Words Fail Me

Quite literally.  Words are failing me right now.  I have no words to write with and it feels just painful not to write.  Life is a bit too much right now.  If my mother was alive she would say that I’m in one of my “moods”….I suppose she would be right.

Just as I thought things were turning around I woke up to having to rush my son to the physio as yet again, he’s injured himself.  Just a sprain, nothing serious.  Just enough to flip my world upside down and mess it all up.  But nothing serious.

I can’t keep writing that my life is busy, messy or just a pain.  No one wants to read that and Lord knows, I don’t want to write that.  So instead I will cheat.  Here are some pictures from the last few months…the months I have not been writing about.  These are glimpses into my life and what goes on.  Some events were wonderful…some a bit less than wonderful. Here they are, see for yourself.

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The Laundry Fairy is Coming!

In less than 24 hours the Laundry Fairy and her galant consort will be on the ground in Australia.

This is a woman who washes clothes, hangs them, takes them down, folds them and outs them away. ALL IN THE SAME DAY. She is a miracle worker.

She can not stand the site of dirty dishes in the sink. Just the site really bothers her. Know what she does? She washes them. Washes them with no snotty comments about them being left there or gentle suggestions on how I could best avoid the pile up in the future. She just washes them.

My in-laws together provide free, qualified, non-snarling babysitting. There are no words to describe the true value of this commodity.

That high pitched shrieking sound my daughters make when they fight, cry, talk or wail? She thinks that’s cute and she giggles. GIGGLES, it’s unholy.

When I cook one of my dreaded dinners that everyone hates, can you guess what she says? “This is wonderful. Thank you so much.” She actually appears to be sincere too!

I haven’t been this happy since….well…the last time they came to visit. Oh rejoice! The Laundry Fairy is coming!!

Who’s Keeping Score?

We’re having a house inspection pretty soon; I can just feel it in my bones.  Just waiting for the letter from the real estate agent to come in the mail.  While I’m waiting for the notice I’ve been trying to do a bit of maintenance throughout the house and yard.  Not too much, just enough to show that we are maintaining the property to the highest blah blah yadda yadda standards.

It’s only the threat of possible eviction that has me up high trying to prune some trees.  Surely nothing else would lead me to lean out over the 2nd story balcony and try to trim a branch dangerously overgrown and interfering with electrical wires.  Nothing else I can think off.

During my little mission I got another fun lesson on Australia Fauna.  It’s been forty eight hours since my last one; clearly I was due.  That’s when I learned there’s a bug that looks exactly like a piece of bark.  Who knew?  I didn’t.  That is of course, until it moved and raced with lightening speed towards my hacksaw trying to defend it’s home.  Then I figured it rather quickly. I am proud of the fact that the saw landed on the balcony and not down on the ground when I flung it away in terror.  I’d like to take credit for having planned that….but we all know it’s a lie.  My good friends will accept that lie, the rest of you can just lump it.

No, there’s no drama here, I have other dangerous branches my real estate agent isn’t willing to pay to have removed, I’ll tackle those ones.

Climbing up onto my chair, ’cause just being on a second story balcony wasn’t terrifying enough I needed that extra push into the Shrieking Horror Zone, I brought a chair to stand even higher on which to reach the trees.  Oh yeah, eviction is a powerful motivator.  I notice the lovely birds gathering around me.  Staring the pretty things I suddenly realized that there seemed to an awful lot of them.  Five, six, no eight minor birds, collecting themselves in group of branches right next to me.  Hmmm, that seems a bit odd.  Just as I was spinning (while on the chair remember) they began their birdsong call.

I’m being kind here.  Birdsong is not really accurate a description.  I’m reminded of the time I went to Brownie camp as a child.  There were forty or so of us girls hiking a hill in rural Pennsyvania and the sound emitted when it was announced there was no food brought…well it was a high-pitched wail….the kind that makes your teeth itch.  Combining that memory with the sound my darling Tessi bellowed when she learned that Connor had borrowed her dress without asking first….yes….that’s the kind of pain that was shredding my inner ears.

I began to hate those birds.  Very quickly.  Turns out they were hating something as well.  Monty cat came sauntering up along the balcony rail and simply sat at stared at the wailing fowl.  I don’t know what he did, but man there are some pissed off birds in my yard.  As I like him better than I like the birds I gently encouraged the birds to leave.  Since no one was around to rat on me I am labeling grabbing the closest tree branch to the little mob and screaming obscenities until they left as “gentle encouragement”.  I’m a real Australian now, I’m allowed to hate the minor birds. Ask around, the only bird more hated is the cockatoo.

After Hitchcock’s muses tore off I returned to the task at hand.  I was going to get some branches down.  Looking straight above my head I started sawing away with my trusty saw and that’s when I noticed a transparent sleeve looking thing.  I think the Latin name is Bigus Damnus Snakeskinus.

I looked at the skin. It’s pretty far up in the tree, it’s within the realm of possibility that I’ve seen t incorrectly.  Do snakes even shed their skins in winter here?  Regardless, I’m not getting any closer to see what it is.  I turned and looked at the branches growing into the wires.  I looked all the way down to the grown and wondered….do I really want to risk these branches growing further and risking a possible electrical fire?  Am I so frightened by my surroundings that I am willing risk such a danger? What about my desire to appease the real estate agent?  Was I capable of throwing that all away?

Obviously, the answer is yes.  I climbed down off of my chair, pulled everything inside and sobbed quietly into my tea.

Aussie Mother Nature: 437

My Candy Ass: 0

I’m cool with it.

Overcoming Being Overwhelmed

  • My evaluation of Connor shows that her actions are consistent with someone on the Autism Spectrum.
  • It’s unclear if Connor will be able to attend high school.
  • Connor as trouble regulating her emotions and has high sensitivity to a multitude of sensations.
  • At 17 months of age her speech is of a 8 month old.
  • We have to leave the Wiggles concert.  She started screaming as soon as the music started.  I think the sound hurts her ears.
  • Connor is overwhelmed by her fears.
  • We can’t go there, Connor can not handle the noise and crowds.
  • I’d better make an appointment with the special needs school.  I’m not sure Connor can attend mainstream kindergarten.
  • Connor’s anxiety is getting worse.  She’s refusing go outside because bees scare her.
  • I need to schedule playdates with kids at school, Connor doesn’t know how to make friends.
  • No, she can’t go without me, she’s terrified of escalators.  The other mom going doesn’t know how to handle her.
  • Connor can’t see shades of grey, everything is black or white.  If something bad can happen, that means it will happen in her mind.

These are all things that professionals or I have said about Connor since she was diagnosed.  Yesterday though, she left her school with the choir, boarded a train and traveled almost an hour to Circular Quay; changing trains once and traveling on two escalators.  She spent the day practicing songs with the combined choir and that night performed on the stage of Sydney Opera House.  There were more than 900 students singing more than two hours to a crowd of 2000 parents. After the finale there was an unexpected loud explosion and confetti rained down on the stage.  After the performance we walked outside to collect her from her group and could hear her shrieks of laughter as she played with her friends.

I spent a good portion of the performance wiping tears from my eyes because I was reliving every single one of those phrases in my mind.  The past eight years or so have been teeming with what Connor can’t do.  I could write a book simply about everything we avoided, couldn’t participate in or just white-knuckled endured with Connor. So much time spent in therapy sessions or creating events and situations that she could succeed in – just thinking about it all makes me tired deep inside my soul.

Yesterday, however,  was a screaming endorsement of what she can do.  What she can do well and do without me leading the way. My beautiful brave Connor faced a myriad of demons yesterday and triumphed over them all.

I am undone and overwhelmed myself at what she has accomplished yesterday.  What a privilege it was to see her success. We are still at the beginning of her life’s journey, and there is so much more for her to work on. But if we can’t revel in these occasional successes, then what is the point of it all anyway?

Here is a picture of my superstar in front of the Sydney Opera House and then a picture my friend took of inside the main concert hall. I am so proud of her.

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Seriously Science? You’re Killing Me

No one loves the scientific community more than me, NO ONE.  I would drop my husband in a heart beat if Neil deGrasse Tyson would only just look my way.  Ted knows this, it’s alright.  This morning though I learned of a new project scientists are working on at MIT and it made my shoulders slump to the floor.  Take a look.

Helpful Scientists

Extra fingers on my hands.  Wow.  Just what I need.  Now I can do even more work.  Thanks.

I’m sure there are hundreds of valid reasons why this knowledge would be helpful to mankind.  I get that.  Let’s be honest for a minute though, shall we?  Making it easier for my crazy multi-tasking brain to add even more crap to my to-do list is the opposite of helpful. It will in fact, end up killing me.

You wanna help the world be a better place?  Stop making things that will help us do more work.  Create things that will lessen the workload.  Here are some ideas that if were made possible, my life would be dramatically better.

  • Get me one of those tricorder things that Bones used on Star Trek.  I need something I can wave over a kid and say, “You’re not sick, you’re just fine.  Knock it off and get dressed for school.”
  • How about an app that lets me take a picture of my kitchen pantry and then when I’m in the grocery store if I pick up a duplicate of something my phone chirps, “Don’t get that Dumb Ass, you already have four of that in the pantry!” – maybe have Billy Connolly voice it?  I do love a Scottish accent.
  • How about a microchip in my brain that lets me know when I’m about to say something that is going to anger the person I’m talking to?  I can’t seem to make the part of my brain that is supposed to do that work very well.  I’ve tried just having unexpressed thoughts but then my blood pressure rises high enough to make my ears fly off my head.
  • I REALLY could use a sensor on the washing machine that beeps and whistles like R2-D2 some sort of  warning if there is a bit of clothing about to leak it’s color all over the place. That would have been incredibly helpful BEFORE I turned Teddy’s white uniform shirts (three of them) a lovely mint green color.
  • I will turn all my money over to and steal money like a crack whore to pay the person who invents the cute tab I can pop onto my children’s school uniform pieces that shrieks out loud, “WARNING, THIS HAT IS ABOUT TO BE ABANDONED.  WARNING!”  I’m not exaggerating on that one. All the money I can get my hands on.
  • If there is some way to have an empty Diet Coke can jump up and hit the person who left it in the back of the head repeatedly until it’s recycled I would fall on my knees in gratitude.

Some of these ideas seem silly, for sure.  I argue though that indoor flush toilets, automobiles and cell phones once reduced skeptics to tears and laughter.  

Thanks for trying Science…I know your heart’s in the right place.  Keep trying, you really are making the world a better place.