Weekend Coffee Share: Boring Week

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that we have mostly been hiding away inside all week. With temps over 100, there wasn’t a lot of going outside until over in the evening. Luckily, my dad fixed the problem with our AC unit (apparently the breaker didn’t have enough…voltage or something and kept tripping), so we were able to stay cool indoors at least.

We had to go to the girls therapies and get her hair cut this week, but otherwise, it was pretty uneventful. I didn’t have much planned in the way of indoor activities and crafts, so we mostly read, played video games, watched movies, and played board games. A couple summers ago, I had crafts and science experiments planned for pretty much every day, but this year has been much lazier. I have been pinning stuff on Pinterest, so at some point, that will change.

Speaking of reading, LM has been complaining. In my Facebook Memories, one popped up from a couple years ago, where he had read for 3000 minutes at this point for the library program. That’s 50 hours, or a little over an hour per day, which isn’t a lot, but still good. He hasn’t even finished a book this summer, which is very disappointing. I make him (yes, I have to make him) sit down every day, but he’s only halfway through a Harry Potter book. He told his dad that he shouldn’t have to read because he’ll get enough of that when school starts. What happened to my little bookworm?! He only wants to play video games and build with his LEGO blocks.

BG, on the other hand, can’t get enough of being read to. As some of y’all already know, she read her first book out loud yesterday. It was one she hadn’t read before, and she zoomed through it so quickly that there’s no doubt in my mind that she has been able to read at least somewhat for a while now. I rather doubt that she’ll read much for others just yet, because that’s how she rolls, but I’m so proud of her. She has struggled in a lot of areas developmentally, so it’s great to see her “win” one.

So, coffee folks, if we were still drinking, I’d tell you that I’m at a loss for anything else to tell you for this week. I swear, my life has gotten so boring lately in terms of juicy (or interesting) stuff to share. That or my memory sucks, and I’m pretty sure it’s the former. Boredom is good, I suppose, since that means there’s no shit hitting the fan anywhere.

As the random girl who popped into the break room in college, looked around, and then quickly darted off said, “Ta-ta for now.”

Weekend Coffee Share is hosted by Eclectic Alli.

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Female Randomness

The girl wanted me to paint her fingernails. LM was disgusted and said, “Aren’t we raising her better? Nail polish is absolutely pointless!”

True, BG hasn’t been a girly girl. That’s due in part because of me, I’m sure, but I read that ASD girls are typically more tomboyish, so maybe I’ll fall on that the next time one of the grandparents points a finger at me.

Really, though, I’ve always encouraged BG to make her own choices. The first time I let her get a “baby” at Walmart, I let her choose from a plush Elsa and a plush Spider-Man. It was Spidey, of course. She does love the superheroes (but who doesn’t these days?), the body organs, the road signs, and now the dinosaurs and the solar system. I so love her interests because she’s truly doing her own thing. And choice-wise, she also gets to pick out her clothes, and while she mostly gravitates towards superhero stuff (some of which we get from the boy section), she has picked out the occasional dress. So she’s not 100% tomboy.

Enter the nail polish.

A couple of weeks ago, she mentioned wanting to paint her fingernails. She asked if we could paint our nails together, too, sweet girl that she is. I’ve only painted my nails once or twice over the past few years, but I was down for it. I found some non-toxic polish for her at Target because she has her hands in her mouth constantly. She wanted red and blue for Spider-Man, but they only had blue. I got a plum color for myself.

Cute, right?! After painting them she told me she wanted to take it off, but I encouraged her to give it a couple of days. I didn’t have nail polish remover, and even if I had, I didn’t particularly want to use it on her hands. We saw all the grandparents over the weekend, and the grandmothers were so pleased with the polished nails. I could see visions of pretty hair bows dancing in their heads.

Did I ever tell y’all how my mother-in-law bought BG around 100 hair bows? She constantly bought those things starting when we found out BG was going to be a girl. She was not a fan even as a baby (although we did get a few cute pictures of her wearing them before snatching them off), and never became one. That didn’t stop my MIL, though. Up until the girl was 4, she continued buying them, convinced that it wasn’t a matter of BG not liking the bows so much as just not finding the right one. LOL.

The nail polish has since worn off, but I’m glad she asked for them to be painted. It was a fun mommy-daughter time, ya know? My polish is holding strong, and let me tell you, my husband is not a fan of my polish.

“Why are you trying to be all goth?” he asked when he saw them.

I held my fingers in front of his eyes in the light and showed him they are a plum color.

“They look black, like you’re trying to be all goth.”

I refrained from gouging his eyes out even though I was in prime position to do so.

I just laughed at him, of course, but that reminded me of when I was in middle school and painted my nails a midnight blue color. It also looked very dark when not in the light, and my busybody old cousin (she’s like 30 years older than me) told my grandmother that obviously I was on drugs because I had black nail polish. I was sitting right there, too.

Y’all.

Can you imagine that? Being told you’re on drugs because you have a darker color nail polish? Crazy.

This is also the cousin who told my grandmother that I wasn’t really hard of hearing and that I was just faking so I could get the TV turned up louder. (Let that sink in.) When she told my grandmother that she used to whisper and make low noises to “test” me to see if I was faking it, my grandmother was super pissed. (And the cousin said the results of her “test” were that I was simply ignoring the noises and whispers because I wanted to continue faking them.)

We didn’t care for that cousin, but my grandmother put up with her because she was her sister’s child. She would always come over making snide comments about my grandmother’s home and other stuff. She even makes passive-aggressive comments on my FB page at times about not visiting her mom. Which I do feel bad about, but they talk major shit about people’s kids, and I’ve heard them say much worse about kids who are far better behaved than BG. And I’m not dealing with anyone talking shit about her when I don’t have to.

Wrapping it up…this enough randomness in one post for you? We’ll just call it a stream of consciousness post, which I hadn’t intended, but here we are.

That’s What She Said

Some of y’all know that The Office is one of my favorite TV shows ever. The boy has watched it with us for a long time. We used to be careful about which episodes he watched, but since turning 11, we haven’t paid attention as much. And this has resulted in him saying a few things that are rather inappropriate.

I’ve heard, “That’s what she said” about 500 times. In all fairness, that became a thing at LM’s school. A lot of his classmates also watch The Office, so they have all picked up on Michael’s favorite saying. The kicker? They don’t have a clue what it means judging from the examples LM has given me. For example, if the teacher said, “Read blah blah for homework,” one of the kids would say, “That’s what she said.” Or if the teacher said, “Line up for lunch,” someone would say, “That’s what she said.”

They basically think the phrase is supposed to be used for whenever a female says something, which is hilarious. LM accidentally used it appropriately recently. I commented on something being a mouthful, and he said, “That’s what she said.” He had no clue why I thought that was hilarious vs. my lack of laughter when he later told me, “That’s what she said” after I commented on how good the tacos were.”

Remember this one?

Yeah…LM called his sister that a few weeks ago when he got pissed off at her. I was driving at the time, and driving isn’t a good thing to be doing when you hear your son call his sister that. After telling him not to ever repeat that again, I asked him what he thought it meant. “It means she’s a dumb brat,” he told me. Uh, no. Just no. And even then, we don’t call names.

(BTW, when I had to reorder checks last year, I tried to have this printed on my checks. I know, I know, not mature, but the lady in the office at LM’s school is someone I don’t like at all, so I wanted to print them for her — every time I send in a check, it’s in an envelope only she sees. Unfortunately, the company canceled the order.)

And just last week, LM made a reference that caught his dad off guard. He was in the bathroom supervising the kids brushing their teeth when I heard him yell, “NO! Don’t ever say that again!” LM said this:

And we’re back to making sure he only watches certain episodes of the show.

And Now We Know

Some of y’all who have been following this blog over the past few years know that our parenting experience with Baby Girl has been challenging in ways. We kept waiting for her to outgrow certain behaviors (I can’t tell you how many times we were told it was all a phase), but that never happened. At the end of last year, BG’s pediatrician referred her to a specialist. We saw a family PA prior, and she always brushed us off about BG’s issues. The pediatrician found the behaviors alarming, so she referred her to a specialist and also got the ball rolling to start speech therapy and occupational therapy. The specialist didn’t seem very concerned about the meltdowns, though, and thought she has ADHD. The appointment was very short, though, and when LM was diagnosed with ADHD, his doctor took several appointments to come to that.

We decided to get a second opinion. We wanted to meet up with the folks from her school before summer ends with a better idea of what was going on so we could all be on the same page and develop a game plan.  We expressed our concerns with the new doctor in the initial appointment, and he said he wanted to do a thorough evaluation to look at different possibilities for what was going on with her, but that he was primarily concerned about autism. 

Over the past couple of months, BG saw the psychologist several times, we did a shit ton of questionnaires, and he talked to her preschool teacher. On Friday, we got the results. First, he agreed with the other specialist and said she does have ADHD. He came to that conclusion after spending more than 10-15 minutes with her (which is what the other specialist did, sigh), so we were comfortable with that. Next, he said that she also has high functioning autism. He spent about an hour going over the tests and stuff and showed us how everything supports his diagnosis. The doctor said that it can be tough to diagnose in gifted younger girls, but that she was a textbook case of a little kid with HFA.

I was surprised. I knew autism was a possibility, of course, but still didn’t expect it. And I was flabbergasted at first on how she would be considered a textbook case. She can be very outgoing and chatty when she wants to be, she can be very charming, she doesn’t stim (or so I thought), she made a couple of friends at preschool last year, and she isn’t terrible with making eye contact. She has such a feisty and mischievous little personality, too. BG just has a real spark to her.

Granted, there are “buts” to some of those things. Like, she can be outgoing and chatty, BUT it’s usually her talking on and on about the stuff she’s into. And with her friends, she told me how she doesn’t play with them at the same time, but switches up depending on who will do what she wants. As far as eye contact goes, sometimes she does okay and sometimes she doesn’t make it at all. Like last week when she and I met with her teacher, BG talked excitedly about her birthday for a few minutes, and then wouldn’t make eye contact with her teacher at all, would barely speak outside of “yes” or “no” questions, and talked in the flattest voice ever. It was like someone flipped a light switch. She can be in her own little world a lot, though, so it’s hard to say that when she doesn’t make eye contact (or doesn’t maintain it well) that it’s because of a specific reason.

Aside from not having any of the severe behavioral issues that BG has, LM seemed to be a better fit for that when he was tested around age 7 or 8. My husband, on the other hand, later told me he wasn’t surprised at all and said he knew she had autism, that it’s obvious, and it was just a matter of getting it diagnosed. I don’t remember him ever saying that before, but okay. He also pointed out that LM was also chatty and charming when he was younger, which I guess I had forgotten since he is now a moody tween. At his theater camp, he wouldn’t even sit with the other kids…he wanted to sit by himself and look at his Pokemon cards. I asked why and he said, “None of those kids will be in my class next year, so why should I try to be friendly with them when it doesn’t matter?” As an introvert, I can relate so hard, but as a mom, c’mon, kid!

When I brought up that non-textbook stuff with the doctor, he reminded me that it’s a spectrum disorder and that girls with it present differently from boys. Being outgoing can be normal, he said she does stim (but it isn’t obvious like hand flapping would be, but he considers the nail biting, skin picking, and licking stuff to be stimming). He also said girls like her are excellent as masking and can come off as being “normal,” which is part of why it can be tough to diagnose.

All righty, then.

This has been quite a year for her. She was diagnosed with a rare neurological disorder this year, she has been in speech and occupational therapy all year, and now this. It has been a lot, but I am SO glad we are figuring things out and getting her help. She’ll also start therapies for social skills and helping her learn to cope better (thereby reducing the meltdowns, I hope). The doctor said doing diagnosing her early and adding in those extra therapies now will make a world of difference down the road.

And, oh…remember how BG often acts like she can spell or read a lot? She didn’t hold back for the doctor, who said she tested as reading on a second grade level.

Yeah.

This is long enough, but I have a lot more to say — especially regarding the stuff the diagnosis explains the hell out of — so I’ll tackle that in the coming days/weeks.

We Have A 5-Year-Old

Our weekend was a busy one since our sweet girl had her birthday! She’s five now, which she is equal parts thrilled and angry over. Thrilled because, “I’m five and have been wanting to be five my whole life” and angry because “I’m not a baby anymore and want to stay four forever.” She cracks me up.

She had her preschool party last month since we hoped having it early would ensure most of her classmates would come. (It did not, sigh.) And we had her family party on Saturday and spent Sunday just the four of us. Usually I make a special birthday breakfast, but she wanted to go for McDonald’s for breakfast, so that’s what we did. And her special birthday dinner was a grilled cheese sandwich. She was easy to please at least.

We went to see Toy Story 4 yesterday, too, and I cried more than I did over Toy Story 3. (But not as much as Endgame, which is the most I’ve cried over any movie ever.) I won’t give away any spoilers, but despite the crying, it was probably the worst of the series. And by “worst,” I mean it was really good, but probably only a B+ compared to the A or A+ the other movies are.

We got the girl a few birthday presents, and her favorite was a uterus/ovary plush. She has been obsessed with body organs lately and requested a bunch of different plush organs. She wanted a fetus, which I ordered, but it got canceled. We’ll see how long she sticks with that obsession. I think she’s shifting gears to space stuff from her other obsession (road signs), as she’s been talking about the solar system a lot. If that obsession would have kicked in earlier, it would have been much easier to find gifts for.

She told her teacher all about how much she loved body organs at our meeting last week, and the look on that woman’s face was priceless. Especially when she mentioned getting a uterus cake. And then BG broke out her “About Me” bag, which included a tiny gallbladder and stomach. After recovering, the teacher said she couldn’t wait to tell her assistant about that since that was the most interesting student interest she has seen.

The kiddo is sick today. After seeming fine all day yesterday, she got a headache and started running a fever last night. Same thing today and no other symptoms. We’ve been passing bugs around for the past month (of the 24-hour variety), so hopefully that’s all this is. If we can get by without projectile vomiting again, that’d be nice.