"Sappy, pathetic little me..."

It's Sunday, the start of a brand-new week. Thank God.

By last Thursday I was, pretty much, at the end of my rope, and kept thinking about Sunday as something I had to make it to.

"Holy crap. Okay, I just need to make it to Sunday. It will be a brand-new week..."

So, here we are on Sunday and it's been (thus far) just what we needed- a quiet day where I can catch up on a few things around the house, watch the Olympics, and play with PJ. PJ, who thankfully, is napping! I know that sounds mean, but seriously. Dude needed a nap.

As it turns out, today is not just any Sunday, but the last Sunday of July in 2012. I have no idea how that happened. This year has been going by so fast that I find myself breathless. In two days, it will be August, one year since we first made the phone call to Early Intervention and started this new journey with our son. One year down.

Holy crap.

At any rate, this week will, with luck, be less hectic, but there is still quite a number of things to check off of my to-do list, which is as follows:

  • Get our place back into shape after a week of letting it go! Thankfully, it's not as bad as it could be, thanks to my new-found skills at homemaking, but there's laundry to be folded, dishes to be done, and surfaces that aren't PJ's butt to be wiped.
  • Call the genetics department and see if PJ's results are in yet. Since it's been fifteen freakin' weeks and all.
  • Duct-tape my head back together if it explodes due to results not being in yet.
  • Get cracking on the paperwork for the school district (sob!).
  • Go on a date with Pete. Just Pete. The kind where we get PJ a babysitter. Seriously. This is happening.
  • Overdose on the Olympics. If it's an event, I'll watch it. Skeet shooting? Bring it.
  • Enjoy our usual array of therapy, play dates, swim lessons, pool trips, ice cream, family time, fudging-on-bedtime-because-we're-having-fun summer things.
Hope you all have an amazing, fun-filled week! :-)

"Eight days a week..."

It's Thursday afternoon, and it's supposed to be be storming outside, but it's sunny and HOT! I feel kind of ripped off. I was looking forward to come coffee, thunder, and lightning while my boys are asleep. Oh, well. At least, thankfully, there's coffee! I had a crack-of-dawn toddler today so I need the extra jump!

I can hardly believe it's only Thursday. It's been a long, busy, emotional week for me, and the thought of two and a half more days seems a little daunting! There have been parties and gatherings, swim lessons and therapy, meetings and errands. We've been here, there, and everywhere and it's been a mix of fun, emotional, and exhausting!

On Sunday we celebrated my niece Emilia's 6th birthday with a Madagascar-themed birthday party that included a face painter, balloon artist, and cotton candy! PJ has a blast running around with his cousins and assorted "big kids" and the adults were able to enjoy the good food, wine (lots of wine!) and conversation! Emi got so many great, thoughtful gifts and seemed thrilled to ring in her 6th year with such a good time!

Monday PJ had an occupational therapy appointment at CHOP. He is showing the slowest improvement in his fine motor skills so Pete and I made the decision to seek additional therapy for him. The sessions are going extremely well- the hospital-based therapy is able to offer PJ a wider array of activities and methods then home based. We are both hoping that this will give PJ the extra boost he needs to improve his fine motor skills as amazingly as he has his others! And right now, therapy is fun for PJ. He gets to do puzzles and swing in hammock swings and crawl through tunnels! I don't have to feel like we are making him do something that is horrible.

I also had my annual visit to make sure everything is okay in Lady Land and was given a script for my first mammogram! OH BOY! *squish* The need for the mammogram is due to the fact that my gene pool is swimming in breast cancer, not because my exam uncovered any lumps, thank goodness.

On Tuesday we had our first meeting to discuss the transition for PJ to move from Early Intervention to the special needs preschool program. It was a difficult moment for me. Not so much because I am worried about PJ going to preschool or because I don't have faith in the program. I'm not worried and I do have faith- I have first-hand proof of how successful these programs are, having seen other children go through it. PJ has made amazing progress since we utilized Early Intervention and I am so excited to see what school has in store for him!

But...oh. Letting go of my baby. It's hard enough to think about sending my sweet boy off to school like a big kid. All the times I imagined it, I thought about choosing his clothes and picking him out a book bag and packing him lunch. I knew I would miss him and I knew I would cry when the day came. But I didn't imagine it coming with paperwork and IEP's; evaluations and meetings; "special needs" and Autism. It feels horrible to admit it...but there's a bit of mourning there for me. My dreams for PJ have been rewritten a little bit, and that's fine. It's more then fine- if there was no autism, no therapy, no special needs, well, there would be no PJ. It would be some other kid. And I wouldn't trade PJ away for anything. But sometimes, it's hard to say goodbye to the way I thought it would be.

That evening, we celebrated Emi's actual birthday with some family time at the pool and yummy food at Pete's sister's house. PJ had so much fun swimming with his cousins but by the time we got to Shelly's for dinner and cake, PJ was pretty much at end of his little toddler rope. After he threw dog kibble across the kitchen three times (Oh. Mah. GAWD.) and had a very loud crying jag, it was time to go. We were both teetering on our last nerve! After PJ was bathed, pajamaed, and tucked into bed with a story, I contemplated either getting drunk or just going to bed myself. I figured those were my options, since my emotions didn't, in my opinion, leave me fit for human companionship. Instead, I swallowed my pride and took a good friend up on his offer of Diet Coke (so I didn't have to drink straight Malibu) and company. It was one of the few times that I was smart enough to simultaneously realize what amazing friends I have *and* remember that I can lean on them for support when I need to. It's easy with the people who really love you.

Wednesday was a slightly more mellow day, with speech therapy that morning and a swim lesson that night. PJ's swim skills still need work, but his confidence in the pool is amazing! He's not blowing bubbles, but he holds his breath and is not afraid to go under water. He will "swim" to me from the wall or step and has no problem with letting go and venturing out into the pool. He loves to jump in from the edge of the pool but also seems to be careful with his body and no too reckless. I'm hoping his paddling/kicking skills will improve but in the meantime, my little fishie loves to swim!

And here we are at Thursday. PJ followed his therapy session this morning with a monster nap this afternoon! He is refreshed and ready for some more cousin time tonight, as the kids get together one last time as a group of 13 before Pete's cousin Jen and her brood of 5 go back home after an extended visit. Tomorrow we're looking forward to some playdate/pool time with dear friends, the start of the Summer Olympics (hooray!) and a weekend filled with more parties and play dates!! Even though my heart sometimes lags a bit behind my enthusiasm, I know that we are so lucky to be surrounded with such fun!

"I'm not crazy, I'm just a little unwell..."


Oh my lord, I'm so tired. I have been sleeping terribly lately, despite the amazingly cool, open-window weather that I have been craving since the first heat wave started. I am a lover of all seasons, but cool, fall-like weather is my favorite, so this break in the heat has been a welcome one!

After a tense few weeks between Pete and I, things are slowly starting to get back to a more positive place. This marriage thing, this parenting thing, this compromise thing...they're no easy feat. I don't think it's easy in the best of circumstances and it can certainly be difficult in the harder times. Take two people like Pete and I- two stubborn, textbook Taurus people- and it makes the mix a little spicier than most. So, sometimes, we stumble in the marriage/compromise department. Things are good again, having moved from angry to civil to loving, but this time, I think we're going to use a lifeline to make sure things have a better chance of staying this way.

In other, completely random news, this afternoon PJ got angry when I told him "no" to something that he wanted. He started to jump up and down in protest and in the process, banged his little head into my jaw, smashing it shut....right on my tongue. Holy crap, y'all, I bit the shit out of it and it hurt! Like, seeing starts hurt, and this from someone who waited until she was 9cm to ask for an epidural! But, as it turns out, it also hurts to bang a head into my chin, so I had to comfort poor PJ while my mouth slowly filled with blood. Ewwwwww.... At any rate, the good news is that we both recovered nicely. :-)

More random: My sister-in-law told me a friend wanted her to run a 5k in August, but that she felt like that was too soon. I have a number of friends who run and have been wanting to start and, seeing an opportunity to have a partner, told her that I'd run the Brain Tumor Walk/Run with her in November. She said she needed motivation, so I told that, using my money, we could go shopping, and I'd let her trail me into Ann Taylor Loft and all those other stores that usually give me hives, and she could pick me out an outfit, from head to toe. And the whole time? I can't bitch, snark, or sarcasm. Which, essentially, means that I will have to remain silent the whole time. It sounds horrible, but I guess that my motivation is that having trained for a 5k, at least I'll look good while she drags me through those God-awful stores. So, there's that. Let's see if this actually gets off the ground.

Super random: I need something to read. Any suggestions?

And that's all I've got for tonight.

"Maybe it would be cool if I rocked it old school..."

In five minutes it won't be Sunday anymore.
I should be in bed because PJ has been sleeping like crap,
  so if tonight is like the past few nights, he'll be up in an hour or two.
My poor dude.
He's one of those kids who, when he gets tired, gets revved up.
This statement will only make sense to some of you-
PJ is just like Anna in that way!!
We visited my parents tonight and he hopped all over the place like a
   (very cute, blonde, chatty) monkey on crack.
My mom made us baked chicken and roasted potatoes.
PJ ate a few slices of cheese, a bowl of fresh fruit, and some ice cream.
I guess that's somewhere between a complete nutritional fail and a wash.
Anyway, the more tired he gets the more trouble he has settling down.
Thankfully, he fell asleep with relative ease tonight.
Here's hoping it sticks.
Yesterday we spent the morning and afternoon with
   my good friend Carmen and her nephew Noah!
We had plans to go to the beach but stupid Mother Nature
   put a wrench in those plans.
Instead, we went to an indoor water park and had a BLAST!
Even though PJ was on the younger end of the age range for the place
  the boys had a great time and were pretty much in comas when we were done!
Carmen and I had a pina colada at noon.
Double win.
(The place has a bar! I know, right? It's somehow both the best and dumbest idea ever!)
Now it's six after midnight.
Officially Monday, and the start of another busy week.
I'm going to go clean up the kitchen
   (I know. Who am I?)
 and go to bed.
Goodnight, friends <3

"Friday, Friday, gotta get down on Friday..."

On my sister Marla's blog today, she made the observation that people tend to blog about what makes them happy on Fridays. Being Friday the 13th, it's not just any ordinary Friday, of course, but she's not really a horror movie fan so she went with the happy theme. I think I'll follow suit:

Brie's Friday the 13th List:
Stuff That Makes Me Happy

1. The way PJ says "Salty" (a character on "Thomas and Friends")
It's. So. Cute!

2. The fact that even though we see each other at least twice a week, Marla and I spoke on the phone for over an hour today!

3. This neatness kick I've been on lately. Or, rather, how nice everything looks when it's clean in here. The cleaning in and of itself is stupid

4. PJ full-out, hysterically laughing at the Talking Tom app on Pete's phone. Also, how sweetly and beautifully he asks for the use of the phone!

5. That after months of nagging, begging, and cajoling, I finally got Pete to make a decision and switch our cable to FiOS, saving us $25 a month and allowing PJ unlimited access to his current favorite, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse!

6. Having plans with Carmen tomorrow to go to Sahara Sams! It's a re-do of our original plans to go to the beach for the day. Since it might rain, we went for indoor beach-like! Either way, so happy to spend time with my friend and get PJ and her nephew Noah together!

7. Coffee. Coffee, coffee, coffee, coffee.

8. This.

ferncer ferst

So stupid. So, so funny.

9. The dude that plays Michael Weston on "Burn Notice" and Adam Levine. Sigh.

10. Reading "Where The Wild Things Are" to my own little Wild Thing! Love.

What makes you happy????

"It's like a heat wave burnin' in my heart!"

Holy crap, y'all. It is hot out! Over 100 degrees today, so we are all staying in!

It's been busy as usual, with all of the hustle and bustle of summer upon us! The usual suspects- play dates, therapy, family time- have been joined by days at the pool, birthday parties, vacation and holiday celebrations,and the milestone of mine and Pete's 4th wedding anniversary! Pete had some time off so we were able to spend a few days with PJ in Margate, staying at the house that has been in my mother-in-law's family since she was a little girl. It is a blessing that we have such a treat to share with our family, since a beach vacation would be out of the realm of financial possibility for us otherwise! Often it's filled with family, but this week it was just us (much, I'm sure, to PJ's chagrin, since he loves him some cousin time!). PJ always seems so at home there; he slept in one of the beds like a big boy and had a blast running up and down the long hallway and behind the very large couch in the living room! We spent as much time as possible on the beach and my little beach babe enjoyed every second of it, not wanting to come out of the waves even when he was blue and shivering! Even now, the word "ocean" can't be mentioned without PJ cheering "OCEAN!!! YEAH!!!".

Sadly, the trip was a complete fail in the picture department! I was able to snap a few shots with my phone but usually had my hands full chasing PJ to capture the moment! I just have to remember my best boy jumping in the waves, eating ice cream by the bay, running on the boardwalk and sliding down the giant slide on Wonderland Pier!

We also joined our local pool, which is inexpensive and wonderful! Babies are allowed into the "Big Pool" with a swim diaper, so PJ can get in and "swim" with his Mommy and Daddy or play in the toddler pool with some of the friends we have made. There are even a series of swim lessons being offered, so we signed PJ up! Pete and I have been dying to get him back into swim lessons ever since we took as class that was gifted to us by my oldest/bestest, Randi! Swim lessons are hard to come by in this area- they are in demand and finding a spot is difficult- so we are so excited for this opportunity!

PJ's therapy has had a bit of a shake up, with one therapist going on her maternity leave because her beautiful baby boy arrived a full month early (both mama and babe are fine and we are filled with joy for them!) and another making the choice to leave after over 10 years because she couldn't risk being a victim of budget cuts and possibly losing her benefits (I completely agree with her choice and I think she will be amazing in her new position!). PJ will also be starting additional speech and occupational therapy via Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and has follow up in the Autism clinic this Monday. We are also still waiting for the rest of his genetic testing results to come back. It all has me on pins and needles, a bit. We wonder how the additional therapy will impact our quickly-dwindling free time and ever-rapidly depleting wallets, and if the results of the genetic testings might mean no more children for us. It's a difficult thing to face all together and I feel isolated sometimes, unable to voice any of this worry any place but here.

Still, through it all is that goofy kid I helped create, who makes me smile even when he's frustrating me, the friends who are willing to cut his hair and hang his picture in a frame in their playroom, and my sister and family who catch me without prompting, even when it's clear I'd rather just fall then ask for help. I just have to peel back my eyelids, keep my eye on the prize, and remember that I have so, so much!