Friday, April 30, 2010


Most of the time, I only feel like "ugh, Asperger's sucks" when Graham's having a Really Bad Day.  This means he is annoying everyone, having very little impulse control, taking forever to do the smallest tasks, fighting every single transition (what, wearing the same shirt 4 days in a row isn't okay?  oh, it's time to leave - let me use the restroom, gather my belongings, walk around the house, anything but actually head toward the door).  Things that make *my* life hard.  Things that make the other kids' lives hard.

Tonight was another "ugh, Asperger's sucks" moment but for a completely different reason.  We drove Malachi to a friend's house to spend the night, and a few minutes into the ride home Graham said, "I wish I had someone to invite me to sleepovers and parties."  :*( 

If only I could just will other children to see Graham the way I see him!  If only they could see how creative he is, how generous, how brilliant.  If only they could draw him out and hear his funny stories.  I know that God will bring someone along who will understand Graham, because I have prayed from before my kids were born that they would have Godly friends.  I know God wants Graham to have fellowship with the saints, so I absolutely know He will not leave Graham without real fellowship.  I just wish I knew if that will ever include a friend outside our family.

We talked a little bit about how we might be able to develop some friendships.  We talked about "the best way to have a friend is to be one" and discussed some easy conversation starters.  Caris counted out loud the friends she has made at her enrichment classes and Graham asked her how does she do that.  LOL  She said, "I ask them if they'd like to play with me and they say yes."  He said, "where are you when you do that?" I told him maybe he could talk to someone who's sitting near him and gave him some ideas about what he might say.

To further my heartbreak, when I put the kids to bed and Graham prayed, he said, "Dear God, thank you for our day today and that Malachi gets to spend the night with (his friend)."  *Wow*.  To have a hurt about something lacking in one's life and then to be so thankful that one's brother does have that thing?  THAT is the Graham *I* know. 

Friday, April 16, 2010

Prepare for Immaturity

Ok - read this in a 3-year-old's most awful whiny voice:
Caaaanaaaan doesn't liiiiike meeeeee!

Alright.  I'm exaggerating.  A LITTLE.  But let me tell you my little story.

All 3 of my older kids preferred me.  Totally and completely.  Alif is an AMAZING Daddy, and they all loved him (still do LOL) and enjoyed playing with him and everything, but if Mommy was available, Mommy it would have to be.  They cried when I left them.  They wanted me when they were hurt.  They cuddled with me when it was cuddle time.


I used to joke around that once Canaan was done nursing he'd want nothing to do with me.  Ehhh - yeah, I was right.  When Alif's gone, he likes me just fine.  We play, I read to him and he loves it, he asks if he can help with dinner, we go on walks - you know, life as usual.  But the moment Daddy's home, even when Canaan hears him pull up, it's all over.  He follows his Daddy around every single minute.  If he gets hurt, he goes to Daddy.  If I leave to go somewhere, he's like, "don't let the door hit you on your way out!"  Ok, thankfully he doesn't say THAT, but his attitude does!  If I jokingly say, "who's the best, Mommy or Daddy?" then I instantly regret asking because the answer is always clear, and it's not in my favor!

Now one thing I do have goin' for me is that I'm apparently great to snuggle with in the night.  When he climbs into our bed in the wee hours he usually heads straight for the mama and clings tightly till morning.  

When the older kids were little, I would often wonder if it hurt Alif's feelings that the kids so preferred me.  He would always assure me that it didn't, but he continued to make valiant efforts to win their affections.  I guess it was high time he earned it.  It only took him four kids! 

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

It's Official

During the fall of last year I started to suspect that much of the drama in our lives was being caused by Asperger's Syndrome. I read a website about it and much of what I read made me think of Graham.

I jumped through hoops, read online, read books, talked to friends, prayed, and finally met with someone who assessed Graham and agreed that he did have AS. In fact, she heartily agreed. Nonetheless, she scheduled an appointment for us to see a psychiatrist who specializes in Asperger's and who comes to town one day a week to do assessments.

Today was the day. We met with Dr. M for about an hour or so. He talked to Graham, asked he and I questions, went through a couple of assessments and there it was, he officially diagnosed Graham with Asperger's Syndrome.

Now what?  Well, we'll hopefully have some therapy sessions, and I'll do more reading and praying and loving my boy.  And some days I will lose my mind and worry and yell and do all the wrong things.

And on Tuesday nights and then again on Saturdays I will watch the new NBC show Parenthood, because I love it and because the story features a child with Asperger's and BOY can I relate to what they talk about!!

Life sure throws us some curveballs, doesn't it?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

52 Books in 52 Weeks: The Glass Lake

Alright.  So you read my glowing review of Echoes and I pledged to name my future daughter, should there be one, Maeve.  I loved it that much.  And indeed, there have been several Maeve Binchy books that I have loved. 

I guess if I'd read The Glass Lake before I read Echoes, I'd have loved it at least as much.  Or maybe if I'd waited a few years to read The Glass Lake after having read Echoes.  Here's the thing: The Glass Lake?  Is almost exactly like Echoes.

Both novels feature young girls who grow up and overcome the odds.  I won't give away details because truly, both books are worth reading, but there are A LOT of similarities between the books.  It's like she had a formula and just plugged in a few different names and life circumstances and ta-daaaa, the publishers were happy.  Sigh.

At the same time though, The Glass Lake IS a good book and the storyline IS compelling and I AM glad I read it.  And I did start YET ANOTHER Maeve Binchy book a few days later, which I'm in the middle of now.  If I have to read about one more person pulling pints I am going to pull out my hair.  It's time for a break from Binchy!

Monday, April 12, 2010

52 Books in 52 Weeks: Something Borrowed

Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin is not the type of novel I normally pick up.  I think it was the adorable cover that grabbed me.  I know, I know, I'm not supposed to choose books this way, but I couldn't help myself.  Nonetheless, it was an enjoyable book.  It's very modern and trendy and there's pretty much only one storyline throughout the entire book, but I found myself looking forward to seeing what would happen next.  It wasn't a super page-turner, but I did finish it in a few days.  And - uh, went right to Paperback Swap and ordered the sequel.  ;-)

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Cowboy Kitty

UPDATE: He's home!!!!!!!!! I said to Alif tonight (Wednesday) "Be sure you look outside for Cowboy before you go to bed" and opened the door to look myself, and THERE HE WAS!!! Oh praise God!! Thank you so much for praying!

When Malachi was three, and we knew he was absolutely, 100%, undeniably and reliably potty-trained, we took him to PetSmart and let him choose a kitten. There were 3 black kittens with silver undercoats, and we picked one that seemed confident. And ok, adorable. He was teeny-weeny and so incredibly cute! Malachi named him Cowboy. Is that the sweetest cat name ever or what?
Look how he loved him!
Fast-forward some years and here's Canaan loving on not-so-little Cowboy . . .
Cowboy has been well seasoned and can sleep under almost any circumstances.
But he's most often found in the arms of this little girl:
Caris is usually the first one awake and the first thing she does is find Cowboy and give him a little dog food. She's convinced that Cowboy is the only cat in the world who likes to eat a little dog food first thing in the morning. ;-)

Kitty Cowbs? Is pretty patient. He has never nipped at any of the kids, even though they play with him A LOT.

Caris took this picture a couple months ago because she thought it was so darn funny how it looked like Cowboy was about to drink her tea.

And now the other shoe drops. We haven't seen Cowboy since Sunday night.

Yesterday I was worried. We looked everywhere. We put cat food out, called his name, looked with a flashlight . . . no kitty.

Today I am sick, I'm so sad. My stomach has been hurting a good part of the day - that awful knotted feeling. We made up LOST CAT posters and put them around the neighborhood. We walked around looking for him and even over to our old house in case he might have gotten scared and wandered back over there. No kitty.

We drove the neighborhood several times looking for him. Driving past those LOST CAT signs with pictures of OUR CAT on there? Is very, very sad.

And tonight I realized that we haven't seen our cat in two days, and I really miss him. He's a big part of our lives. He's in and out of our house a dozen times a day. He sleeps on Caris' bed. He is part of our family. We love him. The kids seem ok, surprisingly, but Mommy has had several ugly cries over this situation.

Oh, I hope our kitty comes home!!