I chat to Rosie from “Trusera.”

Just in time I remember that she is an American and therefore I am chatting 'with' her rather than 'to' her.

“Maybe you'd like to join us at “Trusera?”
“That's very kind of you but no thanks.”
“Why not?”
“All that registering and logging in and passwords.”
“It's easy.”
“Maybe but I've banned myself from joining anything else as I don't have enough room.”
“Don't you mean 'time'?”
“No, I mean room.”
“Room for what?”
“Room for the passwords.”
“Yes, I write the passwords to different sites on my left arm in permanent ink so I can't lose them.”
“Oh….how…..unusual. So you've no more room on your arm?”
“That's right, we're just about to move from Winter to Spring.”
“What's that go to do with anything?”
“No long sleeves, I'm about to lose 12 inches.”
“Anyway, I don't think I'm qualified.”
“I'm not particularly truthful.”
“I tell lots of lies.”
“It's got nothing to do with the truthfulness.”
“Oh that’s handy, I’ll be in good company then.”
“No, no, no! I mean it's all about health.”
“Oh dear me no, I don't know anything about health either, I'm British.”
“Then come on over and “join,” you might just learn something.”
“Good point.”
“Maybe you'd like to write for us too?”
“Who me?”
“Oh dear me no, not on your nelly.”
“Um…… I wouldn't be able to write anything about health either.”
“You can write about autism.”
“What's autism got to do with health?”
“It's in the DSM IV, so it's a health issue.”
“Good gracious, I was forgetting that for a moment, what a nit wit. It’s just that my children aren’t sick, they’re perfectly healthy, bar the odd wart.”
“Plural actually, but the dermatologist is taking care of them.”
“Well I don't know very much about autism, I only know a little bit about two individual versions of autism.”
“That's more than I know already.”
“So what do you say? One of your “pals” is already here, but that's probably because she's a lot braver than you.”
“So true, so true. Actually, I’ve seen quite a few familiar faces there.”
“How about it then?”
“Well, I'm not sure if we're on the same page. Have you read anything I've written?”
“Oh yeah, we checked you out.”
“Golly. I don't suppose you were the one that read my whole blog the other day?”
“Nope. Sorry.”
“I wonder who that was? Lurkers can be so…. what's the word…….unknown, scary, disconcerting, unsettling………it's like someone spying on you through the cracks in the stall or peeking through the key hole of the loo door.”
“Maybe you should nip along and check out the site, starting at the mental health section.”
“So, do you think you could be a good sharer?”
“I'll try.”

So now I eagerly await service of Rosie’s lawsuit against me to include charges of defamation of character and libel, together with a claim for punitive damages for pain, suffering and extreme emotional distress.

Anyone know a [cheap] lawyer?

Come along now, you be brave too “Trusera”

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Autism and Transitions

Autism and Transitions

“Ooo there you are!” I hussle my pal into the car. We are carpooling to save the planet. She's not a nervous type but if our roles were reversed, I might be nervous too, because foreigners drive on the other side of the road. I reverse out of the drive as she sits in the passenger seat. I glance across at her, ram rod backed and ears pricked. I check, “are you o.k.?”
“We're in the middle of the road Maddy!”

To “read more…..”

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Honesty is the best put off

She plagues me with questions first thing in the morning as I wipe noses and squirt inhalers with the boys.

“But when will you phone?”
“Phone, phone, phone.”
“Oh I know!  You'll phone after nine?  Will you phone at nine?  Mommm!”
“Er no.  Her mum said she'd phone us at mid-day.”
“Oh no that's gonna take forever.”
“Indeed, but we'll find something to do in the meantime.”
“Mean……time….mean….time……mean…….time.”  I make a quick dash to the garage for a couple of boxes of tissues to assuage the sea of snot.  My pre-teen in is mid pout, as she has experienced a sharp learning curve this week.   Adult conversations have been the order of the day, but we need to tread carefully.  If you ban a friendship you guarantee eternal adoration.   “She probably won't phone until even later………like yesterday…….”  I see the cogs turning.  She's getting there all by herself.  “You know dear, it's probably not fair for her to come for a sleepover tonight anyway.”
“Why?  That is sooo not fair!”
“Look at them!  They're coughing and sniffing…….”
“That's o.k. we'll be in my room.  She won't catch it.”
“Um……tell you what…….I will have to tell her mum that the boys are ill and then she can decide.”

I am disconcerted that she agrees immediately, no hesitation, ever the optimist.

We spend the day quietly but in a very noisy manner until the telephone rings in the mid afternoon.

“Hi Natalie!  Just a quick call as she’s still asleep, up all night on the innernet with her sister.”
“Oh hello,” I glance at the clock,  “I just thought I'd better let you know that the boys are ill with colds, maybe flu.”
“Oh sorry. Poor little guys. I'll bring her round when she wakes up.”
“Well I just thought that you should know that they're ill in case she catches it.”
“She'll be o.k.”
“She's got a great immune system.”
“Hmm that's good to know.  Pity the boys haven't fared so well.  No school for them on Monday!”
“They're <span style=”font-style:italic;”>that<span style=”font-weight:bold;”></span></span> sick?”
“Ooo yes.  I wouldn't be surprised if they're off school for a few days.”  I hear silence on the other end of the line.  I dither whether to fill the air with mindless chatter or keep quiet whilst calculations are made.  I am ready for the 'she can come here' option.  I have spent an inordinate amount of time working out how to extract myself and my family from this escalating debacle.  I need to stick to my guns but I have a strong need to ensure that I do not slight an innocent child.
“You know Natalie howabout we do it next weekend?”
“Thank you for that, but I'm afraid we have the boys' sleepovers then.”
“Great!  One more would make it a party.”
“It probably would, but I'm a bit tired these days so we're trying to limit the number of play dates everyone has.  I hope you can understand.”
“Sure.  I'll leave it a week then.”
“Thank you.”  She's already clicked off the line.  I am left with the notion that I have only bought myself some time.  A second wave is on the way, building momentum, ready to bowl me over.

Better dust off my surf board.

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Wordy Wednesday – hand strength

Ms. Wordy Wednesday pops in for a chat.

“Hi Maddy! Are you getting set up for a condiments party or something?”
“Oh dear me no. These are just examples of the kind of muck that is banned in my house.”
“Well excuse me! I'll come back another time when you're less grumpy.”
“Ooo sorry about that, it didn't come out quite right.”
“Are you telling me that you deprive your children of ketchup and American mustard? That's gotta be in the Un-American Activities ban!”
“Hmm you're probably right, but they're not banned any more.”
“Oh. So what made you change your mind?”
“Hand strength, or rather the lack of it.”
“Is something wrong with their hands?”
“No, it's just that they're a bit……“feeble.”
“Feeble? What’s the magic ingredient in ketchup that strengthens hands!”
“Well it’s not Riboflavin dearie.”
“Why are their hands weak?”
“Well if you never use your hands for anything, then they don't develop any muscles.”
“Surely not. Hands are just………well, I'm not sure what they are?”
“Do you remember when you were little and your hand would cramp up when you were writing, ache a bit?”
“Yes now you come to mention it, I do remember that. Still get it now as it happens, probably well on the way to carpel tunnel, but that's because of the repetitive nature rather than lack of muscle strength.”
“But you remember the pain? So if your hands hurt doing little tasks, it's simpler not to use them at all, which makes it worse.”
“What do you mean? How can you not use your hands?”
“Actually is much easier than you might imagine.”
“I can't imagine it at all!”
“Well say your plate is sticking off the edge of the table, instead of pushing it back with your hand, you can push it back with your tummy.”
“Oh. Well I suppose your tummy is probably nearer.”
“Or you want to move something else on the table so you just nudge it with your elbow.”
“Hmm that's a bit more awkward. Why wouldn't you use your hand in that situation?”
“Part of it might be that the thing has an unpleasant texture.”
“The tactile defensiveness thingummy!”
“You know that sounds like a pretty lethal combination, don't want to touch things in the first place and weak hands.”
“Hang on a minute. That's why you have the squeezy ketchup! A dual goal of making their hands stronger and helping independence.”
“Yes indeedy.”
“What if they didn't like ketchup! Then you'd be in a pickle.”
“Actually you can get squeezy pickle too!”
“Really! Now that does sound disgusting.”
“It is.”

“There are lots of “developmental toys” these days to help with hand strength though. Why don't you get them some of those?”
“I did.”
“No luck?”
“Oh yes I was forgetting the motivation thingummy for a moment there.”
“Never forget the motivation thingummy.”
“Is that an order?”
“No, no, no, more of a gentle request.”
“Horse and water to you missy!”
“Pass me the nose bag, but don’t fill it with ketchup.”

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Out of the loop

[From Friday – details have been changed to protect anonymity]

Spouse and I experience 8 hours of sleep, collectively.

I am uncertain whether I had 5 and he had 3 hours, or the other way around?

A holiday is an upset to the routine. An upset to the routine often results in disruptive sleep patterns. My daughter continues to badger me with the same interminable question. By seven in the morning I explain again, hopefully with greater clarity.

“I'll telephone at nine and sort out the play date.”
“Can't you phone now?”
“I'm afraid not. It's rude to telephone before 9 and in any case you know that none of them are up before mid-day.” I wish to avoid the previous occasion's angst, hours of tears when no-one picked up the phone.
“Well that's not true any more. She told me she's up at seven!”
“Well that's lovely but I still can't phone before 9. Just think of it as the polite rule.” She pouts. It's a rule of my own making. I need my brain to be fully functioning and I also need quiet, neither of which is generally available.

I check the diary. Who is going where? Who is coming here? Times? Rats! The first delivery is at nine, pick up at 11. I herd and coach to ensure that everyone is ready on time.

In the car I am bombarded by yet more questions from my daughter to the backdrop of 'supercalafragalistic' sung by my youngest.

“You said you were gonna phone my friend at 9!”
“Yes I know but I made a mistake. I'll phone as soon as we get back from delivering your brother to his play date.”
“But I still don't get it!”
“Which bit dear?”
“Why we have to wear shoes if we're not allowed to go in?”
“Well if you're invited in, then you can go in, but it's not your play date.”
“You can't just barge into someone's house uninvited dear.”
“So why do we have to wear shoes then?” I ignore the snarky tone of the pre-teen.
“Because if you are invited in, you can't go in if you don't have shoes on your feet.”
“Do you think they'll invite us in?”
“I don't know dear.”
“I don't get it. Gene barges into our house all the time and you don't mind.”
“Gene is our neighbour. We've known him for 9 years now and he's our friend.”
“Ken's family are our friends too, or he wouldn't be having a play date there!”
“Do you know his mum's name?”
“Do you know his Dad's name?”
“Well if you don't know their names……..tell you what?”
“If they don't ask you in you could always, politely ask if you could pet the dog?”
“Do you think they'll let us in then?”
“I don't know but there's no harm in asking, politely.”

Mollified briefly, we pull into the driveway and open the automatic doors. They escape in seconds and start pogoing on the doorstep fingers competing to ring the bell. I dither. There is the threat of rain but last night’s Shepherdess pie has had a dire effect on someone's digestive system. I leave the doors open, to air out the car for a couple of minutes, it's California afterall.

As their front door opens the dog shoots out like a bullet to frolic, turn cartwheels and race. She scoops him up, armfuls of fluff and lick. Her ready smile is her passport to house entry. Once inside the boys hug and pogo with squeaks of delight. I exchange pleasantries with the dad, a charming man indeed who wrestles with suitcases ready for their weekend away. Their teenage daughter folds blankets and tidies, a study of responsibility. We confirm pick up time and step outside.

On the driveway my youngest son squeals and bolts to the far edge of the garden. I gallop after him as he curls into a ball at the edge of the hedge. He points in horror, wordless, as I hear my daughter laugh, “hey look mom! Those crazy sprinklers!” I walk back to the car, shut the far side door and begin to mop up several gallons of water from the interior. Thank goodness for emergency towels!

It takes a goodly long time to persuade him to return to the car, the dry side, the side that never had a drop of water on it in the first place. Mercifully we pull out of the driveway. Out of the corner of my eye, I see their front door open but we're already on our way.

I debate. Buy milk on the way home or buy milk when we venture out again to collect him?
“Anyone thirsty?”
“Howabout we make that Papaya, Pineapple, Banana smoothie you wanted?”
“Oh yeah, that would be great!”
“So we'll just nip into Wholefoods on the way back then.”

The trigger word 'Wholefoods' sends him off the deep end. Although all supermarkets smell, Wholefoods appears to smell more strongly than other shops. It's somewhere I only visit occasionally because it is full of tempting expense. I dither. Is today the day to start another round of desensitization? Only two children? I decide to be brave, help him be brave and pull into a parking space, next to the curb, next to the shop, so as to avoid the hurdle of 'road crossing.' He clings to his seat belt, a life buoy in protest, a rigid L shape, immobile. “Green is bad!” he shrieks at the sign. My daughter waits by the shop front window, peering in, absorbed and patient.

I dither. Am I really ready?

“The sooner we're in, the sooner we'll be out and home again,” I beam weakly. I wait as his knuckles turn white.
“Can you do ten minutes dear?”
“10?” he sputters. Maybe this wasn't such a good idea afterall?
“Yes, just ten, only ten.”

He whips off his seat belt and charges up to his sister to jump on the spot for a while, revving up the energy reserves for his first sortie. I concentrate on keeping him within safe boundaries. I rely on my daughter to select her preferences and taste the samples on display. He walks around on tippy toes, thumbs stopper his ears, pinkies pinch his nose. We’re finished in swift moments and dash to the check out. They fill my bags with groceries as I riffle through my handbag for my cards. I can see my cards. My cards are in my purse, next to the phone and the calendar at home on the kitchen counter. Luckily I find my cheque book buried in the depths. I sign off with a quick flourish.

“Can I see yur I.D. please? Yur driver's license?”
“I'm afraid I've left it at home.”
“Do you know the number?”
“I'm afraid I haven't managed to learn it off by heart yet.” Grounds for deportation.
“No, I'm afraid I haven't managed to learn my social security number off by heart either.” Guilty of Un-American inactivity.
“You've got anything?” I continue to riffle. Good grief!
“Actually, I seem to have both my passports for some reason.” Two months after my last UK visit!
“Well I guess I'll have to ask the supervisor. It sure is ID!”

I debate. Which is more stupid, to drive around California without my license or to walk around with my passport in my handbag? The former is illegal, the latter merely insane. My son sucks three fingers and spins as he waits, patiently.

We are released from custody, together with our groceries. It is 9:20 in the morning and I feel strangely tired. I drive home gingerly, one mile per hour lower than the posted speed limit, sure and certain evidence of malfeasance. I endure 20 minutes of the same song repeated in a never ending round, “la, la la, lee, lee, lee, I'm a silly pink bun nee, I am cute, yes it's true, I will shake my tail for you!”

Once home I make smoothies for two and tepid water for one. The smoothie is so sweet it makes me shiver. My metal fillings have been replaced but the same sensation lingers on. I plant the telephone head set on and dial in between sips, washing up and watching my son skate in the kitchen in his socks and very little else. I leave four messages on the answering machine of four different mothers.

I fizz. The sugar rush gives me a burst of unexpected energy, just enough to persuade him to power jump on the trampolene. He bounces as I count to a hundred, with 'ands.' The buzzer on the tumble drier lets me know it's time to re-make the bed now that the duvet is dry. It is not safe to leave two children unsupervised downstairs. It will be too difficult and painful to persuade him to go upstairs during daylight hours. I plonk a pile of playdough on the table for entertainment and step into the kitchen to make lunch in advance, to save time and simultaneous snacks.

I wait until they're both in full munch before making a quick dash to the letter box in the garden. I unpack the box of herbal, save the world, kill the lice, shampoo and set it aside for the next emergency, just in case we have one, an emergency that is to say.

I calculate. The wool shop is one block from the play date. The new rule is that use of car shall be combined with as many errands as mentally feasible. If seamless sock production is to remain seamless, then I need more wool, today. I need it today because there will be several minutes during the evening when my hands will be in need of occupation. I have discovered that hand occupation cancels out restless leg syndrome, or what we more commonly refer to as fidgeting. My new personal 'om' campaign includes sitting in the evening, although simultaneous breathing is still optional.

I dust buster my way through half a packet of scattered cereal and toast crumbs from breakfast, because my efficiency quotient is at an all time low. We return to the car in advance of the allotted pick up time. My son sings Christmas carols, or rather just one nauseating holiday song, in February, over and over again.

“You cant sing that fur another 10 months yah know,” she advises sagely as we approach their driveway.

The dad stands next to his car and waves at our arrival. We walk into the house together where he puts his briefcase down in the hall. The boys hug farewell as we return once more to the car.

I reverse out into the road to the tune of 'We are the Champions of the World' and 'If I knew you were coming I'd have baked a cake,' both in rounds, separate ones.
“Mom! Get em to shut up!” I'm tempted to hand her some ear plugs but instead I turn on the story tape, the new “Dr. Seuss” one, which I may later have cause to regret. I am very fond of my son's pal but I always find it disconcerting that after a couple of hours together, his speech patterns, tone and expression leaves it's imprint. Instead of my sotto voce son's voice, I have the giggly, fast talking mimic, a child exchange.
“Be quiet or I’ll smear pooh all over your beds!” My startle reflex is keen, but I don’t crash the car.
“What did you say?”
“Where did you hear that?”
“My friend. Her sister squished pooh all over her new bedroom.”
“Really! I didn’t know she had a little sister as well?”
“She doesn’t.”
“You mean it was her big sister! But she must be….15 at least!”
“We’ll talk about this when we get home.”
“Why?” Everything appears to be upside down. I am familiar with autism, smearing and motivation, but if you remove the autism and change the motivation then I am entirely out of my depth. If this is what passes for ‘normal,’ then I don’t like it. Over protective indeed! I concentrate on driving but the huge lump in my throat has made my brain seize.

I feel a small sharp prick in my temple which prompts me to talk over the story, “who was looking after you dear?” His mum was out at work. Could his dad have been out too? Was big sister in charge? How old is big sister? Didn't they say that they were visiting Universities recently? Surely she must be 17, mustn't she? She's certainly reliable and responsible by all accounts. Why does this bother me? What business is it of mine anyway, but I still feel uneasy? I remind myself that this is a family that I trust, that they are busy, it is probably merely an oversight. Their daughter is a delightful tribute to their formidable parenting skills. I have the distinct impression that I am worrying about the wrong family. I decide to tackle the matter later when there are fewer distractions.

“When'll we be home mom, I need to phone my friend?”
“About twenty minutes depending upon the traffic lights dear.” I need to sort friends quickly.
“Traffic lights, traffic lights, traffic lights,” he cooes.

Once home there is no answering blink on the phone, nobody loves us. I am unable to count the number of additional children we have had in the house during the week, but I know that it is more than 7. I decide not to be down hearted, as at least the children are happy.

We eat lunch together. I need to engineer one on one time with my daughter for a private discussion about a particular friend, if not interrogation. She dashes to answer the telephone and chats to her other friend as my ears flap. I wade through bills and junk mail at the table, ferry across additional food and gulp a pint of carrot juice myself with a liquid Centrum chaser. I must remain healthy and energetic at all costs. She returns to the table, “that was her mom. They'll be here in five minutes.”

Thank heavens for some friends.

“Oh good. Better find your shoes then dear.”
“Well you can't leave the house without your shoes.”
“But I'm not goin anywhere.”
“Aren't you? I thought you were going round for a play date?”
“No, something's come up so she's coming here instead!”
“Oh really!”
“Yes and don't forget, she hates Calamari and Pizza.”
“What has Pizza got to do with anything?”
“Yeah she's staying for supper too. Her mom's goin out and her dad can't cook.”
“But they own a Pizzeria!”
She slips into 'woman of the world mode,' casual, conciliatory and amiable.
“Well you know how it is Mom. She's all on her own, no brothers and sisters to play with, home all week long, her Mom sure needs a break,” she beams as she hugs me. I look towards the window as a car screeches to a halt by the gate. I watch as she scampers towards our front door and the car spins away. Is she scratching her head? What time will she be collected? Am I supposed to deliver her home? Do we have to get in the car again and endure another transition? Do I have enough veggie burgers made up? Can I stretch the carrot and sesame seed salad?

I have a sudden urge to run into the garage, leap in the car and escape, my own personal delivery service, destination, sanity island.

I give up!

The front door slams shut after the girls as they gallop up the stairs. I take a deep breathe and start to stack the plates. I remember that I forgot to buy the milk. I need to knit myself a cocoon where I can hide. I remember that I forgot to go to the wool shop too. In the pile of mail, between the leaves of 'Fry's Blowout Sale' flyer, I find four assorted sized envelopes, 'thank you notes' for a memorable dinner, from 8 lovely grown up American people.

The dinner party is already a complete blur, wiped clean, memory card crash. My mother always emphasized the importance of thank you letters. I knew she was right. Now I know she was right. I pop them on the mantle piece to remind me of the many, many things that I have to be thankful for.

We live with so much falsehood, often self generated.

I wonder which bits my dinner guests remember?

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Idaho or bust!

“Aha! There you are. The very man I've been looking for.”
“Really? Are there any other men around here?”
“?…….of for goodness sakes.”
“So what did you want me for anyway?”
“I've hit a brick wall.”
“Oh dear! Much damage to the car?”
“?…….not literally you humbug.”
“It's no good! I've been trying all day but no luck. I've shopped everywhere. They can't be had for love nor money.”
“Oh. Shopping? Everywhere?”
“Yes. Landsend, Target and Amazon. You name it, I've looked!”
“No. You have to use Paypal and haven't quite mastered that yet.”
“Well……I don't know what to suggest?”
“They go up to size 5T but you can't find any for a seven year old.”
“I thought you said this morning that you'd make some if you couldn't buy any?”
“I did, but then I thought about it a bit.”
“If I send a seven year old to school in home made blue dungarees, with egg yellow buttons the size of an egg cup, he'll be beaten to a pulp.”
“Well it would help if you searched on coveralls or overalls.”
“I did! I couldn't remember the right word first but eventually…Although I've not been able to find a dictionary that translates “English to American” yet.”
“Still no joy?”
“What about those pictures you see of children out in the fields with potatoes and sheep and things?”
“Cattle or Longhorns, not sheep.”
“Not sheep?”
“No of course not. You know Americans! If you so much as mention 'lamb chop' they all have a fit of the vapours.”
“True. But out in the countryside they're all gamboling about in dungarees.”
“Boon dogs! Or is that urban? Maybe Hicksville?”
“Don't ask me?”
“Well what are we going to do?”
“Fair enough, if that's the sum total of your assistance I shall expect you to get him dressed tomorrow.”
“No! It took you ages this morning. I thought I was going to have to take him in the nuddy.”
“Exactly. Hence we need a pair of overalls by tomorrow morning if we're not going to have to repeat that particularly painful exercise.”
“Hmm. Why do you think he's so obsessed with looking like Mario all of a sudden?”
“It's just another one of little burrs just waiting to jump out of the bushes and latch on.”

“So what are we going to do?”
“I'll tell him I'm still looking.”
“Yes, it helps to be truthful.”
“But after he saw that costume on-line, I think we're more or less done for.”
“It's a racket. Fancy charging $70 for an adult costume and $100 for a child's. It's day light robbery.”
“So our solution is?”
“That's what I was hoping you could help me with?”
“Do you still have his old pair?”
“Couldn't you tack something on to the end of the legs, make them longer?”
“Ooo dear me no. I don't want to sink back to the 70's nightmare. That really would be a curse for the child.”











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Excellent Award I


“Mid-Lifer” over at “Navigating a midlife crisis” has very kindly given me this natty little award. I was a little worried at first, as I suspected that it was an ‘E’ for ‘exercise,’ as nominated ‘to go out and run about a bit’ award. Perish the thought!

So first of all I’d like to pass it on to “Chelle” at “Crazy Thoughts” a misnomer if ever I heard one!
I don’t think I could pay enough for that kind of crazy. If you’re new to her blog then I would [respectfully] suggest that you poke about here on her post entitled “I am beautiful.” I would have to admit that I haven’t actually bought this book but I think it behoves all of us, who are parents of girl children, to give this important matter some serious thought. Ban the Barbies that’s what I say! But Chelle says it so much better[er!].

Moving on, has anyone managed to avoid “Casdok” over at “Mother of Shrek” yet? You have! Then shame on you! No matter, it’s not too late to make amends, you can whizz on over there now, but if you’re a bit of a cowardy custard, wary of ‘British Humour,’ then you can very safely start off at this post of hers called “Hungry,” but doooo be careful. Make sure that you’ve had a snack first!

A newbie one for me, but none the less excellent for that, is “Mary the Teach” over at “Work of the Poet.” Now to be fair, I’m not entirely happy to hand out an award to a teacher than comes in the form of an ‘E’ as it seems far too close to an ‘F’ for fail, but that’s the Alphabet for you. If this is a new one for you too, then you could do a lot worse than start over here at her post called “Things I’ve giving up for Lent.” [that’s a lie of course as it’s a Thursday 13 thingy, but it’s a great introduction, especially for us visual learners.]

Then to “Heidi” at “Viking Conquest” and “Family Adventure.” The woman is a tower of strength but all too human, in the nicest possible way of course! If you’ve not had the energy to visit her yet, then a good spot to start would be this post called “And the weather Forecast calls for…” partly because it makes me feel homesick and partly because it’s someone else’s take on life in Britland.

It’s hard to work out who has the biggest brain when it comes to blogging about the topic of autism, but “Autism Diva” would be right up there. I expect that if your life hasn’t been touched by autism then you may not have come across this blog before. It that’s the case then a gentle introduction would be this video where lots of “our kiddie winkies frolic.”

Another relatively new place for me is “Mrs. Wibbs” over at “Wibzways.” She and her busy family sizzle through their days in just the kind of laid back way that I aspire to, but can’t manage very often. If it’s new for you too, then a good place to start would be here in her post called “Wise Fun,” where she’s more than captured a few corkers.

So how many is that? Six? O.k. one more there for the perfect 7.

So it’s over to “Three and Holding” where “Janet” does a mighty find job of steering her fine family in the right direction. I of course am a little biased but I’m fairly confident that other myopic persons such as myself, could benefit greatly from this post of hers called “I can see clearly now,” where you too can try out a zillion different frames, or failing that, vote for which pair she should really have bought.

Cheers dearies.

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Excellent Awards


“Shellie” over at “Little but Loud” has very kindly given me this excellent’ award. Clearly poor “Little but Loud” is slightly delusional, because everyone knows that at best, I only ever score F for failure or a tad bit futile. There again since we are both donating our brains for scientific research, maybe I should cut her a little slack.

So first up we have “Melody” at “Slurping Life.” “Melody” is so hopelessly optimistic that it makes my toes curl. She’s already had one of these [I was a bit late in the starting block] but there’s no harm in confirming her superiority. Now there’s a woman that could do with a huge dollop of scepticism, but she’s unstoppable. Nip over there and stop her at this post called “These are the times when you know.”

Another super dooper blogger is “Angela” over at “Memoirs of a Chaotic Mommy.” Things are definitely chaotic over there as her blog template is on the blink, true agony indeed. I’m seriously in debt to her, indeed I may very well be partly to blame for her chaos as she has been fiddling about making custom awards for me to hand out to other people. That’s real super star skills as far as I’m concerned. In the meantime, if you are new to her blog then her post called “You’re all it” because it makes for a great visual introduction.

Then to “The Other Lion.” Many life times ago, I was a divorced single mum. I had the support and comfort of my family but I remember how ‘going it alone’ really was. Whilst my circumstances are completely different now, I find it helpful to hang on to some of those memories so that I don’t get too high handed. If this is a new place for you, then you might like to start off here with her post called “Picture Meme” because we visual learners love them and they also make for great introductions.

Another good place to visit is “Sarah” at “The Nefariouspoo of Sarah,” I mean who could resist such a title? Such has such a full plate, but handles it with charm, strength and patience. Whilst I have been known to moan in my time “Sarah” advocates in an entirely different manner. Would that we were all so “gracious.”

Then to “Catherine” at “Kitchen Table Math, the sequel.” Yes I know it’s very strange for me to even mention the word maths, but this is a real stonker of a blog. The only problem is, that you have to have a really huge brain to benefit from this site, which disqualifies me instantaneously. I rarely comment there because I really don’t need to advertise my ‘thicky, thikcy, dumb, dumb’ status quite so publicly. If you have a gifted child then there are lots of ideas here. If you have a quirky child then again, there are lots of ideas here. If however, you are a lesser being such as myself, you can always do what I do, hide underneath the kitchen table and earwig, you never know, we might just learn something over “here.”

Also for “Mum keeping sane” over at “It’s all okay.” as both of those phrases run through my brain all too frequently. So you know that phrase ‘if you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all’? well nip along here to her post called “When the juggler drops the ball,” for a quick reminder, and yes she is a wonderful mum.

Then to “r.b.” [I think I should keep that anonymous but let me know if I’ve made a mistake] over at “Hard Won Wisdom.” Many of us are educators in a way, but some people just do it so much better. If this is a new blog for you, then get your toes tapping and whiz along to her post called “nerd fighters happy dance project,” how can you resist!

Also to “Kristina Chew” over at “Autism Vox.” Yes I know it’s another autism blog for goodness sake and yes she does have the biggest brain on the blogosphere [and possibly off the blogosphere too] I think her blog was the first one I was ever brave enough to comment upon, so you might be able to be brave too. Her writing style keeps us all up to date and you can enjoy a little “geekdom” if you’re more comfortable with that option, called “I think therefore I google.”

Cheers dearies

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Awards – less than three

“Kelley” over at “Magnetoboldtoo” has every so kindly given me this absolutely spiffing little award which she made herself!!!

This is how she describes it:-

“Now the explanation. When the girls and I want to express our mutual admiration in public we say 'Less than Three'. If you look at it sideways:


It looks like a heart. So I heart you.

And I do. Every one of you. Even the lurkers.”

So it’s my turn to share. I’m glad she pointed out that I don’t have to award to to 28 people as that’s way beyond my capabilities but maybe if I keep it brief? Maybe people touched by autism that aren’t on the Hub would be a good place to start.

First to “Grace Under Autism.”
2. “Judith”
3. “Kristenspina”
4. “Kyra”
5. “Gretchen”
6. “Cristine”

7. “Kal”
8. “Lisa Jo Rudy”
9. “Julie”
10. “Bonnie”
11. “Jen P”
12. “One March Day”
13. “Autism’s Edges”
14.“Another Autism Mom”
15. “Redhead Momma”
16. “Autista”
17. “Mom to JBG”
18. “Cottontales.”
19 “Mom to Mr. Hansom”
20. “Karianna”
21. “Mum without a Manual”
22. “Lora”
23. “Tulip Mom”
24. “Kirsten”
25. “Queen of Shake Shake”
26. “Autism Schmatism”
27. “Christina”
28. “Drama Mama”

Hmm, maybe this wasn’t such a good idea afterall. It’s been a tough week here with everyone on holiday. There are so many autism blogs which really ought to be on my blogroll apart from the fact that I can’t figure out how to do that. I thought I’d wait until the new blog was up and running and do it then, but it’s even more difficult on the new blog.

I am of course the ‘cut and paste’ Queen, but printing out other people’s blogrolls and sticking them on the computer with glue isn’t working for me.

So I think I’ll stop now and spend some time trying to work out the blogroll nightmare instead. So if you’re not included yet please don’t take offense. Instead you could leave your URL behind or the URL of autism blogs that you like [and possibly some blogroll hints to point me in the right direction for WordPress!]

Cheers dearies

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Awards with Bling!

I’ll tell you one thing for free, I’m beginning to understand the purpose of these awards as they certainly boost my morale.

I really don’t know what’s happening around my home at the moment and these awards make me happy to escape reality.

Reality at the moment seems to be turning me into an all day random day care facility. Only a couple of weeks ago another mum and I agreed that it would be lovely for the girls to get together for a playdate. We had a playdate here. Then we had another play date here. Now we are having another play date her. A pal is coming for a pre-arranged play date this afternoon.

Less than five minutes ago, a Dad pulled into the roadside, opened the car door and tossed his daughter out. We watched from the window. He didn’t even pause to see whether she went safely from the gate to the door, or whether the door opened, or whether she went inside, or whether she was greeted by a Grizzly bear! Don’t even get me started on the reciprocal side of things, not that I’m counting of course. Perish the thought! Come one, come all seems to be the motto of the moment.

Now where was I?

Ah yes, Awards with Bling!

It sounds like an menu item with something on the side! But there you go, that’s just me. My pal over at “Around the Island” has been kind enough to sent me this very neat [that means tidy] award. What does ‘neat’ really mean out here anyway? I hear it so often although fortunately it’s not affected my household yet. You can check out her blog and her family’s antics at “Around the Island.” I’m very impressed with these people who can combine a post with an awards ceremony!

So now it’s my turn to send a little sanity out there through the ether. First to “Delilah” over at “Floating in Space.” If you’ve not visited before, then you might like to start here on her post called “A goal.” Don’t worry it has nothing to do with English football.

Then to “Joey Mom” over at “My Life with Joey.” She’s down with the flu like everyone else at the moment, but this post called “addicted” applies to just about all of us. There again, if you’re more of a shopping type, then you might prefer “here.”

Also to “Kassiane” over at “Rhettdevil,” now that I’ve found her blog again rather than whizzing off to that strange blue page that never changes. [what a twit I am!] If you’re a newbie I would suggest you start here on her post called “Thank you,” just you were in any doubt about the power of blogging.

Next to “Joker” at “The Musings of a Lurcher” not to be confused with a ‘lurker.’ This is for all you doggy fans who wish your pup could talk. A good place to start would be over here in her posting called “In the doghouse,” as we’ve all been there once in a while.

I think I’ll pause there as I forgot to save this half way through and therefore mislaid the other three! I refuse to get hung up on the number seven.

I am back again [6 hours later, post play date]

So over to “FXS Mom” at “Fragilex.” She’s one of the troopers that still visits my old Black and White blog. You never know, maybe I can lure her over to the new one! If this is a new site for you then you might like to start here at her post “What kind of Cartoon Animal Are You?” coz those are always fun unless you end up being the Tasmanian Devil!

Then to “Corky” from “Corky’s log.” If you need a baby fix [go on, we all need one every now and again!] then nip along to “boy small,” but if you’re really a hard hearted cynic like myself, then start of here as this makes a great introduction to “Corky Shares from the heart.”

Do you know how I know that the play date is over? Well, I know because 45 minutes after pick up time passed, a car pulled up outside the gate, honked the horn, the play date pal fled from the house and they zoomed away in a pile of dust and a scattering of gravel. I assume they are late but my milk of human kindness begins to curdle!

Don’t you just love ‘normal’ behaviour?

Maybe I should rename my blog = “Grumpy 24/7”

At least it’s saved me the bother of making an appointment at the tattoo parlour so that I can permanently plant ‘twit’ on my forehead.

Ooo a quick international question from the ever so slightly confused [take pity on me!]

When you send your child to someone else’s house for a sleepover do you expect:-

a] a bed with linen to be provided

b] a mattress and sleeping bag to be provided

c] send your child with their own sleeping equipment

d] none of the above

Cheers dearies

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