Later, PJ opened a very large, Thomas-y pile of gifts
bestowed upon with with such generosity and love
that his very thankful Mama teared up again!

My Boy is so lucky.
He is just starting to understand
all that he has and how much love
is around him.
And oh, my heart.
My Mama heart swelled knowing that
my Best Dude has so many people
holding him up with love.
I'll have pictures just as soon
as I can get a sec to bug Aunt Marla
for the shots she got!
In the meantime,
my heart is full of all of the
pictures of the day!
Happy 3rd Birthday to you, Peter Joseph!
We celebrated with style!

"Be true to your school..."

We are halfway through PJ's first week of school. It's been fairly uneventful in that he hasn't peed his pants, started a brawl with another student, or suddenly became able to recite Hamlet. Uneventful, but still surprising in ways that I didn't expect:

I've cried every day.

Yup. I sobbed on his first day, and sobbed on his second day when he rode the bus for the first time. And I cried today on this third day, too. I know I'm crazy, but this is a huge change for all of us, and I am still feeling so very emotional about it all! I still can't get over that I kiss my Boy goodbye and put him on a bus to school. That's such a big boy thing to do!

About that crazy...

Okay. So, it turns out I'm even crazier then I imagined. Because yesterday, after I put PJ on the bus, I drove over to his school to stalk watch him get off the bus. I know. I know, okay? It's crazysauce. And I promised I'd only do it once. It actually helped a lot- I saw him get off the bus, looking safe and happy and okay. Now I know.

Oh, and there's more crazy...

I had no idea that children come home from school and lose their ever-loving minds!!!
PJ has been like a cyclone every night this week!! He's in a good mood, but has been in sensory-seeking mode. He goes through his toys like he's the Tasmanian Devil, throwing, dumping, smashing and banging. The other night in the tub, he was spinning on his butt and using his arms and legs to propel him at a speed that, quite frankly, was kind of alarming! He looked like the inside of my washing machine! I'm kind of kicking myself that I didn't toss on my laundry and some soap! It was frantic and it kind of freaked me out. I am pretty sure that's the Autism talking, but I am hoping that his body will get used to this new schedule and even out.
They still have Santa's Secret Shop!!

I'm sure it has some overly-PC name now, but PJ got to go shopping a little store set up at his school. It's a fun way for younger kids to do holiday shopping on their own. I loved it when I was little, and I was so excited that PJ got to experience it! Judging from what he "picked", I can only assume that his teacher or an aide helped guide his shopping trip. But, it filled my heart and I can't wait for Pete to open the first gift PJ ever shopped "on his own" for!

The days are long.

I assumed that the day would seem to go by so fast, with PJ being gone all morning and without therapy at home any more. Wrong. The days are dragging. I think it's because, right now, I am consumed with missing my boy during the day and his craziness at night. These days, though busy and still full, are going slowly, and I find myself exhausted at the end of the day, despite having over two hours "off" every morning!

School clothes are awesome

I love laying out his little outfits each night. His wardrobe is not even normal, he has so many clothes, so this one isn't really a shocker. I thought it would make me sad, but it gives me a little thrill to know he'll march into school each morning looking So. Damn. Cute!

It's only been three days, so this update, I'm sure, is a little annoying! But I am so thankful for everyone who checked in on me and asked after PJ on his first day- my Boy is so loved and that alone will get him through so many things!

Love that lucky little Dude!

"You are perfect to me..."

Three years ago this morning, I had been up all night, having brought my son into the world at 4:11am. By 6:45, I was on the post-partum floor and my hours-old son was in my arms.

At 6:45am this morning, I was coaxing my son awake, wishing him a happy birthday and snuggling him in his footie pajamas.

At 7am, three years ago, I was struggling to find an even tenor in my breastfeeding skills and wondering, briefly, if this kid would ever eat.

At 7am this morning, a giggly 3 year old settled in at the table to eat train-shaped french toast, with banana-and-M&M wheels and whipped cream smoke.

At 7:45am, three years ago, I dressed my 6 pound newborn in a tiny white onesie and swaddled him in a soft, white blanket.

At 7:45am this morning, I got PJ dressed into his school clothes- a waffle-knit orange top and dark-wash, baggy carpenter jeans.

At 8:20am, three years ago, I snuggled my brand-new boys in my arms and, with the naivete of brand-new motherhood, swore to never let him go.

At 8:20am this morning, my son took the hand of his new teacher and, with his mama crying on the sidewalk, walked into his brand-new school.

With today being both PJ's 3rd birthday and the first day of school, it was extremely emotional for me. In fact, I'd show you the video of him walking into school but some crazy lunatic is sobbing in the background. Not me. Some other nutbag.


The two and a half hours that PJ was at school seemed to take forever. I wondered how he was doing. I wondered if he was scared. I wondered if he had peed his pants, hit another kid, ate his snack, or was having fun. He was, completely, in someone else's hands and that was a very difficult thing for me. And all of that aside, I just wanted my handsome little birthday boy home with me!
Of course, the time did come for me to get my little birthday boy, and I left a few minutes earlier then I needed to, too eager to get to him to contain myself. I waited outside, and soon enough, the doors opened and sweet little children poured out, my own sweet child among them. And when he saw me waiting, he smiled his big, sweet smile and said "Mommy!". Oh, my heart.

The rest of our day was relaxed. We picked up PJ's cousin Robbie for an impromptu lunch at McDonald's, where the boys chatted over french fries and laughed as they took turns sliding down the slides in the play place. The afternoon was a little crazy- by 4pm, PJ was overtired and having trouble controlling his body. We fully expect this type of reaction as he gets used to his new schedule. PJ was having a hard time keeping his little body still, so he barreled about the apartment. Until we got cake in front of him, anyway. :-)

Three years ago, on Thanksgiving night, I was eating tortellini in my hospital room. (I know, weird choice.) My visitors had all left and it was just PJ and I, and I ate my surprisingly yummy pasta and eyed my baby boy, wondering if I was really, truly, capable of doing right by this little piece of everything that snoozed beside me. I'll tell ya, it was up in the air at that point!

Tonight, I still don't know yet if I am doing the right things. But we have three years under our belts, three amazing years in which my heart had grown, my love has grown, and that sweet little blonde breath of air has grown. These three year, this past one in particular, have been such a journey, such a learning experience. I worry all the time that I might fail him, this 3 year old of mine! But with every hug, every new skills, every freshly-bathed, pajamaed dude I tuck into bed at night is a small victory. We're doing this thing together!

Happy 3rd birthday to you, Peter Joseph! You are funny, smart, sweet, silly, sassy, handsome, and stubborn DETERMINED and brave! You are the light of your Daddy and my life! You amaze us every single day and we know that there is a lifetime of amazing in you still! I wasn't quite ready yet to let you go and share you with school, but you are going to kick. preschool's. ASS! Your Daddy and I love you all the way to the moon and back, my little monkey!

Happy Birthday, PJ!

"You're right here in my sight..."

Last night was the official start
of the holiday season in our little town.
Trees were lit,
Songs were sung,
And a jolly fat man climbed down
from atop the municipal building
with the help of our local fire department.
Today was the first of two holiday parades!
We got bundled up an headed out
to get a good spot on the sidewalk!
A certain bad baby I won't name
kept taking his gloves and hat off.
But the parade began with the roar of motorcycles and
didn't slow down until the end!

For a little town, Collingswood knows how
to throw a parade!
Local groups walked with handmade floats
tossing candy to the children in the crowd...

Several groups of Mummers
(a phenom near and dear to those local to Philadelphia!)
strutted by
sequins flashing and banjos plinking,
stepping with the flair only Mummers have!

Oh, I hope that PJ loves the Mummers as much as I do!

After the parade, we came home
to eat lunch and warm our hands.
Later in the afternoon
we headed to a local church
who had model trains on display!

That's the face of a toddler who has trains in his sights!
And what an amazing display it was!

Huge and detailed, if you looked closely
it looked like an old-fashioned cityscape-
real and alive.

We even tried our hand at a coloring page!

And so it begins, the season of happiness and fun,
of cold, crisp weather and scarves and sweaters.
Of gratitude and giving
of growth and grace.
Of celebration and life.
In our home, it's a time of change,
of being brave and letting go,
of sharing the traditions from both sides
of PJ's family.

It's the start of the holiday season!

"I've got a fever, got a permanent disease..."

Oh, y'all.

Wipe your screen with some antibiotic ointment or Febreze or something, because I'm feeling an onslaught of Emotional Ebola coming on.

We're midway through PJ's last week of Early Intervention. Monday was the end of Occupational Therapy and today was our next-to-last session of Developmental Integration. His last day of speech was today and after that, one last day of DI.

I think of this journey we've been on since last October and I feel so much. I see the progress PJ has made, going from saying a small handful of words to having a huge vocabulary, a bunch of simple sentences, and singing songs ("Rowrowrowrowrow...boat!"). He went from mindlessly lining up cars on our TV stand to being able to play simple board/matching games. He went from being in his own space so much of the time to being able to smile up at his therapist while doing an activity.

Smiling at his speech therapist!
We all sat in our living room, through a full set of seasons and then some, and worked together to help my sweet Boy become all that we know he is. In October, I flew about the apartment like a psycho, cleaning and fixing and straightening as if the look of our living space would make me more competent as a parent and PJ less autistic. But it didn't matter. They knocked on our door early in the morning, when PJ was grumpy, when it was raining and gross and annoying to be out, after surgical procedures and with broken feet and helped our son work on his skills. Eventually, we all became comfortable with each other, and it was okay for them to know how vital my morning coffee is and that I am...ahem...perhaps not the best housekeeper. They sat on my sometimes-unvacuumed carpet and patiently understood that PJ can sometimes be stubborn and difficult and hard-to-handle and that he is autistic. Because otherwise, why were they there?

This was our routine, answering the door to welcome PJ's therapist that day and all of us working together. And they loved my boy, became so much more then just a random face to him. The same boy that wasn't even calling me "Mommy" when we began this journey learned all of them by name. There were hugs and laughs and patience even when he was being impossible. There were so many time when I wished that we didn't have to do this, that there was no need for therapy, that I couldn't just spend our days on the playground or making coffee dates with friends. I could wish all I wanted, but the fact remained, we needed the help of those fabulous women. The need was there for us to make the best out of and, in turn, the best was brought out of PJ.

And now we're here, the last week of Early Intervention. We are moving on to the next stage and it's fucking scary, folks. Pete and I were here, working with PJ's therapists every step of the way, and now we will step back, and let him go on his own into the care of someone else. The little backpack that I ordered for PJ arrived in the mail today, and I had to put it away because I cry every time I look at it. Today we had a meeting with the Child Study Team to put PJ's educational plan into place. He met his new teacher, sat down with his new classmates for a snack, and played on the playground with his new friends while I watched from the sidelines. He's scheduled to start school on Monday. The day he turns three. This is really happening.

I will spend these last days of PJ's Early Intervention therapy thanking these woman for never judging, for always being present, and for being the driving force behind how amazingly far PJ has come. It's Thanksgiving, and my gratitude for all of this is unbridled.

"Down the hills and 'round the bend, Thomas and his friends!"

I am one beat mama, but oh, the day was worth it!

PJ doesn't quite get future plans yet, so even though I have talked about meeting Thomas all week, he really didn't understand what was coming. It was just this mama who was too excited to sleep last night, and who woke long before her boys to excitedly pack a bag for our day trip while she sipped her coffee. Potty seat? Check. Change of clothes in case of an accident? Check. Wallet? Snack? Camcorder? Check. Check. Check. And most importantly, the tickets for our date with Thomas? Double check, and checked again!

It was a slightly subdued toddler that we loaded into the car (thanks for nothing, you wretched cold!) and with a turn of the key we headed towards Lancaster County and the East Strasburg Railroad. While PJ snoozed, the scene before us went from suburban (our neighborhood) to urban (Philadelphia), and after a long stretch of highway, we were surrounded by farms, deep in Amish country. We passed a tiny school house, where young Amish children were playing volleyball. A few minutes further up the road and we had arrived.

PJ had fallen asleep about half way there, so Pete and I gently woke him, and his eyes blinked open just in time to see his beloved Thomas pull into the station. He blinked, looked again, and then a smile spread across his still-sleepy face.

"Thomas..." he said, with a smile. And he kept smiling.

We parked the car and walked to the station, giving PJ some time to wake up and take in his surroundings. His head swiveled as he took in the trains and cars, railroad staff, and the steam rising from Thomas's funnel. He got his hero in his sights and, now awake, gleefully cried "THOMAS!!!!" And there he was!

There was some time before we needed to board, so we walked about, checking out the sights. We had time to take family pictures with both Thomas and the head of the operation, Sir Toppem Hatt. The picture with Thomas went beautifully! Sir Toppem, unfortunately, freaked PJ out a little, resulting in a picture of a slightly stressed toddler.

I can't lie. That dude freaked me the hell out, too!! Not to mention that Thomas's eyes moved. EWWW!!!

After pictures, and a quick trip to the bathroom, it was time to board! We selected a heated car to take some of the chill off the day, and settled into the plush, green seats. PJ snuggled into his seat with some goldfish crackers and a drink, handed our tickets to the attendant, and then we were off! Thomas pulled us through the lovely farmscapes, the sun shining through the windows. The car rocked gently and we could hear the clack-clack-clack of the wheels rolling on the train tracks. There was a buzz as families chattered, the conductor commented, and the Thomas theme song played in the background (Ew, again.). We waved to the cows and horses, took pictures, and after a while, our ride was done.

We got off the train and were back at the station. There was a number of tents set up with activities for young Thomas-lovers, so off we went in search of more fun. A stop inside a yellow and white striped tent yielded a veritable jackpot of train  and Lego tables, motorized trains racing around on tracks, and chairs to sit in and get a (temporary) Thomas tattoo. PJ declined the tattoo but said yes to getting elbow-deep in large train tables adorned with every character he could think of. He raced the trains along the tracks with glee, and only became upset when it was time to leave the tent. There was a Toddler Meltdown, but he certainly wasn't the only one! There is something about trains that seems to be like crack to little boys!

After a stop at the souvenir tent ($25 in damage there, not too bad!), it was time to head home. PJ has been battling a lingering virus, and his appetite has only been so-so, so we decided to stop at a McDonald's we had passed to entice him into eating! We headed back to the car, crossing the tracks on our way. As we stepped across the tracks, we heard a now-familiar "toot-toot!" The attendant called for everyone to step off the track, and we looked up to see Thomas heading back into the station. We were as close to him as we had been able to get, and PJ watched excitedly as he got closer and closer. The excited, almost reverent smile on his face as his favorite rolled by nearly made me cry. It was so sweet and honest and excited and happy, and even though it will be in my heart forever, I am so thankful to have captured it:

And with that final wave at Thomas, it was time to head home. PJ was tired but had such a good time. I had hesitated going since he had been sick earlier in the week, but even though he wasn't 100%, I am so glad that we went! It was a beautiful day with my little family that I will remember forever!

A few more pictures from the day:

How cute are they?

PJ was annoyed because we took his snack away to take the picture, LOL!


"Say goodbye to not knowing when the truth in my whole life began..."

Okay, friends. I am going to indulge in one brief moment of venting, and then I will move on. Please excuse the unhinged stream of consciousness that is about to ensue. In 3...2..1...

Gah. I am feeling very discouraged and worried today. As is the grand tradition of this time of year, PJ is sick. My poor dude has a terrible cough, a streaming nose, irritated eyes and has been running a mild fever. I cancelled his Early Intervention therapy today and yesterday because he's sicky and I don't want to risk his therapists passing germs to other kids and/or getting sick themselves. It's his second disruption to his therapy in as many weeks, as "Superstorm" Sandy kept his therapists off the roads for a few days. It is additionally frustrating because we only have a few days of therapy left before he starts school! I am nervous enough about the transition without adding extra to it!

We also have tickets to take him to see Thomas the Train, in person, this Friday! As in, he gets to climb on board Thomas and ride a real, life-sized train! He gets to meet Sir Toppem Hatt. Pete and I seriously discussed waiting until after this trip to potty train him because, when he sees a real, life-sized Thomas in front of him, he is going to poop. his. pants. I bought the tickets in August and have been dreaming of this trip since. PJ isn't yet able to process future plans, so he really has no clue! But, I do, and if we have to cancel this trip, I will be broken-hearted.

And school. School is starting in less then two weeks. So, of course, the news is filled with stories of school bus crashes and teachers sleeping with students and a bus aide tightening the straps on the seat of an autistic child as he cried out for help, leaving him with bruises and worse, too frightened to go back to school. And in two weeks, I am supposed to kiss my toddler goodbye, load him on a bus, and just hope that the people in charge will care for him like I do. Right now, PJ isn't in a place yet where he could tell me if something was wrong. I just have to blindly trust that the people whose hands I am leaving him in won't hurt him. And seriously, I know it's insane. I know I am a crazy, over-protective psycho mama but I am so scared. I am not ready for this. If PJ didn't have Autism, he would be home with me for at least another year before pre-school. I don't usually have these feelings anymore, but right now...I feel like I'm getting robbed. I am angry and frightened and a little overwhelmed.

But, we breathe. In and out. I drink a coffee. I read Perez Hilton and laugh at Honey Boo Boo and try to remember who I am. I look at my son, with his puffy, sicky face, smiling as he watches Monster's, Inc. and half-heartedly eats a purple popsicle. I remember to be normal (or as close as I can get), to know that I have heard nothing but good things about the program he is entering from people I love and trust. I try to reconcile the bus ride with the fact that he will LOVE it, and will be with all of his friends from his small class. I know that school will be an amazing experience for him, and he will thrive. I don't like comparing others problems and sadness to my own, but I do try to keep perspective and remember that we are so, so lucky in all that we have.

Mostly, I just remember that PJ has not once, ever, risen to the occasion in ways that I could never have imagined. I need to remember that, that kid? Has it in the bag. :-)

"Noises I play within my head..."

Things on Thursday

...The woman involved in this letter, from what I understand, had the location of her home put on the internet and has had people contacting her place of employment, calling for her to be fired. C'mon people. Aren't we better then that? She wrote a thoughtless letter. About Halloween. And yes, it trivialized the tragic events of a weather disaster that hurt so many of our NJ neighbors. Still, I don't think she was malicious, just thoughtless. Get it together, people.

...Ever since the storm, PJ has been insane. He's been super-hyper and crazed, and Pete and I are at a bit of a loss as to how to handle it. We know that part of it was the disruption of his routine- we didn't have therapy for most of last week, as we were stuck in the apartment for as much time. But aside from that, he laughs in our face if we try to discipline him. My only guess is that being developmentally delayed means that we are entering the Terrible Twos-ish behavior now. Frig.

...In other things that strike terror into my heart are on my mind, PJ starts school in about two weeks. The recent...um...behavior enhancers he has been displaying make me nervous, and I fear that he will just be too much for his teacher to handle. I try to remember that she is a professional, and that I have heard nothing but amazing, wonderful things about her from people I know and trust. And I try to remember that I have seen awesome results in other children who have been through this program. Still, I can't help but worry that she may just punt him out the door one day.

...My purple hair is fading fast. I think next time I will go with good old Manic Panic! Marla gets to pick the color, so we'll see what she comes up with. Marla and I, along with PJ and Marla's lifelong friend Ann, met up for some lunch and retail therapy today. We discovered a wig store at our local mall and dove right in. With the help of the extremely kind woman who ran the store, Mar found a really cute, chin-length, chestnut-colored number that looked amazing on her! Stupid Lupus may be taking her hair, among other things. But her sense of adventure and sense of humor are fully intact. Rock on.

Plus, we found a wig that looked just like my Mom-Mom's hair, and it was name Brie. Awesomesauce.

...I am way behind on housework, which is insane because I was stuck in the house for much of last week! Must fix.

...This is Pete's last week on his floor before he starts his new job in the ER. The other night his co-workers gave him a little pizza and wings send off. I think it meant a lot to him. He started working on that floor after over a year of trying to find a job, a year in which we welcomed PJ and were just getting by. He will spend a few weeks on days again, which is a mixed blessing. It will be wonderful to have him home at nights and not have to spend his days off sleeping of the shift from the night before! But, day work pays less so it will be tight for a few weeks. Eh. It's a trade off.

...I have had a headache all day. It's time for bed.

"Rock you like a hurricane..."

An open letter to a fellow mother:

Dear Ms. C,

You posted the following editorial contribution to the South Jersey Times regarding the recent storms to hit NJ and the surrounding area and the subsequent changes to Halloween and Trick-or-Treating:

To the Editor:

I am was very displeased with Gov. Chris Christie’s Executive Order to delay Halloween to Monday (Nov. 5). I am also displeased with our local governments for bowing so quickly without seeing what was best for their specific towns.

The area we live in was spared from the devastation, yet the entire state was lumped together as a giant disaster area. It didn’t matter that my town had already come up with an alternate plan, or that other towns had already assessed damages and realized that it was safe for our children to go and carry out their traditions.

Never before have I felt the presence of the government in my home as loudly as I did on Oct. 31. I found it very contradictory to the motto of our country. I did not feel free.

My two children, ages 5 and 8, know there was a hurricane, know that we were safe and sound inside our house, and know that we are back to business as usual in our area. As the storm progressed and phone calls came in, our Halloween plans changed daily. Waking up on Halloween morning we had a plan in place. By afternoon I had to tell my children of new plans, again.

My children learned a lesson about government. They learned that there are people in power who have the ability to make decisions that directly affect them.

Many will say that our children will forget once they get their night out, but I don’t agree. As they grow older, and become adults, they will remember this as the Halloween that wasn’t.

I will take my children with me on Tuesday to vote. And I know they will ask if the people I’m voting for had anything to do with Halloween. You can be sure that I will not vote for local individuals who did a poor job in taking my town and county into consideration.

(original text and link to NJ.com can be found by clicking here)

I can't help but feel that you are missing what is, essentially, the bigger picture in terms of life and the way things happen.

To begin, the order issued by Gov. Christie was for towns who did not, at the time of his edict, already have a plan in place. My hometown officials had a plan in place and were able to follow it. If there was a change in plans in Mullica Hill, it was a decision made by local government in what I can only imagine was for the safety and well-being of the people of Mullica Hill. You made the observation that your town officials were "bowing" to the orders of our Governor. Guess what? They should. When it comes down to it, that's their job.

I am very, very happy that your family came through the storm safely and that your town was subjected to minimal damage. What a blessing that you can hold your children under the warmth and safety of your own roof. There are many of our neighbors in NJ that can not say the same. At the very least, there were people without power for days. At worst, there were people who lost their homes, their livelihood and memories. Even worse, there were people who lost loved ones. It's a time to be okay with being "lumped together" with the rest of our NJ neighbors. I feel that our NJ government handled this amazing, unusual, devastating situation as best as possible.

You mentioned that you didn't feel "free". I can't help but be curious- what would you have done had it rained on Halloween? Or if there had been a freak snowstorm much like last year? An outdoor holiday like Halloween is often left at the mercy of Mother Nature- the storm being an extreme example of such.

I agree in that the absence of Halloween can be heartbreaking to a young child. Halloween is exciting and fun and you get candy! Five and eight are still very young, and I completely understand the disappointment in their sweet young hearts. Still, there was something you said that I just can not get past:

My children learned a lesson about government. They learned that there are people in power who have the ability to make decisions that directly affect them.

Many will say that our children will forget once they get their night out, but I don’t agree. As they grow older, and become adults, they will remember this as the Halloween that wasn’t.

There were, indeed, lessons to be learned here. How sad that the lesson for your children couldn't be one of creativity, where in the absence of Halloween on the 31st it couldn't be replaced with, perhaps, a family candy party, the one night a year where dessert came first. Or that the lesson couldn't be compassion, in which you took a family trip to get candy to be packed up with notes of encouragement for all of those other Jersey kids we've been "lumped" with who won't have Halloween, delayed or otherwise. Or a lesson about blessings, because there are a hell of a lot of people who will remember this as the Halloween in which everything they knew was destroyed. And about that "power"? The lesson is that it is sometimes out of the hands of humankind as a whole.

The tone of your letter gave the impression that the only lesson here was that the indescribable suffering of the people you share a state with was little more then an inconvenience to you. The lesson that even when you have been left with the amazing blessing of a life untouched by the devastation of the storm, you want more. It was sad and small, even in what was your obvious need to keep your children happy. As a parent, I can understand that.

I just can't understand your lack of compassion and your sense of entitlement. I just pray that you continue to have a life that is blessed enough to have Halloween be a worry big enough to spurn the need to write to the papers and that you don't ever need to help of the New Jerseyans you have been "lumped" with.

Wishing your luck continues,
Brie L.

"...but I don't even run from the rain."

It's Sunday night, and...

...it was daylight savings, also known as The Longest Damn Day of the Year. I remember when it was the best day ever because I could get an extra hour of sleep! But, those days were before motherhood and now, daylight savings means an extra hour of Toddler Madness. Oy, vey. Good thing it's also an extra hour of cuteness!

...before bed, PJ and I snuggled and watched "Monster's Inc.", his new favorite! He loves to tell me everything that is happening on screen ("Sully brushing teeth!") and, to my great amusement, calls Mr. Waternoose "More Feet!". The movie is being re-released next month and we are hoping it will be PJ's first theater movie!

Henry J Waternoose III.jpg
Bwahahahaha!! "More Feet!"

...we have a very busy week coming up! Pete will be working for much of it, so I just hope for things to go smoothly and with ease! Even though it sometimes feels like our routine is disrupted a bit when Pete is home, I mainly miss him when he's not and feel thankful to have him to lean on when he's here!

...I can not believe it's November already! My baby is going to be three in twenty-two days, and will be starting school by the end of the month. I am completely unprepared for both events.

...we had a great time Trick-or-Treating yesterday! Halloween was rescheduled due to Hurricane Tropical Storm Post-Tropical Cyclone Sandy. My town and most of the surrounding areas were blessed to have minimal damage- some down trees and power outages- but it was still startling to see huge trees leaning on homes and the mess the storm left behind. Still, I know how amazingly lucky we are compared to our neighbors at the shore. My parents lost power for several days- their neighborhood is having Trick-or-Treating tomorrow so I may take PJ by for a second round! PJ's beloved ocean beat the living hell out of the people there, and it's like hearing your best friend punched her mother or something. You just can't fathom how it happened. At any rate, many people were kind enough to take pictures of PJ for me, so as soon as I get my hands on them, I'll post them!

...Pete was on call for work tonight, so he slept all day just in case he was asked to come in. Which he wasn't. So, now he's wide awake and I'm about to pass out. Sigh. Par for the course.

It's Sunday night, and I am ready for bed!

"Be strong, walk on..."

We fill our time on the weekends
with low key stuff, usually.
Quite time with family.
We stay in our pajamas until lunchtime.
Our weekends are sweet around here,
but not earth shattering.
Which is just how I like it!
But sometimes...
You power up with yummy food and great company
and tons of Girls Night Laughter...

you get your inner Katy Perry/badass on
And dye your own hair purple in solidarity.

(And sometimes it takes a double process bleaching and two tries at getting it purple.)
Some weekends, the threat of a hurricane looms
Cloudy and ominous,
and you tell the storm to go f*#k itself
Because you need to fight Lupus that weekend.
You see a rainbow at 7:24am
When rainbows have no business being awake
and you know something amazing is about to go down.

You walk alongside your sister
Who wears a purple wig to cover her failing hairline,
Boasting your own purple-haired hue.
And with thousands of other feet amongst your own
And tell Lupus to go f*#k itself.
I've talked about the days
when walking on a fall day feels like the only way
to heal the world.

Oh, we felt that this weekend.
We all swept out of Philadelphia
Before Sandy swept into New Jersey
And it was during the lull in between
where we savored the flavor
of an amazing weekend.

"I sit and wonder why-y-y-y...Sandy.."

Oh, please. Like there was another song I could use this weekend.

In case you've stumbled upon this blog and aren't on the eastern seaboard, we're being pummeled by Hurricane Tropical Storm  Post-Tropical Cyclone (according to the National Weather Service) Sandy. She has been dumping rain on us for over 24 hours now and this afternoon the winds kicked up. I am as far inland as you can get without being in Philadelphia, so thankfully, things here aren't as bad as they are at my beloved shore, where there is extensive damage.

I have to admit, I'm a bit worried about this little girl:

lucy mainpage3
Lucy! On the right, per-restoration, on the left as she is today! Love her!

We managed to squeeze in a very busy weekend before Sandy rolled in. There was a girls night out, the Lupus Walk, Robbie's 5th birthday, and some dying my hair purple time.

Wait. What?

At any rate, I'm waiting out the storm and trying to keep poor PJ amused! We are used to lots of activity, but without even therapy to get us through, it's a challenge keeping my high-energy Boy happy! I am hoping that tomorrow will be the last of it!

Thee is so much to tell, but it will have to be for tomorrow, friends! I have a cute toddler to snuggle and keep safe in this crazy storm!

Be safe!

"I can't find the air..."


Oh, these boys.
How blessed I am to have them.
We shared some fall fun yesterday,
pumpkin picking at a local farm!
PJ, at first, only had eyes for the tractor.
"Green tractor!"
He ran through the pumpkin patch
drumming on the huge ones
and trying to fling the smaller ones
while Pete tried to chase him with the
camera and camcorder.
But he was happy as can be and on the way back
discovered just how fun hay can be. :-)
He piled it on his legs and threw it in the air.
It was fresh, super clean, fluffy hay and it smelled
Like, I wondered if maybe Yankee Candle made a
"Fresh Hay" scent.
Sadly, my lungs didn't agree and went all
"Bitch, please, you know we don't do hay!" and
Shut the heck down.
The rest of yesterday was, needless to say,
I was struggling to fill my lungs with air as I grappled with
one of the more severe allergy attacks I have ever had.
But it was worth it to miss some air in my lungs when
my heart was just so. damn. full.
Even more full as, in the wake of a tragedy
I realize that it's all fleeting.
In a blink, I have a newborn...
I have an infant...
I have a toddler...
And even though the time blazes by
you just assume that time will be long.
Oh, I pray so hard for it to be long.
And I pray for the family who lost their beautiful Autumn.