Archive for February, 2015


Tonight we decided to be brave.  My job has an employee’s club that from time to time will host events in the local community.  Well we moved out here with the sincere desire to be more involved in this club so we can maybe make some friends and not be house hermits anymore.

Well the employees club sponsored a Tubing Night at the local ski mountain.  We actually thought we missed it because it got rescheduled due to extreme cold.  Today I found out last minute that it was rescheduled for tonight.

Someone please tell me that I am not the only person who goes insane trying to get the kids out of the house?  Aspie Teen did his usual passive resistive thing which resulted in the Tot having a meltdown while I was trying to get him and Chunky ready. 

Monkey Boy was dressed and ready to go,  but the Teen always drags his feet and causes chaos whenever he is forced to come anywhere with us. This time by refusing to help the Tot with his game.  So we pile a screaming Tot,  a squirming Chunky,  a resistant Teen,  Rocky the Service Dog,  a harassed and overwhelmed wife and me into the van and off we go.

Well we got the Tot called down on the way , got there and got Monkey Boy and Aspie Teen going down the mountain while my wife and I stayed in the lodge with the Tot and Chunky cause the Tot wanted a cheeseburger. 

Rocky was great, and it was a pleasant night although we didn’t really interact with too many co workers. .. since we’re still new here, we haven’t really broken into the social circle yet.  But all was going well until we decided to take the Tot up the hill so he could tube down.

Well he decided he really liked the lift which took them up the hill.  So much in fact that he didn’t want to stop at the point where he was supposed to and decided to throw a fit on his mom.

Aspie Teen came to the lodge and told me to go help his mother. .I couldn’t figure out where she was so I headed up the hill to find her.  I almost died cause by the time my fat ass got up the hill I was so exhausted I could’ve fallen over and easily rolled down the hill. (I walked up the hill).

Well by the time I walked back down the hill and found them,  the Tot was in full blown meltdown mode.  I had to carry him to van. .. my co-workers did see part of the meltdown and seemed to take it graciously,  but we’ll see what happens when I get back to work on Monday.

Ok so I’ve mentioned before how I love the mall… always have always will I guess. So after being here two months we decided to venture forth into the brave unknown and visit the larger area which is about 45 minutes to an hour away from us to go visit the mall and see what other stores were in the area.  Particularly to see if they had a book store where Aspie Teen could go hang out, cause he’s sorely missing being able go do that like he used to in SC.

It’s about 11:30 a.m. when we made that brilliant decision.  Finally after the usual whining and complaining from all the boys,  and the wrestling to get them in the van,  we’re off to see the mall,  the wonderful wonderful mall!

Well since no-one had eaten yet,  we had to go through McDonald’s drive thru first.  Well the Tot already had it in his mind that we were going to sit and eat there instead of driving thru. 
And since it was already 1:00 p.m now, (getting my kids ready and out the house can drive you to drink before you actually go anywhere), we had to go through the drive thru which by the way was the original plan. 

The Tot though had already planned something else in his mind.  So now he was in full on hitting, screaming,  melt down mode. Which lasted, I shit you not,  the ENTIRE drive to the mall.  He wouldn’t pet Rocky,  and wouldn’t let Monkey Boy touch him either. 

M.B. was in the back of the van with the Tot and the Tot’s meltdown was really causing him to wig out!  Also since we now live in a mountainous region, our ears were popping like crazy due to the elevations and M.B. didn’t know why and he was miserable. 

Anyway M.B. was wigging out real bad and in full whine mode,  the Tot was melting down in epic proportions,  wifey was freaking out and nagging me about how fast I was driving as usual…. it’s a wonder we made it to the mall in one piece!

Once we got there however,  the Tot called down almost immediately.  He held Rocky’s leash,  and walked happily through the mall!  That was until we got to Game Stop… Then it was quick,  re direct quickly! 

We redirected,  got him back on Rocky’s lead and got him and Chunky to some rides. .. Then to the arcade. .. where I was so impressed with Rocky I gotta say.  For that being such a loud chaotic environment,  He didn’t do one thing wrong.  He stayed by the Tot’s side the entire time.  He was actually amazing to see.  He was the Tot’s personal guard dog. 

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M.B. the Tot and Chunky Monkey

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Ricky the Wonder/Service/Guard Dog watching the Tot play.

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The Tot, M.B. , wifey and Rocky in the arcade

When it was time to go the Tot left with no problems either. At one point we went to Dicks  Sporting Goods store and the Tot took off.  My wife said Rocky find the Tot!  And he took off like a shot and found him!  We’ve only been teaching him this for a few days too! 

Of course when we went out to the van it was snowing,  so the trip home was a very nervous one,  but the Tot,  M.B. and everyone else had a very mellow ride due to or utilizing the travel DVD player we had just bought a movie for!

All in all,  it wasn’t a relaxing day,  but it was definitely am improvement from some other mall nightmares I can regale you with.

MADNESS I TELL YOU! MADNESS!!!

Yesterday we went to view a home in the area that we are putting a contract on. It’s a 4 BR / 1.5 bath two story home with a basement that though not finished is completely dry and able to be used immediately, and an attic space that could be finished for another family / get the kids the hell out of the grown up space area. My wife and I had seen the house already but wanted to show the kids…WHEN ARE WE GOING TO LEARN NOT TO DO THAT!!!???

With my kids…if you want to maintain any semblance of sanity…DO NOT give them options or opinions of any sort. Sounds cruel I know…but honestly…they are not going to do good with change anyway so spare ourselves the pain and agony and just TELL them what’s going to happen.

We went and I was supposed to be taking pictures because the online listing has been taken down. Well we get there and Monkey Boy immediately starts not listening, wandering off, playing with things…before anyone was even out of the van Monkey Boy got out and just walked into the house through the side/basement door without knocking or anything…which resulted in the Tot HAVING to enter in that way too…but by that point we had already carried him to the front door…well the Tot attacked me until I took him back out and through that door too…then when we got to the basement Monkey Boy immediately sat down behind the drum set that was down there and started messing with it….and of course Monkey see Monkey do…the Tot now HAD to play with them and didn’t want to put the sticks down because they were HIS drums…and he’s flipping out again…and words have failed him…

meltdown

MELTDOWN TIME!

Aspie Teen was in his usual melancholy funk mode…he walked around the house, went upstairs looked at the rooms, then walked out to the van leaving me with Chunky Monkey and the Tot while wifey walked around with Monkey Boy when he knows he’s supposed to help with the kids. Well she went upstairs with Monkey Boy and the Tot LOST IT because HE wants to go upstairs with mommy and mommy can’t carry him cause he’s too heavy and I couldn’t carry him cause I can’t carry him and Chunky both up the stairs!!! Well he was in full on meltdown mode now cause he couldn’t get upstairs to the point where I had to call wifey down to stay with him and then carry him upstairs and open every door there was up there in every room …then bring him downstairs and try to talk business with the real estate agent.

Finally we get through the house…sign the contract and head to Pizza Hut to get dinner cause there was no way we were cooking now…we get there and the Tot passed out in the van (of course)…we were all getting separate items and went in to order and Aspie Teen says he wants a stuffed crust pizza…a whole pizza and that’s the only thing he wants..well damned if I’m buying him a whole pizza!!! But now wifey and I had to change our orders and just get the pizza so he can have it…which quite honestly is the Teen’s trademark when it comes to meals…whether we eat out or eat in…he HAS to have something different and complicate matters to the point where his mom and I end up throwing our hands up and skipping whatever it is we want cause by that point we don’t want to be bothered anymore…

We finally get home and when we get to bed later that night after we finally get Chunky down…the Tot HAS to sleep with us..and then Monkey Boy can’t sleep and HE comes and lays down with us…keep in mind this is a queen sized bed not our usual king…and wifey HAS to take up more than half the bed because her pillows must be arranged a certain way and her Kindle paper white has to be so far away from her….now the two monsters are in my bed and I’m balanced on the end like a trapeze artist lest I fall over the sides!

Yeah my life resembles a sitcom…

Shoot me now please?

Shoot me now please?

Monkey Boy Madness

Monkey Boy 2

Tonight Monkey Boy has really pushed me to the limit. It’s been a building for the past few weeks…you see the poor kid is lonely. He is not the Aspie type who wants to retreat to his room and engage in his special interests and you have to import daylight to him…(like Aspie Teen)…

He is the I want someone to play with 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year and NO you can’t go home and you can’t stop playing with me! Unfortunately, the only friend he’s made here is constantly going to hockey practice and can never come out and play with him…(I have my suspicions about that).

So where does Monkey Boy turn to for a playmate? The Tantrum Tot!!! Now words don’t penetrate that thick head of curls which is attached to his shoulders. The words leave him alone! or GET AWAY FROM HIM!!!! Fall on deaf ears. Case in point, today around 8 p.m. we had the Tot nice and mellow sitting on the sofa watching Netflix for like 2 hours…Monkey Boy comes over and starts riling him up and then gets upset cause I have to keep telling him to leave his brother alone…

Then I finally get the Tot situated back on the sofa and I tell Monkey Boy to sit with him on the sofa watching Octonauts (the Tot’s recent obsession), and he tell me NO??? Then continues to get his brother upset to the point where the Tot lost words again!!!

God help their mother cause they are both off from school for the next 3 days !!!! Let us pray….

pulling-hair-out

Holidays are always stressful in our house.  You gotta remember that on top of all the other logistical,  emotional,  mental stress that these holidays automatically bring,  in our house they are coupled with the added, other stress of having to tailor them to autistic needs and logistical issues.

One of the most prevalent issues we currently have is chunky adamantly refuses to stay in his high chair.  And since I idiotically threw the straps away just prior to our move, we can’t keep him in there!

Eating out in a restaurant is still currently out of the question.  Right now Rocky  the service dog behaves better in a restaurant than my kids do. (We’re working on that!)

This holiday we were even out of luck in the fact that our dubiously sometime baby sitter,  monster in law was down in the city attending my sister in law’s baby shower.

But if you know my wife,  she adamantly refuses to let any holiday pass without trying to make it special.  So we went and got them all chocolates, and we bought some T- bones and chocolate cupcakes (frigging awesome ones too). We let Aspie Teen cook up the steaks and dear God did he do a fantastic job on those steaks! We also got some candy for a candy tray.

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Now trying to eat said steaks proved to be a trifle more challenging.  We had to barricade the dining room so we could sit and eat!!

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Chunky at the barricade

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Chunky overcoming the barricade

After dinner we all sat down and watched Alexander and the Terrible Horrible,   No Good,  Very Bad Day. Oh my God what a funny movie!  It was all the more funny cause I swear to God that it resembled nothing more than a regular day in our lives!

Alexander

The kids were included in this day and we spent time together as a family doing what the kids like to do.  (I’ve mentioned before in this blog that ogre kids LOVE family movie night).

So harps and cherubs weren’t abundantly in attendance for Valentine’s Day in our house,  but I do think it was obvious that LOVE was present.

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Training with Rocky continues. We’ve been redirecting him by when he starts heading his way down Meltdown Boulevard, finding out what it is that is upsetting him, and what he needs/wants to calm him down. Then we make him pet Rocky’s head 10 times then helping him achieve his goal.

For example today he was on his way to a meltdown due to his playing Lego city on the computer.  We made him pet Rocky 10 times which calmed him down and then I helped him on the pc. (Little known fact: petting dogs releases Seratonin into your system, which is like an anti-depressant, and makes you feel calmer.)

Tommy is really bonding with Rocky, and today he said I love my Rocky…and went into the kitchen to pet him and snuggle him spontaneously.

Also Rocky is so soft that my wife is really enjoying sitting there rubbing him…poor dog…he is soft and fluffy….so he doesn’t stand a chance in this house!

Training With Rocky Continues

The past two days we’ve been taking Rocky everywhere to get the community used to seeing him,  give the Tot time to get used to him and let wifey get used to handling him since I’ll be at work most of the time anyway.

We’ve taken him to McDonald’s, 

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Rocky and Dallas under the table at Mickey Dee's

We’ve taken him to the movie theater to see the new Sponge Bob movie,  (1 hour & 45 minutes of my life that I’ll NEVER get back),  we took them to Howard Johnson’s (WHY do we keep going back there? ) and yesterday we took himfor his wellness visit at the vet.

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We took him to DMV,  and then we went back to the ice castle to try and see the inside of it when it wasn’t mobbed with people.

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Well the Tot is getting used to walking with Rocky and loves his service dog very much. My wife is trying to teach him to rub Rocky 10x when he starts getting upset.  Which slowly is starting to work. 

We’re also going to start teaching Rocky to give the Tot “kisses” to serve as a distraction when he starts working himself up,  and we plan to stay teaching Rocky to find the Tot,  do if he ever wants away,  Rocky can find him.

We have high hopes,  even if the interim frustrations are driving me insane!

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Monkey Boy and the Tot wearing their Welcome Home Rocky shirts

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We’re having logistical issues with where Rocky sleeps.  We have a cocker spaniel,  Gwen,  who is a pure breed that apparently is starting to go into heat. (How anything can go into heat up here in Narnia is beyond me), anyway, we have brought Rocky into our room each night and had to leave Gwen downstairs cause every time Rocky sees her he tries to jump on her!

AND Rocky isn’t fully house broken yet either!  (It’s unbelievable the amount of pee that comes out of that dog! ) So we had Aspie Teen take him outside at like 12:30 a.m., and then at 6:00 a.m.I took him out again. .. then I hooked Gwen up and took her out and while I was outside with her Rocky started HOWLING! ! WTH ????

Well then I come back inside and try for once to go back to sleep,  since wifey is always complaining that I never come back to bed… then Chunky woke up! So I changed his pamper,  put new pj’s on him,  put Veggie Tales on my Kindle Fire,  propped it up in front of his play pen and put him back down. 

Then I had to go get Monkey Boy dressed for school. Of course he doesn’t feel good and doesn’t want to go.  His mom let him stay. .. (my heartless @$$ would’ve sent him)… then while I’m making M.B. some tea… the Tot comes down and wants to push the button!  (He means the button on the coffee maker,  which I usually set up for wifey before I go to work each day), so I had to set that up and let him push the bloody button…

While that was dripping I took Rocky outside again, came back in,  gave the Tot coffee in his sippie cup, (very weak of course), and now wifey,  chunky,  the Tot,  and M.B. are all back to sleep and I’m awake!  Now to add insult to injury the monster in law just woke up came upstairs and planted her ass on the sofa! 

Hope your mornings are going better!

Love,  love LOVE this!  Arrow is one of my all time favorite shows!  THIS IS PERFECT!!!! I had to share. .. Sorry if my inner geek is showing. …

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Today was our first day with Rocky,  our new autism service dog.  He’s a beautiful golden Labrador which we received on a grant from Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers (SDWR).

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We knew we wouldn’t be getting a fully trained service dog,  and we have four days of hands on training to complete with Cheri the trainer who is helping us. Part of the training is to go out in public with the trainer and the dog and our menagerie of a family so the Tot can get acclimated to walking around with the dog.

We went to McDonald’s with the Tot and Rocky.  Cheri also bought her beautiful service dog Dallas in with her.  Well the Tot likes the concept of having his new service dog,  but he hasn’t really bonded with him yet.  But the trip went well.

Well in the next town over as part of their winter carnival they built an ice castle and were having a fireworks display. What were we thinking?  Getting everyone in the van alone is enough to make me want to drink. A LOT… CONTINUOUSLY. ..

imageFinally we get everyone loaded up in the van and off we go.  We get to the next town and have to park up a huge @$$ hill to park.   We get to the castle just in time for the fireworks.  Of course by now Chunky Monkey is yelling his head off. You see Chunky absolutely and adamantly refuses to wear boots or gloves.  In a negative temperature area that doesn’t work out too well.  The good news is that Tommy held on to Rocky the entire way from the van to the castle.

Then when we get to the castle the service dogs were scared poop-less by the fireworks.  Then we get to the castle and Tommy refused to hold on to Rocky any longer.  Monkey Boy disappeared with the monster in law,  Then the Tot walked away without Rocky or Mommy! I had to put Chunky in the stroller and return to the van cause he kept chucking his mittens off and he was freezing.

Ever try pushing a stroller up a hill covered in slush and snow? Let’s just say I might have to start exercising more this year. I stopped for a rest 3/4 of the way up the hill and a complete stranger with a kid on his shoulder’s said “Come on man, you can’t stop now…you’re almost there! Just focus and power through it man!!!”

Thus end our first day of training with Rocky.

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