Reminder Notes

My oldest is having the hardest time remembering to look at his new schedule that Mr. Wilhelm has so kindly posted on the refrigerator. It gets him in trouble too. We have all been at our wit's end about it too because it effects us all once the man of the house comes through the door. It is one of the first questions he asks: "Did you follow your schedule?"

The answer is usually "no." I think the kid is forgetful like his mother. We need lists and notes and things of that nature to remind us of what to do next. The last I heard was if he did not look at his important schedule he would have his gameboy taken away and he would lose Saturday morning cartoons.

So, I was helping my youngest son (who shares a room with this forgetful brother) get dressed and as I was exiting the room I noticed a note duct taped to the door saying this: "T--! (his name) Remember to look at your schedule and do it or you are doomed to lose gameboy and Saturday morning cartoons!"

I think he read it this morning. He is chipper, he has done all that is required, and the day I thought was going to be bad may be ok after all!

I like how he wrote "doomed". He is so ridiculous, I love it.

My "Disorder"

I chew my cheeks. It is a nervous habit, my doctor says. Pre-cancerous, probably but no one has seen it. I went on a live chat a number of years ago talking with other people like me. Well, they pulled out their hair all the time, strand by strand and got some weird pleasurable feeling every time. I thought it was exactly as it sounded--weird. They told me I was like them and had a disorder. A chewing cheeks disorder. I am sure there must be a fancy name, but I don't know it.

But then I am weird. I chew my cheeks. I probably should not get into detail, but I would probably be considered a cannibal. Wilhelm, when he is really tired of this habit, calls me a cannibal. At least he used to. I think he has given up these long eight years. Now he just hits my hand when I do it.

I used to use this habit to my advantage in high school. I have told one person about this recently, but that was only when I found that she was "one of us" and so I knew she would understand. I would bite hard on a cheek, draw blood, and suck out as much as I could. Finally, I would approach a friend or someone and open my mouth. I could draw out a lot of blood, seriously. I scared the living day lights out of them. Now that I think on that, it was probably not a good idea. I would see the fright in their faces and they would run. Then, coming to their senses (if they were a friend) they would approach me again and ask if I needed medical attention. They probably tell stories to this day about their freak friend who blasted out blood from her mouth and scared people.

Speaking of blood, I almost cut my thumb off last night cutting a sandwich for Wilhelm's lunch (yes, I make his lunch with much relish) with a very large knife and instead got a nice slice on my thumb. Now I have a Hello Kitty band-aid on it.

Wilhelm has about had enough of me in this area. I am always burning and cutting myself (unintended----unlike the biting myself in my cheeks) and he almost loses sympathy after awhile. I remember when we were dating he started a fire in this barrel in my backyard and started burning all the dried weeds that accumulated because no one in my house did the yard ( I just cleaned the house, mind you, and have never mowed a lawn in my life although since, Wilhelm has taught me to mow in case of sudden death) and the barrel got so hot he accidentally burned his arm on it. He would pull his arm out from time to time after that and say, "AHHH!!!" just for remembrance sake, and we would both laugh and chuckle every time. Not so when I slice myself. He rolls his eyes and says, "what am I going to do with you? I will have to ban you from all knives and hot objects!"

Maybe I should pull out the blood trick and scare him out of his wits. He does keep telling me to read the book, She ("who must be obeyed"). But then again, weighing my options here, that is really a bad idea. He would faint, he might hit his head on the way down, crack it open, and then I would be stuck mowing the lawn.



We are going to go see Eisley tonight in DC. They are really awesome. When we first saw them they opened up for Coldplay for their Rush of Blood to the Head tour. I immediately knew Wilhelm would like them since he has a past love for Lush, and the vocals are fairy-like and ethereal. The guitars are jangly and the keys are almost a female light version of the Doors. I love them. You all should give them a try.

They are also Christians, but not really a Christian band. Their lyrics are silly and poetic, not really lyrics pertaining to God, but I would say very artsy. I think I have never heard so many catchy songs on one album before as their debut called Room Noises. All of their EPs are fantastic. God has blessed them with melodies and harmonies only sisters (with extreme musical talent) can pull off.

Their mother is the worship leader for the Vineyard Church in Tyler, Texas. Their siblings (many of them are in the band) and parents tour with them and show a great level of support. I think that is so cool. When we saw them in Idaho they signed a bag for my youngest since my daughter just LOVES them. So, as you all could imagine, she is jealous.



When my oldest son is hungry between meals he has this new thing now where he always says that he turns into "Starvey: the Hungry Boy". He asks me for food when he is "Starvey" much like Oliver would ask for more soup. I wonder if he reads too many comic books.

The librarian has noticed it. He goes to her every time to see if she has any unstocked Garfields in the back. He gets the same ones over and over. She asked him yesterday how long it takes him to read one book of Garfield comics. He could not give her a straight answer, but vaguely said that he just sits down and reads them all until he has something else he has to do.

Wilhelm and the boys often take dinnertime to make their own Garfield "panels". I don't know how he does it, but Wilhelm usually gets some sort of rise out of my oldest by maiming Garfield in some way. He makes Garfield get advice from Lucy for five cents or he makes Snoopy fly off his doghouse into Odie or something. Eventually my oldest just looks at me, rolls his eyes and says, "We're just going to have to ignore him, Mom!" By this time Wilhelm has gotten his joy for the evening and he is cackling away in the distance.

My youngest son is trying my patience lately. I think he wants extra attention, but I am not sure how to give it since I have been trying my best. Yesterday he did not want to put his shoes in the shoe basket so he threw himself on the floor (he is seven, mind you) and started to whine and moan. I have not seen this in a long time and thought it ridiculous, as you could well imagine. So I threw myself on the floor and whined and moaned until he started laughing and soon he saw how ridiculous it looked.
During school lately he will say stuff like, "I really have to go to the bathroom but I am too lazy to go."
He keeps asking me the same questions over and over about Neopet cards. I hate Neopet cards. They are much like Pokemon or Yugioh or something like that. Some made up baseball card cyber rip-off. A few months ago it was "I Spy" everything and now it is Neopet cards. Neopet dot com. Green Lupe's and Yellow Hasses---Blue star-speckled Scorchio's and Red Kacheeks. I know. What the heck. So now he asks me questions like, "Why don't they sell promo cards and put them in regular packs, Mom?" I have had this question a billion times put to me and I don't think he even wants an answer. He wants me to go straight to Target and buy him every pack for $3.50 a piece to make him gleeful. Not happening. He went on Neopet dot com yesterday (early after school) and then at dinnertime he said, "Can I go on Neopet dot com? You haven't let me!" I turned around as quickly as I could and yelled, "You just went on this morning!" I know, I yelled. This has been constant though. Constant. Did I mention that this kind of stuff was constant? Oh yeah, I did. Anyway, what is really happening is that he is trying to see if I forgot already because you know, I have memory issues. I feel like the guy on Memento, seriously I do. I am so much like that. I tell my oldest to "play piano" and he does for a few measures, I get busy with something and forget that he only played two measures. It gets that bad sometimes.

At the moment my youngest boy (Neopet Maniac Eraser Eater) dropped his pencil from his desk and he is desperately trying to "reach it" from the desk moaning. "I can't reach it!" He keeps saying. I literally have to tell him to get off his chair and go down and get it. I tell him this. "You should have told me!" He says.

Did I tell you that sometimes I want to jump from the highest window of a building?



Last week when my oldest was sick he came to Wilhelm and I and sat down on our bed. He said: "Mom, Dad, I need medicine. I need medicine to treat my symptoms and I would further need medicine to treat the root of the virus that is causing these symptoms."

He makes things even more hilarious by calling a "cold" the "common cold".

I was reading a study of an Asperger's kid that talks like a professor. I was reading it to Wilhelm thinking that it was absolutely hilarious. He would say stuff like, "I am autistic, which, of course, is the adjective form of the word Autism." I pictured this kid talking all dignified and perfect. This kid in the study starts sentences with "I believe" and "Actually" in a consistent manner. Wilhelm pointed out that our own kid does the same sort of things. We just don't realize it ourselves. I am sure if a doctor sat and analyzed everything that our kid did and said it would appear weird and rather funny on paper.


Snapping Fool

I was just reminded of a silly goings-on at my house. You know how my oldest son has Asperger's. He has some funny things he does. The funniest thing lately is his snapping. He snaps all the time. He will stand with one hand on his hip, foot splayed out and the other hand waving around snapping while asking something simple like, "What's for dinner, Mom?"

"Why are you snapping?"

"I like it."

"Can you stop? It is not a normal thing to snap all the time."

"I just love snapping. I can't resist it."

Wilhelm asks him something like this every time he sees his snapping: "Do you see me snapping all the time for no reason?"

"Why, no, Dad."

"Why do you snap so much for nothing?"

"I just love snapping. I am good at it."

And he is. He is even more "snappy" lately because he has discovered that he can snap with both hands.

I remember my younger brother used to get this surge of energy, run in front of the TV that was constantly on, grit his teeth, and clap his hands has hard as he could over and over until we yelled at him to "move it". Now that I think on that it strikes me as odd. My mom used to say that he was in dire need to be the center of attention. Maybe he was jealous of the television, I have no idea. It just sort of sounds like the snapping deal. Oh well, one may never know.

The Remedy of a Truffle

I just discovered something about myself that I am not sure is normal or what. Whenever I think my daughter (who is almost five) is being "hormonal" or just grumpy, I give her a truffle or some sort of chocolate. It truly cures all ills. I just do it for her too, and no one else. It is this special girl thing we have going that no one else who urninates standing up can take from us, I suppose. Wilhelm shakes his head at me, the boys get jealous, but no one can stop us. I feel like Pat Benetar.


I love Fruity Pebbles...



Just finished a Daphne DuMauier book called My Cousin Rachel. Wilhelm thought me narcissistic to check it out. I have heard of it for years, especially after reading her famous Rebecca, so it is really not my vanity, just mere interest. "Rachel" turns out to be snaky and unpredictable---I read it all in the past few days. It was sort of creepy---set in the first person and pretty much a close view of someone self-destructing. I like creepy books, I like it when people die at the end, and this has it all. I was just not convinced that the novel was set in Victorian times. The narrator spoke in too modern a way.

I am at the moment immersed in Wilkie Collin's book called No Name. I particularly like him.

I have this strange desire to pick up all the Hardy novels again and enjoy them. I find that I forget details as time goes by so it will be good to do that. Wilhelm just picked up a copy of Young Thomas Hardy at the used bookstore. I have been reading that too. It is really interesting because there is somewhat of a mystery with his life. He purposefully left out periods of his life in his own autobiography (the Life) and purposefully blotted out his own family (the poor side) on his family tree. It makes me laugh to think that he thought so badly of high society and it's views in his own novels but then disowns his low-class family because he wanted to be accepted so much by society. It sort of makes sense but it doesn't. It would not shock anyone to hear that he was obsessed with death and execution. I guess we could say the same about Dostoyevsky. Hardy's was an almost sensual feeling though.

Collins was never married and had two mistresses. Dickens could not stand his wife and had a mistress (or more I can't remember). George Eliot lived with her man and never married him. What is with these people?



I realize it has been a handful of days since I have posted. I had this huge night on Tuesday singing at Jammin' Java (with the Einsteins) and then the next day I woke up with a cold. Figures, huh?

Yesterday the family and I went to the Capitol building and our friend who works for Senator DeMint toured us around. It was nice. We ran into John McCain, Elizabeth Dole, and our own Senator here in Virginia. It was sort of strange seeing all these people in person.

Wilhelm and I are both breathing really hard (nasal passages are blocked) and my children are living on frozen pizza, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and tonight they had Mc Donald's. I know, we are horrible. Lately they are obsessed with yelling at the top of their lungs downstairs and running around. They come up to the second floor out of breath, red and thirsty. I still don't understand what it is they are doing. Something having to do with Neopets, but I still don't make the connection.

My youngest boy is the quiet one. He always has been. When we are at church and people talk to him he says he "gets nervous". He came to me crying once telling me that he is not sure he will be able to have the band Helmet Breakers (my oldest's band is called The Speed Tickets) because he will get too nervous on stage. Before I left for the concert on Tuesday he yelled to me, "Sing good Mommy, and don't get too nervous!" Next time we are taking them with us, I think they would enjoy it.

Well, I better go and blow my nose. I feel a sneeze coming.



I really know nothing of this and I am sure theologians would laugh at me, but I was thinking about Protestantism and and how I was raised with the Charismatic Evangelical sort of background and how there is really no foundational structure to it. We used to look down on Catholics and how they are "superstitious" and "ritualistic". It just seems to me, looking back, that we hated form, organization and frankly, a particular order of worship. We found it confining and pretty much would never dream of subjecting ourselves to something that was not "Spirit led". To me, the Catholics have a historical meaning and many reasons for doing what they do. The holy water reminds them of their baptism as a baby---Lent and "giving something up" is in honor of Our Lord who went without food for forty days and resisted temptation. It probably means more than that, but of course, like I said, I don't know too much. The Catholics have reasons for feasts, Holy Days, the Ash on their foreheads, you know what I mean. I suppose Protestants have their own reasons for things, but to me they seem shallow. I am not going to convert to Catholicism or anything, but I see more and more how shallow and new Protestantism is. We are a church full of divided individuals with no unity, differing opinions and no structure hardly. It just seems pathetic to me when infant baptism is replaced with "dedication" and the Lord's Supper (which is to be taken "often") is only taken once a quarter or less. Grape juice when it says wine. Crackers when it was bread.

I think about Luther and perhaps his stand was rebellion---maybe judgment on the Catholic Church. I could see either way. Luther takes his stand and where is Protestantism? Everyone breaks away from everyone. There is no order---everyone multiplies and divides and forms their own thing. I don't think that is that great. I get tired of a million different kind of churches everywhere.

At least before Luther you had one choice.


Wonder Woman Healed

Ok. Like things could not get better, I got a replacement for my Wonder Woman mug just now in the mail. When I was frantically looking for a replacement I ordered one that I "thought" was just "close" to the original. On my original mug there were two pictures. On one side, Wonderwoman in running formation and on the other side, a really cool picture of Wonder Woman from the middle up. I only found what I thought was her in the running formation (my least favorite side) so I was hoping that maybe they just weren't showing the other side (although another side was not specified). I stupidly (or wisely) prayed that it would be the same mug.

IT IS!!!

God even answers our silly prayers---I tend to think because it takes me back to my "Surprised By Joy" moment, like Lewis would say.

Now a bomb is going to hit for sure.

A Turn in the Garden

Too much to write about today. Ugh. The weather is so nice today, it is incredible. I never thought I would be crazy enough to say this. I hate warm, sunny weather. The past couple of weeks it has been a bit gloomy (my particular favorite) but this has been the time when I have been the most irritated and to be frank, full of bad things. I decided to start fresh like my husband always tells me, "As a Christian, you have the amazing ability to start again---we can always start again, Rachel.." and hello, the day is bright, the wind is cool and refreshing, and I feel almost as cleansed on the outside as I feel on the inside. Some fresh air running through your house is a reel of the senses. I now understand what all the Victorian novelists would say when they would write a character saying, "Let's take a turn in the garden and catch the fresh air!"

My oldest friend Ann told me that living in WI is very depressing to her (she is from California). It is gloomy all the time for about nine months and when she gets just one peek of sun or brightness through her windows she is practically jumping for joy. It makes all the difference. I so understand her at this moment. All I can think of right now is grilling outside, cutting grass, going to the pool, reading books, and drinking iced tea. I like the fact that I can run outside at later times. I like that a lot. I so look forward to that.

I look forward to vegetables in season----even if they have to be cooked---I have this insatiable craving for them.

Life is good. God has given us so many beautiful things to enjoy.

I really do not like the sun though. I hate squinting. Ok, ok, ok, I will try to keep the good thoughts coming...

Asperger's Syndrome

You know I have been irritable. I have been praying. I forget everything you know, and then I just forget to be practical. Schooling has been hard for me lately, as I have confessed. I have just gotten used to the fact that my oldest son has Asperger's Syndrome and I have dumbly not taken any of this into account. My son has actually been diagnosed with this five years ago and since he has made tremendous head way I just get used to the strange behaviours and count them as normal. It is weird how we just let things slip in our lives unnoticed. I let myself forget that my child has a disorder. I don't take these things into account when I am losing my patience.

So, I started looking up AS again, and looking up another strain of Autism that he has called Hyperlexia. He was born knowing how to read. I did not teach him. No one did. He has been reading since 2 or 3 and at four or five used to be able to sit and read Dr. Suess books to a friend as they sat down after hard play. So, naturally, Hyperlexia is this obsession with letters and numbers and also knowing how to read at an early age without being taught. I know that sounds crazy. I could go on forever about this subject, but I will not bore you.

So, yesterday I checked out books on how to homeschool challenging children, Asperger's Syndrome, and the like. My oldest, I forget, loves to look at the books I get. He is always interested. He asked who has this syndrome and why I was reading it. I just answered his second question. I told him I was interested. I did not know if it was ok that I tell him yet. Lately he has been noticing how different he is. He tries to tell me how he can't express himself, how he is misunderstood, and how his brain just does not think about certain things when he wants it to. He knows that he does not get humor either. He is socially handicapped. He has no clue sometimes how to act and is easily taken as a "rude kid."

I talked to Mr. Wilhelm about it last night after going over some of the material I checked out. I told him that I thought he was old enough to know what he has. So, this morning my oldest came to me again and said to me, "Mom, you have to tell me about this Syndrome."
I was really surprised he was so insistent on just knowing what it was about.
I told him straight. I said, "It is called Asperger's Syndrome and you have it."
"What? I have it? I thought so."

Pretty easy. In fact, when I told him the details of it, he was so relieved, I can not tell you. He has difficulties tying his shoes, riding bikes, he is clumsy, and he never knows when things are funny. I told him that there is a really good thing about it that he should consider. I let him know that as "stupid" as he sometimes thinks he is, he is actually highly intelligent and "highly gifted". He said (but not with the same words) that it was a good "trade off". He has a really realistic view of himself. He may not express it the correct way, but I know what he means. So, I have discovered that he is very sharp with the computer and just like I encourage him to look at medical manuals (I got him a book at the library on Microbiology---he loves science) I will encourage his computer skills by first giving him lessons in typing. He started today and could not get enough of it.

I guess all this time I have been gradually ignoring the fact that he struggles with this disorder. I treat him like he is by the world's standards, "normal" and I can not do that any more. I have to treat him like he is the individual that he is, otherwise he will not be able to learn if I don't apply it in that manner. Poor kid. I have been trying to fit him into a circular container when he was always a triangle. I think that would make any woman attempt to pluck every hair out of her head.



I am really irritable today. I have been noticing it so that means it is bad. I had to take the kids to a million places and when we were at a store I pretty much ran over my daughter with the shopping cart when I was in line and I was about to give her the what for until this nice lady behind me laughed when I looked at my girl and so I said, "umm, are you ok?" My girl walked off like it was nothing.

Yesterday I was irritable too. I think THAT was because I woke up entirely on the wrong foot. Children yelling at me at 6:45 a.m. from downstairs. I was about to spontaneously combust. I am not a morning person. School has been challenging. I receive a whine every time I correct any incorrect work, a huff anytime I say, "pull out the book!" and so on. Pulling teeth. I always say that. But it is true.

I am complaining though. Life is good, things are going well, and I just need to change my attitude. I notice too that when I am hungry no one wants to be around me. I snap. My husband says, "Are you hungry or something? You have to be." He is usually right. I hate how I hate to have a good attitude when I don't want to.

I have had a lot of grief lately. You know, the usual. The Wonder Woman mug pretty much sad and lonely somewhere in a gross trash heap----the monstrous red zit on my face (it is finally clearing up a little) that a dear friend has told me to name "Darlene"---and last but not least, the HUGE bruise on my arm from over a week ago when I fell down the stairs. Yes, I fell. Down, down, down and did not break my arm. I almost cried. I tried so hard not to. My oldest saw me walking down and then saw me at the foot . "Oh, wow! Are you ok, Mom?"


"Here, let me get you some ice..." pitter patter of nine year old feet, a drawer opens, the freezer opens.
"Sit down here and put this on....oh, I can do school on the floor while you sit on the couch, don't worry..."

What a good kid. And to think I almost wrung his neck today.

So the bruise turned a myriad of colors, and is now on the mend. A friend in the medical field told me that I was truly lucky I did not break it. Wilhelm told me that I will most likely be one of those old ladies who breaks her hip. Probably. And I'll be irritable too, no doubt.


Wonder Woman Broken

I about cried the other day. I let my daughter have her decaf chai tea in my WonderWoman mug. Without thinking, I moved the desk that it was setting on (empty) to put it in its original place, and down the mug came crashing. The cup itself was fine, but the handle was obliterated. I tried to super glue it, but pretty soon the endeavor was looking silly because I had super glue all over my hands, I was sticking to things, the handle was falling apart, so I just ended up tossing the whole of it in the trash. This really upset me. I mean, I was literally grasping at what I had to do next. I looked on the internet for a replacement, but apparently my mug was really rare and there is none. I searched ebay for an hour, burned the pizza for dinner that night by ignoring the beeping of the timer, and had myself a glass of wine.

When my favorite cat died I had a glass of wine too.

Seriously, have a moment of silence for my Wonder Woman mug. I will always think back on it fondly, relish all my memories with it, and think back to my childhood when I would wear the underoos to school under my regular clothes. I can still hear the "ooh's and aah's" of the other girls when I would climb on the monkey bars and they would get a sneak peek entirely on accident.

It was seriously such a cool thing to do such an adult thing (like drink a cup of coffee) with something that shot me back so keenly to my childhood.


Sound Advice

Hey, I just read Gatsby's blog (Proverbs 3---sorry, I can not link this stuff still with the mac. I have no clue what I am doing, but go to the blog anyway) and take his advice. Go see Laura Waters and the Defectors at Jammin' Java March 14. And maybe if we have to twist your arm we could get you guys to stay for the Einsteins of Love. I heard they are ok. But that name...


Barf-0-Rama II

This morning my youngest boy woke up sick. Stomach virus, I think. I ran downstairs and got him an acidophilus pill to take and a little cup of water and he sat and stewed for a bit and threw up the water. I am not sure if he threw up the pill. About 30 minutes later I was convinced that he had thrown up the acidophilus pill so I gave him another. Down the hatch. He drank very little water this time. Whew.
About twenty minutes after that he threw up again. I sat there with him as he hovered over the bucket. I rubbed his back. Then he says, "Oh! two little pieces of corn!" and threw up a bit more. I looked in the bucket. Yeah, it did look like two little pieces of corn. Nice. I wondered how he threw two pieces of corn up. We haven't had corn for weeks. I said, "We haven't had corn recently, it must be something else."

"Can you throw up erasers?" He said sadly.

I figured out (too early in the morning I suppose) that it was the acidophilus pill half dissolved. The things are yellow. Duh.

It is still technically morning and he is so much better that it is scaring me. He is so ravenously hungry that he is begging for oatmeal. I am making him wait for a bit. I bought clear gatorade and everything so that clean up will be easy. So far so good. That kid could puke in a thimble. It's that Scandinavian blood in him. Those people are so clean!