Thursday, October 30, 2008

A little Trunk-or-Treat!

What a BUSY day! But really,  aren't they all busy anymore?  Today we had Speech Therapy in the morning, and then it was time to get down to PUMPKIN business! Every year I lop the top off of some hideously large, unsuspecting orange gourd and let my little princess dig in! Her favorite? Halloween activity is to get the "oooooey gooooey punkin guts" out of that poor vegetable. Don't laugh, it makes for GREAT photos!




Mason, on the other hand is very "Anti-Goo"  and would rather kick his feet up and supervise!

After Mason took his nap (and subsequently woke up with Croup) I decided it was probably time to try on our costumes and make sure they fit properly! Afterall, we had to meet up with Stacey, Curt and their kids in two hours for Trunk-or-Treat. It would SUCK if the costumes didn't fit!


Yeah.. she rocks. My little 'princess' thought better than to dress up as Ariel, Cinderella, Belle, Jasmine or some other form of pretty pretty. 'MY' girl says, "Momma, I wanna be a pirate".
YESSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!
My - Pirate Princess. (Scrapbook Album to follow) LMAO!

And to introduce you to the most adorable vegetable you have ever laid eyes on... 
*insert drum roll here*

MASON!!!!!!!  
And Matani wondering what the HELL we did to his boy!

Hehehe Just kiddin, here is the front photo!


The making of a Pirate.... princess.

Step 1. Dark eye makeup. I'm not sure why, but ALL pirates have dark eye makeup. 
Thank you Jack Sparrow!

Step 2. Glitter. All princesses must have some bling right? Even the pirate types.

Step 3. Ashli wanted a beard.  *shaking head*  I obliged.

This is her best, "ARGGGHHHH MATEY" look!

Cool right? This is my pumpkin all lit up. I gave it the Pirate look, as it seemed fitting with.. well.. you know. The whole PIRATE thing we have going on here. 


Off to Trunk-or-Treat with some good friends, and one very cool Brat Cat! This is Ashli with her "bestest friend" Calista. I love that she has someone her age to be silly with!

I just had to put up this photo of Calista's big sister Tori. This little lady is just a knock-out and I love how this pic came out! A beautiful witch... with some SCARY hair~


I really like this photo of Ash and Calista. I wish It would have come out a tad more clear, but hey, I'll take what I can get when I have ZERO light!  Hope yours came out better Stacey!

One of the kiddos. I just realized I didn't get one shot of the older boys tonight! I'll have to take a few extra tomorrow night!  (Tomorrow is actually Halloween). 


Have a SAFE and Happy Halloween all!



Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A little bit of YUMMINESS for you!

Today I'm gonna tell ya about a new recipe I tried that you are going to LOOOOOOOOVE, yes, LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE!  It's a clever twist on the standard Roasted Potatoes w/Rosemary that we've all managed to screw up one time or another. 
(Or maybe it was just ME who kept screwing it up?)

INGREDIENTS:
1  1/2 lbs potatoes cut into small chunks. (I used Red Potatoes, Fingerling Potatoes, and Purple Potatoes, these potatoes are what made the dish!)

About 7-8  baby red onions chopped and separated. (4-5 of these suckers makes a handful and they are YUMMY!) If you can't find baby red onions use 1 small, or 1/2 large onion.

1 red Spanish Spice pepper, seeded and cut into strips

1 FRESH FRESH FRESH 4" stem of Rosemary.  (Did you get that it needs to be FRESH?)


INSTRUCTIONS:
Mix all ingredients in med-large bowl and drizzle with Olive Oil. Mix until well coated. Place in a single layer on a foil-lined baking dish. Sprinkle with FRESH chopped Rosemary leaves. Bake at 425 until lightly browned and tender (about 20-25 mins)


This is a 'before' photo. Sorry, when this dish came outta the oven it smelled so good I forgot to photograph it. I just DUG IN! This is a really PRETTY dish too isn't it? I just love all the colors! This one will look GREAT on my table this Thanksgiving! This was a perfect accompaniment to a nice steak and some french bread.

Apparently, Mason wasn't nearly as excited about my Potatoes with Rosemary as I was.

As you can probably tell by this post, that whole "Cleanse" thing is over. It was over 72 hours into a ten day cleanse.  Lets face it, drinking that lemon concoction became a horrible chore. The more I drank it, the more I hated it! Eventually, I stopped drinking it and the hunger kicked in. That's when my loving and supportive? husband lopped a big fat plate of fresh Calamari in front of me.  I was powerless to defend my 'cleanse'. 

*Note* After not eating for 72 hours, that was the BEST damn Calamari I have ever had!



Friday, October 24, 2008

Look Ma! No Ponies!


Just a quick little post tonight to show you a lovely photo that I took of Ashli this  morning. The poor thing woke up with no voice! I told her that I would have to keep her home from school today because she was feeling so poorly. She mustered up the sweetest (croaky) voice she could and said, "Look momma! I'm feeling better now! Can I pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease go to school?" I told her we'd have to wait a few hours and see how she was feeling when it came time to get ready and she politely reminded me that she just HAD to go to school today because it was picture day!

 How can I argue with that? 

So today, was the first day I actually "did" Ashli's hair. Curling iron and all. Not that her thin silky hair will hold a curl, but hey.. I tried. *shrug* We ditched our usual pony tail and opted for a more elegant down-do. She looked so amazingly beautiful that I just couldn't take my eyes off of her! Then it hit me... School photographers (for the most part) suck! So, I grabbed my own camera and snapped off a few shots before that beautiful hair got ruined on the playground.



I was telling myself, "self.." I call myself 'self'. I said, "Self, you sure do have one beautiful little girl, and you know what makes this little girl so incredibly beautiful? The simple fact, that she is the most gorgeous person this world has ever seen... on the inside. That inner beauty just radiates through every pore in her beautiful little face."

P.S. Mason waved and said, "Bye" probably 15-20 times today!

 I'm a very lucky momma. =o)





Thursday, October 23, 2008

Bye!

Oh be still my heart. My little boy has stolen my heart TWICE today!

This morning we had speech therapy. Allison really pushed him hard. He was tantruming like I haven't seen in months. Each time she pushed, he pulled further and further away, threw himself to the floor and cried like we were torturing him. This made therapy seemingly impossible. And each time my baby boy fell apart, I did too.  I sat through our one hour session, and cried three times. Sometimes, I just want to run away and pretend that my son is a neurotypical child, especially when he has days like this. Therapy ended and we came home.  A little while later, I was sitting on the floor watching Mason play on the other side of the room. He eyeballed me. You know, that sly, fun sideways glance out of the corner of his eye. I knew it was playtime! I sat in that same spot and gave him a big smile. Then I puckered up my lips and stared at him. He came RUNNING and gave me a BIG BIG KISS! YAY!  He's only puckered up and kissed me on one other occasion and it wasn't all that long ago. Today, he kissed me probably ten times and I cherished every single one of them! Gosh, he knows how to make a mom feel better! 

Tonight, we were working on Turn-Taking at the dry-erase board. After about 20 minutes of this particular therapy, I decided to pack it up and call it a night. I erased all of the scribbles and waved to the board saying, "Bye Bye colors."  To which Mason responded by waving and saying, "Bye!"

what?  Did he just.. wave and SAY Bye? It took a half a second to register before I screamed and threw my child to the floor smothering him in positive rewards and slobbery kisses!  He wiggled out from under me, waved and said, "bye!" then ran to the stairs! Are you KIDDING ME???? TWICE!?!?!?!  He laid down on one of the steps and sheepishly watched me.  I waved to him again and said, "Bye Mason."  And yes, yes, yes by God he did it AGAIN! That voice was the sweetest voice I have heard in a really LONG time. And just what this worn out, beat up mom needed on a difficult day like today.





Monday, October 20, 2008

Playlist Fever!


Stacey got me HOOKED on this playlist thing for my blog. Every day I add another song or two to it. I LOVE THIS THING! It's like the world's greatest radio station. 

No Commercials and I know every song it plays is gonna ROCK!

Stacey writes an article in each issue of Scrap N' Art called Stacey's Scraptunes. Her article is about music and how it can affect a person, bring out emotions and old memories etc. I got to thinking, nearly every song on my playlist evokes some kind of emotion, a memory, a wish... a SOMETHING! 

So, I'm going to list some of the songs on my playlist and say WHY that song is special. Then, I want YOU to leave me a comment (even you people who stalk my blog and never leave a comment) telling me some of YOUR favorite songs, and what those songs evoke in you.
*I'm serious about you blog stalkers too.. comment this one*

Described in the order they played for me.

1. The first song that played for me was 'Grandpa' by the Judds. This song has always been one of my very favorites. It makes me think of my own Grandpa who is quite possibly one of the strongest, stoic, beautiful men I've met.  I love the 'calm' that this song evokes.

2. Must Be Doing Something Right - Billy Currington. This song is just SEXY. I totally get butterflies when I listen to it.

3. Barbed Wire & Roses - Pinmonkey.  Ha! Someone once told me that "I" was like Barbed Wire and Roses. For the longest time I wanted to get a Barb wired rose tattoo'd on my lower back... *sigh, the memories* lol

4. Strokin' - Clarence Carter. LMAOOOOOOOO I LOVE THIS SONG!  No, I'm so not a pervert. Well, maybe a little bit! This song is the first song I ever learned to Country Line Dance to. It's still the only song I CAN line dance to! The "Sleazy Slide". My girls and I (hey Bobbi Jo!) used to get down with this one at Dylan's Dancehall in Vegas EVVVVVERY weekend! OH how I miss those parties!  Yes, I tried it when I found this song on playlist and yes, I can still rock this dance! HA!

5. Radar Love - White Lion.  OMG Have you ever seen the lead singer? He was hot. Yes, I'm showing my 80's-ness.  FYI, 20 years later the man still has it!

6. Chrome - Trace Adkins. I'm fairly certain he wrote this song about me. He's so right on I should be getting royalties!

7. Love Like Johnny and June - Heidi Newfield. She sings in reference to Johnny Cash and the love of his life June Carter Cash. Theirs is a love story that held no boundaries. They truly did live for one another and they lived their entire lives showing it. Who wouldn't want to love like Johnny and June? I know I would.

8. You Can Leave Your Hat On - Joe Cocker.  Uhmm well. *blush*  To be completely honest here. I likes me some cowboys. You figure it out. OUCH!  hot-hot-hotttttttttt!

9. Poison - Alice Cooper.  Well, aside from the fact that I wanted to marry this man when I was younger. I attended a show of his in Vegas quite a few years ago. I made my way to the front row and he sang this song. He looked at me the entire time he sang it. Yeah, that totally boosted my ego! yeeeeeeeeah baybeeee!  ohkay. I have goose bumps LOL! This song is a GREAT all-purpose song *wink*

10. Jose Cuervo - Dottie West. Well, to make a very long story short. I lived this entire song. In one night. Every last word of it. Thanks to a dear dear friend who KNEW I liked to drink Hot Damn shooters, yet he decided it would be a good idea to start filling me full of Tequila shooters instead. sheeeeesh!

There were pictures... Bobbi Jo had a camera. I've never seen the pictures. Man... I wish I could remember.. or maybe It's better that I can't remember?

Now post a comment and tell me a story about a song on YOUR playlist. Don't have a playlist? Pull a song out of your ear and tell me all about it!





Day 1 down...

If you read my previous post you know I'm doing the 'Master Cleanse' that my cousin Keli told me about. Here is the jist of it:

For 10 (yes, TEN) days you eat NOTHING.

Drink 8 - 8 oz glasses of "THE JUICE"  
(8oz water, 2 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice, 2 tbsp maple syrup, 1/10 tsp cayenne pepper)
Drink a special herbal tea before bed
Drink 32oz of luke warm salt water in the A.M.

Day one is finished. It was no walk in the park that's for damn sure. I couldn't stomach the salt water flush.. two sips in and I was ready to vomit. So, I am ditching the salt and just drinking the 32 oz of water. Will this affect the 'cleanse?'  Don't know. But man! Talk about BLECH!  I managed to get down 5 or 6 glasses of "the juice" but had to take out the Cayenne pepper. Rather than mixing it into the juice I am taking it in capsule form. I'm not a Cayenne kinda girl... hot hot hot!  The tea is no biggy. It's not all that tasty, but it's better than any of my other choices at this time.  I figured I'd be starving by now. I've gone 44 hours without food at this point and surprisingly, I'm not hungry. When I get hungry I make the juice and that squelches that. Now, there is a BIG difference between NOT being hungry and MISSING FOOD. I enjoy food. I enjoy preparing it, tasting it, sharing it etc etc. So while I'm not hungry per se, I do miss food. The hardest part so far I think was preparing supper for the family last night. They ate a delicious meal of Country fried pork, potatoes and veggies, with a fruit salad after. Me? Oh don't worry about me. I sat, I drooled, I drank 'THE JUICE'.   I'm finding it fairly easy as long as I keep the pantry door shut and keep food out of my direct line of sight. I've heard the first three days are the hardest. I'm dead center into day 2 and am doing fine so far. 

Have I discovered a new me? Have I found this elusive 'mental clarity' that I was promised? Well, not so much. I think one day wasn't enough to see the bountiful rewards of "THE CLEANSE."   I'm still as spacey as I was last week. Last night, I took my shower. Been doing this for thirty-----something years. You would THINK I'd have this down by now right? Nope. I shaved ONE leg. Yep. Just one. *nodding*  Apparently in my fog I either forgot to shave the other, or my subconscious thinks that shaving just one leg is good enough.  It's a darn good thing no one touches them! (the legs)

I'm out, will try to check in again tomorrow.. see if we can't find that Mental Clarity buggar!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Just A Filler...


So, here I am at home, taking the day 'OFF'. Things have been crazy hectic. oops brb Grey's Anatomy is back on! (Huge Thank-Yous to Jeff for programming my DVR for me!!)  Ok, commercial. So I'm lounging on the couch after what could have been the WORST night I've had in a long time! My joints were all swollen and sore, my skin hurt, I had cold sweats and chills all night and a HORRIBLE headache. Lying in bed HURT. I had NO idea what was happening to me. I tossed and turned all night long and had to keep my window open to let the 35 degree air in to keep me cool. LAST NIGHT SUCCCCCCCCCCKED!  I woke up feeling a bit better today and am thinking (hoping) that it was a side effect of the flu shot I got on Friday. I do not recall asking the doc to pick up that BIG ASS LONG needle and spew a live mini flu into my arm that would completely wipe my ass out! Grrrrr. Grey's is back on, hang tight. Okay. Anyway, I woke up this morning to start my first day of the "Master Cleanse." My cousin told me about this 'cleanse' that makes you feel SO much better  by ridding your body of all the poisons we've been ingesting for the past thirty----something years. Supposedly after this 10 day cleanse I will have more energy and mental clarity which lets face it, I NEED! I've been in a FOG for the past week and need a bit of clarity in my life! So, no food at all for 10 days. Just a ton of a magical lemonade drink made of bottled water, fresh squeezed lemon juice, maple syrup and cayenne pepper. Yeah, you're drooling now right?  *eye roll*  I figure it's only for 10 days, I can do it. I hope! 

Here is a sweet little photo I took the other night, after Ashli so generously created a portrait of me. She worked VERY hard on this portrait and I think she did a MARVELOUS job! I can even see the resemblence? Can't you?  Okay, I'm going back to my Grey's! Have a good one all.


Friday, October 17, 2008

Pee.. Shots.. Snakes.. Fall.. and Cars. I've had 'THAT' day again!


Catchy title huh? I didn't have the foggiest idea as to how to better title this entry. What a DAY! I decided that rather than posting 4 separate blog posts about today, I'll just jumble it all up in post and you can bounce around just like my day did!
*lucky you*

My day started with a cancelled therapy session and an impromptu trip to the doctor's office. Of course, since Gregg was home sleeping I got to bring my littles with me =o) Always fun. We were in the waiting room, children playing behind the fishtank in the children's area when I hear Ashli pipe up, "Mom. I have to pee."  I asked her if she could hold it for just a moment until we were called into the back, and she politely answered yes and went back to her toy. Within ohhhhhhhhhh say... 10 seconds she looks back at me and says, "NO!" and proceeds to have her very first accident in better than a year. Yeah. Peed all over her jeans, her socks, her shoes..   I wanted to die. I had no other clothes for her to wear and I couldn't very well strip my 4 year old naked for the duration of our trip. I couldn't run out the door because I needed to see the doctor. So, being as creative as I possibly could, I hid my two precious angels behind the fish tank and stripped Ashli from the waste down. Then, since my teeny little peanut can still fit into 2T pants, I promptly put Mason's jeans onto Ashli, and put Ashli's things into a plastic bag. Then, they call my name. Here I come out from behind the fish tank into a room FULL of people. I have one child wearing a sweater, diaper, socks and shoes and my other little one is wearing a sweater, pants and no socks and shoes. Can you even IMAGINE the looks I got? Oh it was awful!  The only things that could have (and did) make that appt worse was Ashli happily announcing to EVERYONE who passed us that she isn't wearing shoes because she PEED IN THEM, and we rounded out the appt with a nice.. painful flu shot. yay.

*I have no photos of this... Thank Goodness!*

   The doc kept me in the office a little longer than I had planned so when we finally got out we had to FLY home to dress my two naked kids and then get Ashli to her pre-school  field trip at the Morrison Nature Center here in Aurora. We've been talking up the field trip all week and she was REALLY looking forward to it. We got their only 5 minutes late (thanks to mom flying 90 the whole way) and Ashli went right in and sat with the rest of her class and watched the puppet show. These people really put on a great puppet show! They spoke all about the local animals and taught the kids what is and is not safe when out in 'nature'. Ashli even got to pet her first snake! She was VERY excited.  This was a 3 year old Bull Snake. These things are EVERYWHERE here.

See? Snake. No fear. I KNEW where it was!
*see post below*

After the puppet show and snake petting, we all lined up to go on a beautiful walk through the nature center. The class walked ahead with the teachers and tour guide while I and one of the other kid's daddies stayed behind with our Canon Rebels taking in the scenery and the colors!



I got this sweet little picture of Ashli when her class was lining up on a small dock overlooking a beaver pond.  Somehow, this sweet smile and that sweet voice can make any bad day all better again. She's something else.


A little about LOVE... *and threats*

I have SO much going on in my life with Mason, Ashli, therapy, the house, the dogs, scrapbooking, Scrap N' Art, and industry related stuff that sometimes Momma needs a break! Momma gets it in her car...

My little Hummer is like my third child. I LOVE MY CAR. Honestly, truly flat out LOVE my car. It's going on one year now that i've had my little angel and I got to thinking today, you know how when something is 'new' in your life you can't seem to get enough of it? You crave it even? Yeah, that is how I was when I got my car, but this is also how I still feel about it. He (my car) still gives me goosebumps every now and then. And when the sun hits him just right I can still feel the butterflies in my tummy.

SOMEBODY... *coughgreggcough*  has begun "Threatening" my baby. Due to rising fuel prices and a crappy economy SOMEBODY... *coughgreggcough*  thinks that I should give up the Hummer and go for a more modest and fuel efficient vehicle...  *snort*  Uhm.. NO.  I don't want an Xterra. I don't want a Toyota Toaster Box. No thank you. I love MY car. I am fully aware that I am single handedly destroying the Earth with my 'Not-so-green-car'. And I'm OKAY with that! I have learned recently that once you find that certain something that makes you happy, and can still give you goosebumps on your arms and butterflies in your tummy after all this time.. 
you hold on to it. You fight for it. You don't let it go.

In honor of my 'FIGHT' for my car - I present... The Sticker.  A custom creation by Dee Gilcrease at AJ's Engraving in Kellogg, Idaho. Contact - dee@ajengraving.com. 

THIS STICKER RAWKS! It took me a while to put it on the car... as I 
didn't want to offend anyone.
But now? Who flippin' CARES? This is my car.
I have a sense of fricken humor! 
If you don't like it, Don't Look.

*As a side note*
 Don't think I don't see you people CRACKING UP in my rear view mirror!

One last little tidbit for ya... If you read my previous "Fall Post" about the snakes. Well I wanted to photograph my car overlooking the lake and to do so had to find some pretty creative ways of getting him (the car) where I needed him. No biggy, he's a Hummer. He was BUILT for this.  We drove out to the middle of this field and I hopped out to take some pics. I squatted down for a shot and I heard it.   *Rattle, Rattle, Rattle*   NO SHIT!?!?!?  A RATTLE SNAKE!  Let me just tell you one little thing, I didn't even look to see where that sucker was, I HIGH TAILED it back to the car and only kept watch of the ground I was about to hit. So, no Wen.. NO PICTURES!  MAN I hate when those things just 'POP UP' on ya! GRRRRRRRRRRRRR!
But, the great shots of my baby were worth it!





Monday, October 13, 2008

Finally... Fall, and that DAMN voice again!

The fog has lifted! 
This morning I decided to try to get some photos for the photography challenge's "Colors of the Season" challenge. If you will recall from a previous post, we've been fogged in for half a week making outdoor photography impossible. Anyway, Mason and I dropped Ashli off at school and headed to a little spot about five minutes from my house to see about getting a few decent photos.  So, Helen and Wen, here are my Fall photos for the challenge. I couldn't pick a favorite, so you ladies choose whichever you like for the challenge. I'm good.

(Keep reading to hear about my day.. and that damn voice again grrr!)





So, do any of you remember my post a while back about "THE VOICE?" click the link to get caught up. (Go ahead, I'll wait...)   The voice pops in and out every now and then, reminding me that it's still around and yes I, for the most part am still ignoring it.  

I parked my car when we got to the spot I had chosen. I grabbed my camera bag, my keys and glanced at my cell phone sitting on my console.

"Take your phone," said the voice.
"No, I don't think so. I don't need it." I said in my head.
"You REALLY need to take your phone," said the voice.

I rolled my eyes, left the phone and got out of the car. I grabbed Mason and double checked my back pocket for my keys. I closed the door and Mason and I went for our hike.
We had lots of fun running, playing and taking un-posed photos. It was a really nice break from the every day work and therapies! 

WOOPS! Mason was crawling along the top of a rocky (teeny) waterfall and he fell into the Icky mud! Didn't bother him one bit.. he's a boy, he LIKES mud!





He is such a beauty isn't he? Everything is new and exciting to him and I thoroughly enjoy re-learning how magnificent the world around us really is with him. To see the same ol' same ol' through his new eyes is an like experiencing the world all over and I cherish these times.



We were doing really well until I looked down and saw a snake slither across my baby's shoe! Now, I have to interject myself here and let it be known that I do really like snakes. I DO! I've caught wild snakes in my yard, I've hugged them, kissed them, wrapped them up around my torso and kept them warm beneath my jacket. My point? I dig snakes! But I have learned with my past few interactions with them that I only like snakes when I know where they are. I turn into a shreaky, cootie-covered 'girl' when they just SHOW UP out of nowhere! This is NOT good for my "cool points".  Anyway, I see a snake slither across my baby's shoe and I freaked out. It wasn't my proudest moment and I'm sure I scared Mason to death.  I snatched him up off the ground and froze. From where I stood I began staring frantically at the ground. Without moving, I saw three different snakes within a 3 foot radius of where I was. Ya wanna talk about heebie-jeebies? Yeah, it was time to GO!   We packed it up and headed back to the car. At which point I discover that I HAVE NO KEYS!  WHERE THE HELL ARE MY KEYS?! I know I double checked when I got out of the car, I had them when we began our hike. I double and triple check my pockets, my camera bag, my son, under the car, you name it. I looked three times. They weren't there.

"Told ya to get your phone, now you're screwed," I hear the voice say.
I ignore the voice. I know it's right.... again.

I start scanning all of the buildings in the parking lot for where I might be able to use a phone. I have NO idea what time it is (clock is on the phone... in the car). I had no idea if it was time to pick Ashli up from school or not, I had no phone, no car and I was in trouble! I could ask someone to use their phone but who would I call? Gregg is at home asleep with the ringers turned off. He'd never hear the phone. I thought to call Stacey, but then remembered in a horrifying realization that I don't know ANY ONE'S phone number! I, like many of you have all my numbers programmed into my phone (which is... in the car) and I don't know any one's number by heart. CRAP!
I could call Triple A, but what would they do? Break into my car? Fine, but I'd still have no keys to start it. I could feel the blood rushing to my head as I did the only thing I could think to do. Put my camera backpack over my shoulders, pick up Mason and go RUNNING back through the fields and trees trying to retrace every single step of the mile-long hike Mason and I had taken. Begging and praying the whole time for God to just take me to my keys. 
With the 10lb camera bag, and the 30lb two year old, I was getting tired and a tad bit cranky. I was frantically searching for a glimmer of metal in the grass when out of the corner of my eye I see something move. I turn around quickly with just enough time to see a GOLDEN EAGLE flying not 20 feet from me going from his nesting box to a near-by tree branch. My jaw DROPPED! How could such an enormous bird fly so silently through so many trees? It was beautiful! And this time, I had my camera!
But... I had no keys and I had a little girl in pre-school. I had no TIME to dig out my camera and go hunting down the eagle.

The voice - "Tee Hee"
Me - "GROWL!"

After what seemed like an eternity, I saw it. That faint glimmer of shining metal hiding in the tall reeds next to the creek.
THANK GOD!!!!!!!!
I grabbed up my keys and BOLTED for the car. Sweating profusely in this balmy 40 degree weather, I turn the car on to see that I still have an hour before Ashli is to be picked up. *whew!*

I ran home, to put Mason down for his nap before going to get Ashli. Here is where I begin to lose it (I think). My 'voice' was trying to talk to me on the way home and I was in NO MOOD to talk! I could hear this VOICE trying  to tell me that it is only trying to help me blah blah blah.
I turned the radio up louder to drown out the annoying voice.
When I pulled up to the house and turned the radio off, I hear it again!

"I'm only trying to help, honest!"
At this point I actually AUDIBLY yelled at the voice! I grabbed my camera bag, and Mason and yelled out, "I'M LEAVING MY PURSE IN THE CAR!"

Why did I yell that to.. no one? Because I'm losing it. Of course it's idiotic to leave one's purse in the car. My mom would shoot me if she knew, but in my own little world this was my way of having the last word. Putting my foot down and overriding the opinion of my VERY NOISY conscious (the voice). 
The voice had finally gotten to me and I was rebelling. I've now missed TWO photo opportunities for an Eagle, because I don't listen to this voice. I am now audibly speaking (yelling) to this voice. Would you think this is the beginning stages of Skitzophrenia

I'll just end this post, with the news that I lost my keys two more times today. Once while hauling pumpkins (yes pumpkins) in a wheelbarrow. 
It was just THAT kind of day.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Finding Mason...


When I speak to people about how my son Mason gets "lost" sometimes. I am usually given a half blank stare followed by the same old question.. "What do you mean Mason gets lost?"  Or,  "What do you mean you lose him?"  Getting lost is not a technical term relating to Autism, rather it is my way of describing a very real symptom. I managed to capture Mason's journey in some really poor quality photos this morning and would like to help you understand what I mean when I say, "Mason was lost," or "we lost him."

I walked into my kitchen this morning to find Mason standing on a chair staring blankly at nothing. The technical term here is perseveration. This is when a child get's "stuck" on something, or in Mason's case it would seem that he gets stuck "somewhere."  I like to explain it as Mason has gone into "Mason's world" where things are normal for him. Where he can more easily digest a complicated and over-stimulating world. At any rate, I saw that Mason was lost when I came into the kitchen this morning and reached for my camera to try to document with photos my journey into his world, and his travel back to ours.


This is Mason... lost. He wasn't staring at me, his is how I found him when I came into the kitchen. I know he is lost, because he does not 'snap out of it' or even so much as blink when I repeatedly call his name. He was in "Mason's World" internally. Externally, he was staring at nothing. I stepped in front of him, to put myself in his direct line of sight and began my journey into his world.

We have been working for a year now, on finding Mason when he gets lost. The episodes happen less and less frequently these days. Usually, no more than a few times a day and he is relatively easy to pull out of it. A year ago.. this was his constant. It was all but impossible to pull him out.

I start by positioning myself in his direct line of sight, and I sing. I vary my pitch, my facial expressions, the words and sounds. I move slowly within his line of sight. I sing songs that I have made up for Mason. Songs that I know he enjoys and that make him smile. I clap my hands and make clicking sounds with my tongue. I touch his face gently to let him know that I am here.

His softened facial expression lets me know that he is not so deep into his world as he was when I first began my journey. He is hearing, feeling and possibly even seeing me. I have made contact with him, on his terms, in his world. Now, I have to gently pull him back to ours. This may seem like a silly routine. Silly to speak of luring Mason back with songs and such. But this is a part of Autism, and of what works for us. A big part. The more time Mason spends in his world, the less likely he is to want to be a part of ours. It is necessary that we be vigilant in keeping Mason here.. with us.

I continue with my songs, my soft and welcoming smiles and my gentle caresses. I decide to test Mason.. to see if he is progressing in his journey back with me. I move slightly out of direct line of sight. His eyes shift toward me. He is now definitely seeing me, and I have gained his attention. The songs have worked again. *tears*  He is following me with his gaze. I keep on with the songs gently until I am sure he is comfortable in MY world. I continue until I know he is okay here and will not regress back into "Mason's World." It only takes a few seconds and I know...

I got him. He's okay.







Colors of Fall?


This week's challenge on the Photo Challenge Blog is to photograph the 'Colors of the Season.' I've been patient for three days now.. waiting to see some of those amazing Fall colors that we normally see in Colorado. As luck would have it, a fog vaguely reminiscent of something you'd see in a Stephen King movie decended upon my town as the challenge was issued and I can't even see the ROAD, let alone the COLOR! I'm waiting and watching for one of those hideous  3 foot long mosquito looking things to slam into one of my windows! (Stephen King movie). Yes, the fog is bad!

I took this photo around Noon today off of my back patio.



In a true effort to snuff the fog, Ashli and I decided to make some Fall Colored Food!
We pulled her "helper's chair" over to the island and set forth on our mission to create whole wheat pumpkin, raisin, walnut muffins. (From scratch!) 



Ashli was a VERY big help!



YUMM! They came out super moist, and the perfect pumpkin color!



Why stop there? We're in the ZONE! So we decide to make some coconut macaroons. Those of you who know me know that I am a firm believer that cocunut should be it's own food group!



Ashli proved to be invaluable with the mixer while Momma was getting Pumpkin Muffins out of the oven =o)
She only whined about her arms getting tired once!


Mmmmm not too bad for my first attempt. Perfectly light, moist and oooooooooh so coconutty!
Definitely a great way to waste a foggy fall day!