Thursday, March 29, 2012

"...she calls me 'cause I'm still awake..."

PJ is tucked into his bed, sound asleep, and let's all pray together that he actually stays asleep tonight! Unlike last night, when he woke up at 1am and found it completely unreasonable that his father and I did not want to get up and play! Seriously, folks. He wasn't sick, isn't teething, didn't wet through his diaper. PJ just felt having his day begin at 1am. Thankfully, he passed out eventually (after being up much of the night), sprawled across our legs at the foot of the bed. What kind of bag of crap is that????

So, I mean it folks. On your knees. Pray for heavy eyelids and free-flowing melatonin.

Of course, PJ was superdupercranky all morning which was perfect because he had two therapy sessions today. Gah. Dude was miserable, but thankfully, he took a monster nap and rebounded nicely!

Pete had to work tonight (it's his crappy week) but my sister Marla, PJ and I headed over to a yummy local place called The Tortilla Press. They were having a fundraiser for research on Congenital Muscle Disease, specifically, a variation called RYR1. A former co-worker has a daughter who is affected and was part of the effort to put the fundraiser together, and the Tortilla Press is literally right around the corner from me? So, how easy was it to walk a block and fill my belly with yummy food for a great cause? IT WAS SUPER EASY! The restaurant was full, my belly was fully, my heart was full. And PJ behaved really, really well! :-)

Although...thinking it over, I can manage if PJ wakes up again tonight. Pray for Emily's beautiful daughter Klara instead.


This exchange went down between my nephew Carl and I the other day at Story Hour (Carl, along with his sisters Delia and Grace, were there as 'tween-aged volunteers to read to the younger children)-

Me (poking a straw into a Capri Sun)
My mom never let us have these when I was little because they make such a mess!

They had these way back then????


Other 'tween-aged boy I didn't know
CA-RULLLLLL! What do you mean? She's only twenty!

See, Carl? That's why he's my new nephew. 



My living room is full of piles of clean clothes to be put away tomorrow, I'm watching the Flyers game, and all is quiet. I think I'll treat myself and watch the rest of the game in bed- I am a tired, worn-out lady! So with that, I wish you all...

Good night! 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

"You're my shooting star..."

True story

This picture pretty much sums up my evening, as I'm laying around watching The Voice on DVR from last night. Except I'm still in my clothes because I was too lazy to get up and change into sweats. So, there's that. 
This was just one of those days. PJ's therapy session this morning felt endless, as PJ made it clear that he had no earthly interest in doing anything remotely suggestive of what his therapist wanted him to do. It gets right in my head because I don't know if it's the Two or if it's the 'Tis (Yes, I refer to his Autism as The 'Tis. It makes me laugh and sometimes I just need to fucking laugh). I feel like if autism wasn't in the picture he would just be a regular, two year old boy who is contrary in his two-ness. But we have this diagnosis and sometimes it just seeps into everything we do and it sucks. giant. monkey. balls. 

Half an hour after his therapy session, we went out as a family to the market and the kid who was being impossible was charming every person in the place! A laugh and an "Oh, hi!" to the deli lady got him a slice of cheese as a reward ("Cheeseyummycheeseyummy...") and the ogling of cakes in the bakery got him a cookie and the command that any times he's there he "...come see me for a cookie!". He sweetly thanked both of his treat-givers. He smiled at old ladies. He listened when Mommy told him he had to hold her hand and gleefully pointed out everything he saw- Bianyahs (Banana)!  Buhburrys (Blueberries)! Bread (self-explanatory)! It was like he's been lobotomized! 

PJ ate lunch beautifully and napped like a champ and I was hoping my winning streak would continue, but cut to a few hours later and he being an unholy terror at Story Hour. Crying, hitting, and being generally unhappy. The craft was a bird feeder that involved threading Cheerio's onto a pipe cleaner. He ate the Cheerio's. He did rebound and played nicely with another boy and two of the 'tween boys who do the reading, happily ate his snack in addition to the bird feeder, and raced around the room with his cousins (whose mama also happens to be the librarian who runs the program!)! So I considered that outing a draw. 

We came home and PJ inhaled such an insane amount of food that it led me to believe he might have been hungry at story hour- after dinner, he was as happy, engaging, funny and sweet as it's possible for my Boy to be! The best part of my day was making faces in the mirror together and laughing our heads off. After a story and a snuggle, my sweet one was tucked into bed and sound asleep in seconds. 

It's so ridiculous how the autism shit gets into every off move my son makes. Without that diagnosis, would his behavior today have been any different from any other cranky two-year-old? I do, of course, realize that it's not as cut and dried as all of that, but the thought of Autism leaks into every tantrum, every unfocused moment, every cranky day. It's not until he's being his usual rock star self that I realize those crappy moments are pretty few and far between, even if we are 0-3 for story hour (sorry, Ann Marie!). 

I think that for tonight, the best thing for me to do is to go to bed with my heart full of the sound of laughing with my beautiful son as we made faces in the mirror. I'll take the sweetness with me, toss aside the bitter and go to sleep so eager to see my Best Boy in the morning! 

Good night, friends! <3

"I'd like to make myself believe that planet Earth moves slowly..."

For a Monday, today wasn't bad.

I woke up with an allergy headache, but was thankful for Pete who got PJ up and fed. With Pete working nights, mornings can be a struggle, so I was thankful for the effort on his part to let me sleep in an extra 20 minutes.

PJ had physical therapy and we met his wonderful therapist Christy at a local playground, where PJ climbed, ran, swang (swung?), balanced beamed, robe bridge walked, and rock climbed to his hearts content. His gross motor skills, while still not perfect, have improved enough that his PT has been cut back to once a month! So today was our last bi-weekly visit from Christy! We even met up with a few dear friends who came to keep us company! The day was warm and sunny but windy, in fact, it's been howling all day!

That's the back of Wwwaah-bee's head. 
After the park we stopped by my in-laws house so PJ could see his Nan and Pop and hang out with his cousin "Wwwwwahh-beee" (translation: Robbie). The boys are so funny together, and Robbie is usually patient enough to oblige PJ in a game of hide and seek or tag! At four, Robbie is the next closest cousin in age to PJ, so it's so much fun to see them play together! The both even had on orange sweatshirts today! I kept trying to snap a picture but it was an epic fail!

PJ napped well after all of that action and Pete and I actually got to spend some time together, which can be a rare luxury. I even got to have some couch time to finish reading last book of the Hunger Game trilogy, another rare occurance!

Pete had fire department stuff tonight, as he does every Monday night (boo!), and the Flyers lost to Tampa Bay (double boo!), but I did get in some buddy time with a good friend and that balanced out the double bummers as an end cap.

And now, PJ is sleeping peacefully on this cold, windy night and it's actually 18 minutes into Tuesday. Which means it's time for me to go to bed.

Good night, lovelies!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

"If you need a lift..."

It's late Sunday night and we are finally getting settled down from the day. Just in time to go to bed. :-P

The past week was a combination of fun, busy, emotional and harried and this week promised to be more of the same. PJ has therapy every morning this week, and there's the usual array of play dates, family time, and various adventures! It's also Pete's sucky week at work: He works every other day so that means he sleeps before and after each shift, so his "day off" doesn't really start until he wakes up after sleeping off the shift from the night before. So, if he works Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, you can figure out how much we see him over the week.

It sucks. Although starvation and eviction, I'm sure, suck much harder, so we suck it up. (Can I use "suck" a few more times?)

We had made an appointment to see a geneticist a few months ago on the advice of the developmental pediatrician that follows PJ for his autism care. Pete and I want to have more children, but after having a child diagnosed with autism, we wanted to discuss our chances of having another child with a challenge. Our appointment was for June, but early last week we got a call letting us know that there had been a cancellation and would we like to come in later in the week. The answer was "Yes!" so we headed over to CHOP to meet with a doctor and a genetic counselor. After an interview of our medical history and a physical exam of PJ, it was determined that PJ does not show any physical signs of a genetic disorder. We will have blood drawn sometime next week to see if there are any metabolic conformations of genetic disorders. Those results will take six to eight weeks to come back, and upon the receipt of these results I imagine Pete and I will have a lot to talk about.  For now, we were both impressed with the doctor and pleased with how the exam went.

The car looks like this! It's black! And pretty!
The real shocker of the week? Pete finally picked a car, signed some papers, and drove it home! There is an actual new car in our driveway (a  Nissan Rouge- it's pretty!) and as we are not people who make large purchases, this is very exciting for us! It's mainly exciting for me because it means Pete is DONE SHOPPING! Hooray! After he signed the papers, Pete got to spin a prize wheel and won a duffel bag. One more click and he would have won a free warranty.

Damn duffel bag.

So now it's even later and the busy week is still ahead of us and my ass should be in bed. Off I go.

Goodnight, friends!


Thursday, March 22, 2012

"Summah- summah- summertime!"

Our Summertime To-Do List

With the weather being so amazing I can't help but dream about summertime! Since PJ has been born summer has been such a wonderful time for my little family! As he grows we are able to add more things to our list of things to do, and with 80 degree weather coming tomorrow, it makes me eager to get started! 

Join the neighborhood pool
Visit Sesame Place
Get PJ his first bike
Eat outside as much as possible
Lots of after dinner walks
Lots of water ice
Trips to Margate Beach
Mummers concerts in Collingswood
Splashing in the kiddie pool with friends
PJ's first trip to Storybook Land
Summertime visits to the Poconos
Fireworks on the 4th
Lunch outside at The Bistro in Haddonfield
Running through the sprinkler
Playground time with friends
Dinner with family
Lots and lots and lots of happy

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

"I'm no beauty queen, I'm just beautiful me..."

A Bunch of Random Crap. Because, why not?

We changed PJ's bed over, fully, to a "big boy" bed (ie, a toddler bed with both sides open now!). He seems to be doing just fine, but hasn't lost his penchant for falling asleep in random places in his room. He's not falling out of bed, rather, I think he just gets up to play and ends up passing out. 

He's so weird.

Pete's car died quite a while back, and he has been driving his father's truck ever since (thanks, Dad L, for that!). He finally decided to go look for a new car but in true manfashion is on a quest for the Perfect Deal. Which means he has been looking for a car for friggin' weeks! I just don't get it.

Here's how Brie shops for a car. 

1. Look at some cars.
2. Pick a car.
3. Sign the papers.
4. Whee! New car!

Simple, right?

I am on a quest to really, truly do some Spring Cleaning around here. With the changing of PJ's bed came the realization that we have too much crap, so away it has to go. A few bags have gone to Purple Heart, but a few more will have to follow! If I was more domestic, all of this might not be such a challenge! But I am not, so it is! :-) Neatness has never been a forte of mine! Our home generally has random piles of crap scattered about! It will be a revolt against nearly 35 (ahem...) years of slobishness. Go. Fight. Win.

Hey, friends, please keep my sister and my dad in your prayers? They are both having some health problems and could use the good vibes, even though they both have more strength and spirit then you could imagine!

TV shows I enjoy: The Voice, Smash, Parenthood, The Today Show, One Tree Hill (don't judge me)
TV shows PJ enjoys: Thomas and Friends, Blue's Clues, Caillou (don't judge him)


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

"Talk about the weather..."

Oh, springtime. How I missed you! Although I can't really complain too much about this past "winter"!

This week has brought sunshine and seventy-degree weather and play dates and dirty little boys in the bathtub at night! Each day has been more lovely then the next and I am so thankful for all of it!

A few weeks ago, PJ was officially diagnosed with Autism (a little more about that story here) and although it was a difficult pill to swallow I find that it hasn't completely poisoned our life. It just tastes a little different, and that is okay. As like like to joke, it's not like we can return him! That dude is here to stay! And thankfully, he is here. PJ has been making amazing progress with his therapy and we could not be happier! Pete and I are fighting like tigers to keep our best boy connected to this amazing world. :-)

I'm still not able to really talk about it very much, except for a very, very few people (oh, and you know who you are...) aside from my husband. I am just now ready to blog about it, which is completely passive-aggressive, of course! :-) Still, it's a strange thing when you're child is all at once perfect and flawed, and it will take my heart some time to come to terms, even as PJ blossoms before my eyes! How truly, unending lucky I am to have that sweet, crazy, funny, loves-to-flush-the-toilet boy!

Why, yes. Yes, I will have some pie. 

Monday, March 19, 2012

"Paaaaaarty all the tiiiiiiime!"

My sweet, sassy, silly baby boy is TWO YEAR OLD!

And yeah, so that happened over a two three months ago! Better late then never!

Everyone we love gathered on an unusually warm December day to celebrate PJ's second birthday!  His Aunt Marla and Uncle Steve were stupid gracious enough to host the fete, and God love their bravery because we partied with close to THIRTY kids and a houseful of adults! There is no such thing as a small party with our families, and it is overwhelming but mostly wonderful!

We decided to hold a mid-morning party so that all of our younger guests could party 'till they dropped with the hope that they would drop at nap time! :-) So by 10am, most of our guests had arrived and were rearing to go! The only problem was that our entertainment had not arrived! We had hired the folks from My Gym of Cherry Hill to set up tons of activities for the kids, but they got lost getting to my sisters house which made them very late! Thankfully, they rebounded beautifully and did an astounding job of keeping the kids happy, excited, and entertained! We had a huge age range of children, from the oldest at 12 and the youngest at 1 and there was something for every single child to do! They had a BLAST and My Gym was worth every penny!

The weather was amazing so after the kids had as much fun as possible inside, we were able to move the party outside! The kids had sack races, hula-hooped, frisbeed (is that a word?) and the biggest hit- BUBBLES! It was as simple as waving a bubble wand in front of a fan, but the results were amazing!

Wow. Both PJ and Pete needed a haircut!
Later, we all gathered around a cake shaped like Blue to sing Happy Birthday to my best boy! It's been an amazing, crazy, wonderful two years (and a few months)- the best years of my life! I feel like I was born just to be PJ's mama and I would not trade that child for anything in the world! Not even when he gets into the donuts and hides behind the couch to eat the whole thing while his Aunt Marla cracks up and takes pictures!


And this is where someone should have stopped him.

Peter Joseph, you are the biggest blessing your Daddy and I could have ever hoped for! You make us smile, make us proud, make us happy! We love you all the way to the moon and back!

Hooray for the best Two-Year-Old ever!!