All in all, it's just another day now...

{these days}

...These days, I am obsessed- OBSESSED- with the musical Hamilton. I will be close to menopause before tickets are available, as it is currently sold out through most of 2016. But, in the meantime, the soundtrack has been on in a near-constant loop. It's such a blindingly brilliant piece of work- the writing, the music, and the story telling. I am not a history buff by any means and find myself riveted by this story of an immigrant who became one of the founding fathers of our country. I can not encourage you enough to listen to the cast album and learn this incredible story. The writing makes me feel like I should walk away from my keyboard and never look back- it's equal parts inspiring and frustrating. You will not be mad at me if you take my advice on this.

...These days, we are getting a break from the non-stop activity of the first two months of school. Both soccer and hockey have ended, leaving us with therapy three days a week and cheer for one. Over-scheduling ourselves to such an extent was not my best move. More often than not, PJ was overwrought and unable to control his body. Hockey, for example, was a hot mess. Now, we have a free week night and open weekends for a bit and I am going to enjoy the peace.

...These days, I keep looking forward to crisp, cold weather, only to be thwarted by Mother Nature and her mid 70's muggy nonsense. I love each season, but loathe the transitional period between. Is consistent Uggs and sweatshirt weather too much to ask? No. It is not.

This baby is going to be six. What the hell???????
...These days, I am wracking my brain trying to make a decision on what to do for PJ's birthday party. The timing issue has reached critical mass, so I need to get moving.

...These days, keeping up with housework is an impossible task. The only thing that keeps this place from descending into full chaos is the fact that we have therapists in this house at least two days a week! That means that about 40 minutes before someone is set to arrive, I fly around the apartment like a psycho trying to make up for a full day of ignoring messes. Keeping house is one of the very many ways that I fail at adulting. Killing bugs, wearing makeup, controlling my smart mouth and the fact that I think Boone's Wine is good are some of the other ways.

...These days, I think about how far PJ has come since we started therapy with a new agency in the spring. He is still prone to behavior issues, but we are slowly chipping away at them as his verbal skills continue to grow. He learned my phone number in one day. If God forbid a million times over that he ever get away from me, he can tell someone helping him how to reach me. Today, we were walking to the car after school and he greeted a classmate with no prompting whatsoever. A week or two ago, he played with friends after school, laughing and running with his peers as I blinked back tears. It's tiny steps, tiny steps, tiny steps, always. The finish line seems so far away sometimes (not that you ever really hit a finish line when you're a parent, right? These beings are just always our babies.) but we kind of shuffle along as best we can. It's the little moments, good and bad, that really propel us along and these particular ones happened to be sweet.

'Cause this is Thriller...


...Halloween was this past weekend, and PJ picked his own costume for the first time. He decided on Spider-man, so when his therapy session was cancelled for Tuesday, I decided to take him shopping to get his costume. Rookie mistake. The store was way too much for PJ- noisy, with loud music, blinking lights, and too many things to look at. We were able to make it to the register to pay for his costume but didn't get out before he threw a small display of pens that look like needles. I had to make him pick up every single pen. He did so, and I could see him trying to get some control by the expression on his face. But, next time, it's all Amazon, baby! Rookie mistake.

...speaking of the Spider-man costume, Pete was annoyed because it had a chest full of fake pectoral muscles. It is not authentic enough for him. Pete feels that a true representation of Spider-man would have a slight build. He got all offended when I reminded him that there is no authentic representation of Spider-man because he is a comic book character. I was rolling my eyes so hard that I am surprised they didn't fall out of my head. This is my life, folks.

...The day before Halloween was school picture day which meant that, the day before, I had to take PJ to get a haircut. Haircuts are...not fun. PJ loses his mind every time and even though I could never understand exactly what upset him, I knew that the noise and the feeling was just too much for him. But finally, at his last haircut, a breakthrough: he used his words to tell me "no neck." He hates the feeling of having the back of his head touched. So, this was not good news for a non-mullet look, but great news for someone who wants to see PJ empowered to use his words and address his needs. We practiced what he would tell Miss Jess, his hairdresser (and kind of a tattooed saint, along with her partner, Amy). "Miss Jess, just cut the front and the sides. No neck." He sobbed while he said it, but he did, and we listened. Thankfully, his last haircut was a good one, so he hasn't gone Billy Ray Cyrus just yet.  Still, it is KILLING me to see his hair not cleaned up in back! But PJ expressed his needs and I needed to let my need for a clean haircut go.

...Halloween ended up being a great day! We started the morning with soccer (PJ's buddies brought him Halloween treats!) and then came home to rest up a bit before we hit the streets. We met up with cousin Robbie, who was very convincing as a soldier (complete with camouflage). The boys had a great time knocking on doors and running around. After that, PJ and I headed to Marla's neighborhood for Round Two. Her neighborhood goes all out, turning Halloween into a giant block party that includes "treats" for the adults as well! It was exciting for me because it was PJ's first time Trick-or-Treating at night (I know, I get excited about bizarre milestones!). We wrapped up the night sitting by a fire outside as neighbors buzzed about. PJ fell asleep on the way home, still clutching the glow stick he very sweetly talked someone into giving him.

...Halloween is a tightrope when you have a child with special needs. For PJ, there is a high risk of sensory overload and an Epic System Meltdown. His school Halloween events were just the trigger, and it made me sad to see that he just could not enjoy the fun- his body was just too uncooperative. Parents of children with allergies, with physical impairments, with developmental disabilities; it can be a victory just to get your child into the costume, much less around the neighborhood.I found that I had to modify what I thought would be fun into what would be fun for PJ as he is. I have a feeling I'll need to make those adjustments for the rest of our lives, but it's all good as long as he's happy.

...a few more pictures from our Halloween!

Our day started with soccer and it looked like this. Gorgeous. 

Large pectoral muscles. 

LOL, I just noticed the Robbie photobomb! 

I love everything about this picture- I love the glowy light and the curve of the sidewalk and how PJ looks like such a big boy. 

The light in his hair. Swoon. I just wish he had picked more peanut butter cups.