Week 51 Brain Dump

The girl recovered from her hand injury. Pretty sure she played it up a bit, and she was none too pleased about doing her makeup work, but she’s all good. And two days after taking off her bandage, we had to put it on LM because he had a hell of a freak injury.

My husband and son were out Saturdaydoing their play stuff when I called to check on them. My husband said, “LM slammed his hand in a door. I’ve gotta go” and hung up. I was thinking that sucked, but didn’t think too much of it because that shit happens sometimes. I slammed mine in the bedroom door a couple days prior, and it hurt like a son of a bitch for a little while but was fine.

Yeah, no.

He called me back a short time later and told me to meet him and LM at the ER and that LM might lose a finger.

Holy fucking shit.

I dropped off BG and got to the hospital. When I got there, they were moving LM from triage to a bed in the bay to be examined by a doctor. The doctor came in quickly, and I got my first look at the finger, and it literally looked like someone picked up the top of his finger and moved it to the side.

Sorta like that.

The doctor asked us to step outside the curtained area. He told us that it didn’t look good and that we should expect for it to be amputated.

Holy fucking shit again.

My husband told me that looked good compared to how it looked early on. He said the finger was at almost a 45-degree angle and looked like it was barely hanging out.

HFSx3.

The doctor had a radiologist wheel in an X-ray machine, and then we found out that as bad as it looked, he wouldn’t likely lose the finger. Apparently the top joint of the finger was badly dislocated, and with the deep lacerations on both sides of the joint, it just looked like it was barely hanging on by a thread. Whew. The doctor numbed LM’s finger as best as he could and put the joint back in place. Watching that poor child go through that was just awful. He kept it together much better than I could have. He went to the ortho today, and everything looks reasonably well, He just has to keep the splint on for a while and watch out for infection.

Tough little dude for sure.

That is LM’s second injury for the year. A few months ago, he was doing a zipline when the seat popped up and hit him right above the eye. He had to get liquid stitches for that one. Hopefully he’ll get through 2020 without any breaks or stitches.


Can y’all believe we have less than 10 days until Christmas? Craziness. We still haven’t gotten our Christmas cards ready. This week is gonna be kinda wild, too. The girl has her therapy appointments, there is a field trip, a class party to help with, plus the boy needs me to make something for him to take to his party. (Which his teacher says is super secret and not to tell anyone, haha.) I also have my baking to do.

  • Crockpot Christmas crack
  • Non-crock Christmas crack
  • Andes chocolate bark
  • Chocolate dipped Oreos
  • Chocolate dipped pretzels
  • Chocolate peanut butter crisps
  • Strawberry cupcakes
  • Chocolate cupcakes

I need to do it all on Wednesday, so that’s gonna be a busy — but yummy — day.

We’re doing Christmas with the MIL on Sunday. And hopefully we’ll do some Christmasy stuff this weekend. Ice skating is out with LM’s hand (and it’s probably best for the rest of us to avoid anything that could cause a trip to the ER), but we need to go see Santa, do Winterfest, see Christmas lights, and start our movie marathon. And crafts. I’m glad the kids will have a couple days off school before Christmas!


I love how Baby Girl’s brain works. (Most of the time.) She had a question on a worksheet last where she had to shade the two objects that belonged together and cross off the one that didn’t fit in. One such question had a doctor, a pickup truck, and a box truck. I’m going to color the image to make it look the way she originally had it.

She made the box truck into an ambulance to make it and the doctor go together. I told her I liked how she thought and explained what the teacher was going for, but she acted like she had no idea why the two vehicles would belong together lol.


I had to stop writing this post to go somewhere, and I feel like I had more to write for my brain dump, but I’m blanking. Maybe I’ll do a Brain Dump Part 2 later. Maybe not. Have a good week!

Our Week/Girls Night

So, first things first — my FIL is home and doing well. Yay! He’s going to be on the mend for a few weeks, but he seems to be getting around the house good all things considered.

Second — our Thanksgiving was nice. Since my dad hosted his the Sunday before, my other stepmom held hers later, and my MIL didn’t host, we had our first ever Thanksgiving at home. Let me say, I really hate the circumstances that led to that. But, it was probably my favorite Thanksgiving since my grandmother passed away. It was nice to take our time throughout the day cooking and cleaning and getting everything ready.

My dad fried the turkey we bought, so we only had baking and all the sides to worry about, and we had a ton of stuff. My dad and stepmom joined us, as did my SIL, and dinner couldn’t have gone better. Even BG ate some of what I cooked this year. I don’t know if my husband would go for it, but I’d totally be on board for not leaving the house for Thanksgiving every other year. It was so relaxing. We usually have three places to go on Thanksgiving, and it’s rough, especially for BG, as it leads to lots of meltdowns.

With the kids out of school three days, it was a pretty easy week. BG and I had a Girls Night out on Tuesday. She came up with the plan on Monday night and was so damn excited that she could barely sleep. She woke up early gushing about our Girls Night, talked about it through breakfast, and even told the principal. When I picked her up, she asked if it was time for Girls Night and we headed over to the movie theater for a matinee of Frozen 2.

As excited as she was, I had my suspicions that it might not end well. She was so worked up over it that I thought she might crash, and I was right. We had to leave the movie halfway through. She said it was too loud and she thought it was kinda scary. I tried to get her to stay, but she was getting more and more upset, so we left to go to Target, which was next on her itinerary. The plan was to let her get a small treat. After half an hour of searching in there, the lights were too bright, she didn’t know what she wanted because there was too much stuff, and she was almost in tears again. I was able to get her calmed down and had her choose from a couple of toys I thought she would like, and she did so we left to go eat pizza.

The pizza place had an arcade, and it was noisy as well (and the noise-canceling headphones were nowhere to be found), so she nibbled at a piece of pizza and wanted to leave. She told me she just wanted to go home instead of getting frozen yogurt, which was fine with me since she clearly needed to wind down. We came home and I ran a bubble bath and she played for a while and was able to chill out.

BG later told me that it was the best Girls Night ever. I was surprised since she was on the verge of a meltdown more than once and things didn’t go smoothly anywhere we went, but all she saw was the two of us doing something special together, which is all that mattered in her eyes. ❤

The rest of our weekend should be pretty easy. We’re going to visit a friend tonight and then do stuff for my birthday tomorrow. The house is still clean, amazingly, so we’ll have a chill weekend!

How was your Thanksgiving (or week if you don’t celebrate)? I promise to catch up on my reading soon!

That’s Sick, Yo

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. (Don’t hate me for starting Christmas music already.) It’s also the sickest, and not in the good sense that the word “sick” is being used in these days.

The night before, the girl woke me up around 3AM. Not by kissing my cheek, shoving her knees in my back, or rubbing her feet on my pajamas (something she loves to do, which is so darn odd), but by puking on my back. That poor girl threw up for the following nine hours. We were worried that her reflux was flaring up again, but the vomiting shifted to diarrhea and then back to vomit later in the evening, so we felt like it was safe to assume that she had a stomach bug.

I truly learned what Clothes Mountain is when we went through most of our towels and linens. We had a trash can and vomit bag, but somehow vomit still got everywhere.

She woke up at 4:00 last night and refused to try to go back to sleep. Super cranky. We kept her home today and hopefully she’ll feel all better by tomorrow. Tomorrow will mark her tenth absence this year, so she’s missed 20 percent of the school days at this point. Plus she gets the half day for therapy every week. Ten days is the most they’re supposed to miss, so hopefully we won’t run into any issues if she misses more.

While my husband and LM were out last night, she wanted to lie down on my bed because she was tired. I laid down with her, and she didn’t go to sleep but became Chatty Cathy instead. That is one interesting child. She started talking about Teen Titans and how she noticed that each of the characters has a different way of talking. She told me facts about lions and the planets. (She seemed disappointed when I didn’t know which planets are gas giants.)

And then she abruptly shifted gears and told me she had to start liking Barbie dolls. I asked why and she said it’s what girls are supposed to like and if she likes them too, maybe people will stop staring at her all the time.

“Who’s staring at you?” I asked.

“Everybody. Everywhere I go, people stare at me. I hate it when people look at me. They all think I’m different,” she said and scowled.

I told her that I doubted anyone was staring at her because she didn’t like Barbies and it’s probably because she’s so cute.

“I know I’m cute,” she agreed. “But I have short hair like a boy and wear boy clothes and that’s why people stare at me.” (For the record, while her hair is shorter, it looks nothing like a boyish haircut, and she probably only wears her shirts from the boy’s section half of the time.)

I talked to her for a while about how everyone is different and can like whatever they want to like, as I’ve done in the past. I told BG that I’d be happy to get her a couple of Barbies for Christmas, but that she should want them because she actually wants to play with them, not because of other people.

She shifted gears again. “Sometimes the girls at school cry,” she said. I asked why, and she told me it’s when they fall down or have an accident.

“Do you ever cry?” I asked.

“Only once. On Halloween, in PE, we were playing Duck, Duck, Goose. I cried then.”

“What happened during Duck, Duck, Goose?”

“It was loud. It’s always loud in there. I had to sit in the middle and didn’t know why. Everyone was looking at me, and I started crying.”

“Poor girl. What did the teacher say?”

“She fussed and said stop, so I stopped, but I wanted to cry more. My friend Zoey patted me on the back and tried to make me feel better.” Zoey is the child who told my husband on the field trip that it was her job to protect Baby Girl.

I told BG that I was sorry that happened and that I would talk to her PE teacher about it. I’ll get a pair of noise canceling headphones for her to use in there when it gets too loud for her and let the teacher know to give BG a sensory break when she gets overwhelmed. She retired a few years ago and decided to work again part-time, so hopefully she isn’t one of those teachers who is difficult over this sort of thing. It really bothers me that she couldn’t take a few seconds to ask why she was crying.

I asked BG if any other enrichment classes were too loud for her, and she said music is, so I’ll get some headphones for that class, too. I could just ask her teacher to send around the pair she already has, but I imagine they’d get lost eventually.

“I hate when things are loud. It hurts and makes me sad and mad!” She sounded upset, so I asked BG if she wanted a hug. She hadn’t wanted to be held or cuddled all day. “No. Why do people want to hug all the time?”

“It’s a display of affection, to show someone they care about them.”

“My friends hug me a lot.” I asked if she was okay with that, and she said sometimes it makes her skin feel itchy. I told her she could ask them to give her a high five instead. I decided to take the opportunity to delve into her brain and ask about some of her other autistic traits, like why she doesn’t make eye contact sometimes. This is because it hurts her eyes and makes her feel sad. Rubbing soft things makes her feel happy, but she said she doesn’t do it at school because people will stare. She has a lot of meltdowns because she’s always cranky — everything is too loud. I knew sensory overload was the cause of that. I’m going to look into some less bulky noise canceling headphones for her to wear more frequently.

I hate the kiddo is sick, but I’m glad it gave us the opportunity to lay down and talk like that. I doubt she would’ve been still long enough to talk for so long about things like that otherwise. Hopefully she’ll bounce back today and be back to her normal wound up self.

Funny Bits With The Girl

The girl is often full of herself, and she’s had quite a few funny moments over the past week. Here are a few of them:

Baby Girl told me about playing with another little girl at recess. Baby Girl is 41 inches tall and this little girl, who is just a year older, is almost five feet tall. I was shocked to learn she is six! Anyway, they play family together. I asked BG about their roles, since I know she hates getting stuck as the baby, which is what usually happens.

“My friend is the mommy, and I am the pet lion,” she told me.

I love everything about that.


I was getting something out of LM’s closet and was kneeling over when his old infant car seat fell out of the top and hit me base-first on the head. I yelled and Baby Girl asked what was wrong. I told her, and her response was less than sympathetic.

“You’ll be fine.”

She sounds like a seasoned mom.


BG and LM probably fight more than they get along, but they do have their super sweet moments. LM was helping her put together a LEGO set her grandma gave her and told BG how much he loved her. Baby Girl said she loved him, too.

“I love you more than nothing.”

She has a way with words, huh?


When I called for BG to come into the living room and get ready, she didn’t answer and let her magnadoodle answer for her:

I love that she put an exclamation.

Happy Tuesday!

To The Mountains We Went

I’m one of those people who likes to make plans but doesn’t like to follow through with them. When the time comes to go wherever, I just want to stay home. But, after some back and forth over whether we’d keep our plans to go to the mountains for the weekend, we went, and we had a pretty good time overall.

The trip started out rough due to a meltdown BG had in the car when we picked her up from school. After she screamed for a while, I finally got to the bottom of why she was upset. Her teacher wasn’t at school that day, so things were awful. Nothing in specific, just because the teacher wasn’t there. Thankfully it didn’t last long. After we picked up the boy, we headed out.

Due to some awful traffic, the drive took closer to five hours instead of 3.5, so we got there at 9:00. It’s not like we planned to do anything if we had gotten there earlier, though, other than maybe get some ice cream. That extra hour and a half did mean we got to listen to BG ask “How much longer?” and “Are we almost there?” an extra hundred times. I eventually put my earbuds in for a little quiet.

Rain from the tropical storm moved in early on Saturday, so that killed our outdoor plans. My mother-in-law suggested driving over to Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge and said it would only be a half an hour drive. We trusted her, and two hours later, we arrived. The kids were none too thrilled about a 4-hour round trip drive after the drive the night before. It turned out that my MIL just wanted to go over there, so she fudged the time a little. Sigh, next time we’ll check. We did see a lot of elk on the ride, which was really cool. At one point, we saw a bunch sitting on the ground and BG shouted, “It’s an elk garden!” That is officially my favorite way to refer to a group of anything from now on.

The kids had fun at a trampoline park in Pigeon Forge, and then we got dinner and made the drive back. On Sunday, we had breakfast, did a little shopping, and drove part of the way back on the Blue Ridge Parkway so we could see the fall foliage. That added time made the trip back about six hours total, and I’m pretty sure that no one would complain if we didn’t see the inside of our car for a week. Again, it was worth the added time.

We are usually hesitant to make weekend trips with Baby Girl. She has never done well on vacation for the first couple of days. It has always been Meltdown City. After joining an autism page on Facebook, I saw other people talk about how their kids took a couple of days to adjust to the new environment, and that made sense. She did well for the most part, though, and I think that is due to the “camper” we stayed in, as she called it. I thought we were going to stay in a hotel room, but it turned out that my MIL booked a one-room trailer in a “trailer resort.” Apparently there are lots of resorts in the mountains, and they absolutely are not what you’d expect when you hear the word resort. 😀

The mobile home was neat as a pin, though. BG was thrilled with it when she stepped in because it looked like MIL’s trailer, aside from it only having one bedroom. The main bedroom, the kitchen, the living room, the TV set, the couch, and the kitchen table were all in the same place as MIL’s, so it was a familiar layout. She commented many times over how it looked just like MIL’s house and actually wanted to stay there instead of going anywhere.

The place wasn’t as cramped as I expected it to be, but there was still only one bed. My husband and I tried to sleep on the pullout couch, but got two hours of sleep each. It was miserably uncomfortable, tilted so that you slid down, and the metal bars were in our back. LM couldn’t sleep on the blow-up mattress, either, so the three of us were dragging big time on Saturday. On Sunday, I slept on the couch without pulling it out, my husband slept on couch cushions, and we put extra blankets on LM’s mattress for extra padding, and we all slept a little better. We couldn’t have been happier to be home in our beds last night.

So, I told you that BG did well the two days we were there, but let me tell you about the ride home. We went to a store to buy some souvenirs, and then I wanted to walk over to a fudge shop to see if they had any caramel fudge. It would’ve taken all of five minutes. BG decided she didn’t want to do this and had an absolute fit, kicking and screaming.

I got pissed off and decided I didn’t want fudge anymore, so we left, and my husband took BG’s new toy from her for acting that way. For the next hour and a half, she screamed in the car. She threw her shoes at us and kicked the back of my seat repeatedly. It was miserable, and she didn’t let up on the screaming for the whole 90 minutes. We stopped a few times at overlooks to take pictures and couldn’t get some as a family for a while because of the meltdown. She eventually stopped, and when she did, it was a 180 as usual — she went from screaming to talking in her super sweet voice about the leaves and tunnels. (When asked what her favorite part of going to the mountains was, she said the tunnels.)

When she perked up, we made a few more stops and got some good pictures. We also stopped and walked over to let the kids see an area called Sliding Rock in Pisgah National Forest, which was lovely. During the summer, people slide down the rock into water that doesn’t get above 55 degrees in the summer. It’s fun but so damn cold. We’re going to try to go back next August and stay a little longer and let the kids do the rock.

We got in around 9:00 last night and are absolutely dead today, despite sleeping okay. Too bad the kids have missed too much school to take a day off! I’m glad we decided to go, because it really was pretty. My husband and I talked about doing a weekend trip for just the two of us. When we would go away for the weekend before the kids came along, we would almost always go to the mountains. I prefer the beach now, but I would like to spend more time browsing around and drive up to Grandfather Mountain and do a little hiking.

How was your weekend?

Back To School

After a week at home following the tonsillectomy, the girl is back at school this morning. I was worried she’d need to be out longer, because even on Saturday, she was cranky, complained of headaches, wasn’t eating or drinking much, and was tired enough to be napping. She did a 180 yesterday, though, and aside from a bit of crankiness, she went through the day just fine. She actually ate more regularly and drink a bunch of water, so I know that helped!

BG had her tonsils removed because of sleep apnea, and her doctor thought that it might help with ADHD symptoms in addition to snoring. I definitely haven’t noticed as much snoring over the past few days. I’m guessing it may take some time to see the ADHD symptoms decrease if we do at all. Oddly enough, we’ve seen more of the odd sensory behaviors (she is rubbing everything and sat in the bathtub running water over her hands for half an hour three times, for example), which we were hoping would decrease.

I was working with her on some makeup work for school when she felt up to it, and lord, it was like pulling teeth to keep her on track. I see why she brings home so much incomplete work. Part of the makeup work was working on handwriting. From what I’ve seen of the other students’ work on display, she has the worst handwriting in the class. She has developmental coordination disorder, so the poor handwriting goes along with it. She also has a summer birthday, which doesn’t help.

I feel bad for BG watching her try to write, because it’s such a struggle for her. A lot of her practice is tracing letters, but she is rarely able to keep her pencil on the dotted line. It blows my mind how I can show her the right way to form a letter and guide her hand over how to make it multiple times, and she does the opposite or something completely different directly after. You wouldn’t think that she had three years of preschool, almost a year of OT, and her mom helping her every day by looking at it, poor kiddo.

The girl’s teacher kept in contact with me over the week, checking in on her. I thought that was really sweet. It means a lot to know you’re leaving your kid in the care of someone that cares about her during the day!

Things are about to get busy again. My husband and Little Man are both doing the Christmas play with our local community theater group, so they’ll be practicing three nights per week. LM wasn’t going to do it at first because his free time is reduced since his school day ends later and he has to go to bed earlier, but the director messaged us and asked and he agreed to do it. He really enjoys acting, so even though it cuts down on his time after school, at least he’ll be having fun.

The girl wanted to sign up for Cub Scouts. She went to the first meeting and decided she hated it for some reason she wouldn’t give us, so that’s out. Her grandmother is relieved, because it gave her a small heart attack that her granddaughter wanted to join something that is supposed to be for boys (even though that group is co-ed).

I did so much of that during our text exchange over Cub Scouts.

We tried to get BG to try another meeting, but she had a meltdown and was sobbing, so we let it go. It would’ve been nice for her to have the opportunity to socialize outside of school, but whatever. The Cub Scout leader gave my husband a form for a popcorn fundraiser at the very first meeting and said we needed to sell $300 worth of stuff, so my husband wasn’t inclined to fight BG over it too much.

Here’s to a good week. Happy Monday 🙂

She Forgot She Is A Girl

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I actually wouldn’t mind brewing you a cup today. We had a 3-day cool down, which ends this afternoon, but it was still a crisp 58 degrees this morning. Yesterday the high was 79, and between that and a breeze, it was absolutely glorious. We will return to the high 80s and 90s starting today for lord knows how long, but the reprieve from the heat was much appreciated.

We’ve had a pretty good week. The boy got his progress report on Thursday and had all As and one B. That’s a huge improvement from the three report cards he got in fifth grade (for his school, they only get report cards the last half of fifth grade; the rest of their 5.5 years there, they simply tell us whether they’re meeting expectations or not). Middle school is looking good on him so far.

The girl also got a progress report, and it said she is meeting expectations. We will have a 504 Plan meeting with her school on Tuesday. The VP was supposed to get stuff going on speech and occupational therapy services through the school before the school year started. So we’ll talk about that and other possible accommodations. Her teacher hasn’t had any complaints, so there probably won’t be a lot accommodations wise at this point, aside from stuff like preferential seating and using noise-canceling headphones. (She already takes care of that, but I guess it’d be good to get it in writing.) She manages okay until she gets home, and then she lets all of her pent-up frustrations loose.

I have been getting so cracked up at some of the papers BG brings home. Sometimes — mostly with math — she’ll scratch out the problem and write her own and answer that. “I don’t like their yucky questions,” she said. “I want my own problems.”

Here’s an example of one, although this one is more of a misunderstanding. She thought they messed up by not putting anything on the plate when it told her to count the objects and write the number, so she “fixed it.” ❤

The kids have taken an interest in scooters. LM’s friend sends him videos at the skate park, so LM wanted to try with a scooter he got for Christmas a few years ago. And since LM wanted to do it, so did BG. My husband took the kids to a church to scoot around in their parking lot this morning. When they came back, BG ran in and told me she had her very first scar. I asked where it was, and she yanked down her pants and underwear. 

“Look, it’s on my penis!” she informed me. “My very first scar is on my penis!”

Oh boy.

There was no scar. There definitely wasn’t a penis. I reminded her that she is a girl and girls have vulvas, not penises.

“Ohhhh…I forgot that I was a girl for a little while,” she responded.

That child.

We don’t have any big weekend plans. We’re going to a friend’s birthday party tonight, but that’s it. We’re going to take it easy tomorrow, and then we’ll get started on a busy week that will end with BG’s tonsillectomy.

The Boy And His Tics

School is still going great for Little Man (knock on wood!), but I’m worried about him. (I know what you’re thinking — not you!) I don’t know if it’s a nervous tic or what, but he has been picking the skin around his nails until they bleed. The skin picking has been going on for a while now, but has gotten worse. I thought maybe it was anxiety due to starting middle school, but he says he isn’t anxious about school at all. I’m worried he’s going to get an infection if he doesn’t stop. On top of that, y’all know how kids can be. If they notice, he might start catching hell for it.

It has always been something over the years. For a while, he grunted or cleared his throat every few seconds. There has been hand twisting, knuckle cracking, eye blinking. Up until a couple weeks ago, he bit his nails or chewed the skin around his nails nonstop. I bought something from Target that helped stop that, but when he stops one thing, he starts something else. He also licks his lips and above his lips constantly, to the point of leaving red splotches. It used to be that putting aquaphor on it for a couple days would clear it up and he’d stop, but that isn’t helping as much now. As of yesterday, he is doing a thing where he opens his mouth really wide, closes it, and repeats.

My husband took him to get a haircut, and the barber picked up on the mouth and licking things. He discreetly asked my husband if he has Tourette’s. My husband said he didn’t think so, but wasn’t sure why he did that stuff.

We are going to take him to BG’s psychologist and have him evaluated again. LM recently asked us if we thought he was like BG, meaning could he be on the spectrum, too. I told him that he was evaluated for that several years ago and they said he just had ADHD with autistic like traits (but not enough for a diagnosis) then. I mentioned that he does much better socially these days, too. He talked for a while about how he is quiet and watches what the other kids do and then tries to copy their mannerisms and stuff to fit in. That’s what led us to make the appointment with BG’s psychologist. He go on really well with two boys from school last year, and those relationships seemed authentic and not just faking to fit in, but I figure it can’t hurt to have him tested again.

My husband took him for the initial appointment last Friday. That was just to talk to the doctor to see if he thought he should be retested. The doctor said that if the previous provider thought he had autistic traits, that he should have been reevaluated within three years to see what changed, if anything, to be sure. They emailed me the contract for testing services yesterday, and I sent it back, so we’re waiting for them to call to set up appointments for testing. If nothing, we can get to the bottom of what is causing the tics/compulsions/whatever they are.

I was looking around online to see if there are any medications for tics and saw that magnesium can be helpful for that, so I ordered a thing of gummies. If there is any underlying anxiety that he just isn’t aware of, then maybe that’ll calm him down a bit. (If nothing, I guess it’ll keep him regular.) Fingers crossed.