Yay! I managed to convince Andy to go out and play after dinner. Oh and the weather was really nice at 7:30, low 80s with a nice breeze. And because the weather was nice, he stayed and rode his bike rather than going in and out of the house.

Now I wish I could convince him to leave his clothes on in the house. He is just too old to be walking around in boxer briefs.


I'm not so good at making and keeping friends. I think I lack the normal social skills. It doesn't bother me so much except that I see Ryan struggling and I don't know how to help. I don't want him hanging around the older kids in the neighborhood. (They seem unsupervised and trouble-makers.) And other kids are younger. They are only a couple of years younger and they do play with Ryan. But mostly I see Ryan just hanging around them like a fifth wheel. I'm not sure he understands their games and they don't know to explain them to Ryan.

I remember a few friends when I was growing up. I never really gave it much thought. There were some kids on the block and sometimes we played together. There was never anyone I had to see everyday. I was good at playing on my own.

I made friends in school but rarely saw anyone outside of school. Almost everyone else lived in Detroit and I wasn't allowed to just go over there. And when my mom started working at the school, my sister and I became latchkey kids. We had to go directly home and stay inside until mom got home. This led to me watching lots of TV and my sister on the phone.

In high school, friendships were already formed and I was the outsider. I made a few friends, one of which I still have to this day. But the whole thing does not come naturally to me.

I still have trouble meeting and making friends. I guess I am shy or unsure of what to say. The internet is a big help because you can take your time and try to make a good first impression. When we moved down here, I wanted and needed to make friends. Joining the MOMS club helped a lot. I made some wonderful friends who really helped me when I needed it. Unfortunately, most of my good friends have moved away. And we don't keep in touch like we should. And I have let some friendships slide over the years falling to exchanging Christmas cards and photos of our kids.

Neighbors are another thing. I thought they could be good friends, close friends. Maybe they can. I haven't seen it happen to me yet. There are 2 neighbors of mine. They are good friends with each other. They are friendly to me but I still feel like the outsider. Not always sure what to say. Always having to feel apologetic for the behavior of my kids. Being left out of their outings.

I think friendship is going to be one of those things that I have to keep working on.


The bus was late this afternoon. Twenty minutes late. I knew that Ryan would be upset. The bus driver said that dismissal was delayed because of criminal activity. He didn't know anymore than that. He said the boys did well.

But Ryan wouldn't open his eyes. It's his ostrich tactic when this are going badly and he doesn't want to face them. I carried him from the bus to the garage then made him walk. Still he would not open his eyes. Lucky for him I was in a pretty good mood even though I had just spent over $100 at the grocery store. I stayed calmed and sympathized. I find that agreeing with him lets the foul mood pass more quickly. We laid down in my bed and talked and then played. He didn't want to go back to school ever again. He wanted to switch schools. He wanted the school to go out of business. At 5 pm, he felt better and was ready to go on his way.

That's just one of Ryan's quirks. He has to be on time. Once he got his watch, he demanded that everyone else be on time as well. It drove the teachers a bit mad. Last year, they took down the schedule which listed the times each activity was to be started and completed. There are no class bells so the times could be a bit flexible. Ryan is not.

This year Ryan got into some behavioral problems. They took away some items that they deemed "privileges." One of the items is his watch. He cannot wear it in school until he earns it back. So he outsmarted them and wears it on the bus but puts it in his backpack before he gets to school. Then he puts it back on when he gets on the bus to go home. So he knows when he is "late."

Ryan makes up a lot of rules dealing with time. At 7:15 pm, he sits on the potty and plays with his DS. At 8:00 pm, he takes a bath. At 8:30 pm, he wants kisses and the light turned off. Early is OK, late is not.


It's mother's day and guilt nags me.

Am I a good mom? I am not trying for any mom of the year but I do hope I doing right by these boys. I hope they will have more good memories than bad.

Did I do enough to help the boys with their autism? Should I have done more?

I started thinking about my friend, J. She has 3 kids. Her middle son, A, has autism. His was of the regressive kind. He seemed to be developing normally then stopped talking and walked funny sometimes. They thought he might have had a stroke and did a ton of tests on him. They did not label him with autism because their insurance wouldn't pay for treatments with that diagnosis. J did a lot with A. She took him to a DAN doctor and tried all kind of things with his diet. The whole family changed their dynamic in order to help A get through this. J seemed to have endless energy devoted to A and his therapies. I haven't seen A in years since they moved but it sounds like he is doing really well. He is doing a lot more than my boys combined including sports and cub scouts.

Should I have done more? Should I have tried the gluten free/casein free diet? I don't know. I don't think I could have done much more than I did. We stopped doing outside speech therapy when the boys fussed about going and added so much stress to the day. I certainly don't have the support system J has. Nor am I as organized and she is. I applaud her efforts but still feel bad about my own.

Guilt sucks.

05.01.08 part 2, the dentist

Actually it went pretty good. Goodness it's expensive! $125 for cleaning and check up.Andy has a small cavity in one of his baby teeth. It should fall out soon so they are not doing anything for it.Andy did well and let them brush his teeth. I hate when they ask if I am brushing their teeth. Like I have time? Good golly! I happy to get my own done. When we were little, we only had to brush once, before bed. We had to brush before we kissed my mom good night. A minty kiss meant we had done our job. And I had never heard of flossing until much older. I later learned that my mom was not so good with her oral hygiene. We had the same dentist and he used to say that he wished I would teach my mom how to brush her teeth. Ha!Once we were done with the dentist, Andy earned a trip to the toy store. I asked if he wanted a new bike (the shop is next door) but he wanted a toy. And he picked out a fairly cheap one at that. He wanted the Melissa & Doug Band in a Box.

We did go look at bikes. I think we are looking at a bmx style bike. I don't want gears because I know Andy will mess with them and screw them up. Single speed. Amazing how hard they are to find and how much they cost.

We finished off with Chick Fil A. Andy is too tall to play but they let him knowing he is not aggressive. There was a little boy, came up to Andy's waist, and he was ordering Andy around. He had Andy in "jail" and Andy thought it was funny.


Sunday means NASCAR. Ryan got into NASCAR a few years ago. He has so much of it memorized. His father would have be so proud. Back in 2005, we went to my sister's house for a long weekend. Ryan got to watch Speed Channel and was hooked. So when we came back, I upgraded the cable and got Speed. He stopped watching NASCAR races. d'oh!

My dad came down a month earlier than normal in November. He likes to watch sports. Ryan was anti-TV. But Ryan let him watch some things and even some NASCAR races.

The season started this year and we are watching every race. The pre-race show sometimes as well. He knows the schedule because he looks it up online. Yesterday, we watched the Nationwide Series and today was the Sprint Series race. Ryan sits in front of the laptop so he can check out stats and facts as the announcers tell them. He also has his NASCAR Encyclopedia ready for reference. Ryan doesn't eat nor drink during the race. He is afraid to miss anything.

For the last few nights, Andy has had trouble going to sleep. He is awake past 10. Last night, I heard him talking and came out to find his getting on the laptop. Oh no! I told him he doesn't have to sleep but he has to stay in his room. He can listen to his radio. I didn't hear from him again until 5:45 am.

Andy ate his breakfast as usual. I didn't see much of him but I think he was just playing on his computer. He did eat some of the grilled cheese for lunch. Then is was after 6 pm and he didn't ask to go ride his bike and didn't start dinner (he gets the chicken out and turns on the over). I went to look for him and found him asleep in the guest room. I asked if he wanted dinner or more sleep and he said dinner. But he didn't get up.

I imagine he will be awake tonight.

This weird lack of need for sleep, or flipped schedules in not uncommon in people with autism.

We have been fortunate that this only happens every few months. And at least he didn't keep coming into my room and wake me up and he has in the past. I should look for his DS so he has another option if he wakes up.