The Blue Bulb

A year later … it is still there, again for no other reason except that it is still working and it is difficult to change.

I have a blue light

I have a blue light. It is one of those energy saving bulbs that lasts what seems like forever. It has been in my outside porch light for a good 4 (maybe more) years now (and yes, I did notice that there are plenty of dead bugs at the bottom in this photo – that’s life.)

One Halloween about 4 years ago (maybe 5) it was my turn to host the annual Halloween/Trick or Treat party for DC and his friends. We would still be giving out candy so I wanted to find a bulb that would not interfere with the lights and decorations I had put up, as the regular porch light bulb would.

I rummaged around and came across an old bulb from back in the day when I used to Light- it-Up Blue.  The porch light is not easy to change and if the bulb works, I am not changing it. There it sits – four (or maybe 5) years later. Obviously, I do not turn my porch light on all that often for it to last that long.

We did not have Autism Awareness when DC was young. We did not have World Autism Day, so when Autism Awareness started to become a thing, I was all for it. I naively believed that the awareness would encompass all of the spectrum.  If your child happens to fall somewhere on the spectrum other than where the characters that we see on TV fall, you are not allowed to speak about it. Don’t get me wrong – awareness and acceptance is a necessity but some of us need more.

As I get older and DC gets older, I worry more and more about his future and his safety (don’t worry, I am not going to rehash all of my fears for the hundredth time). Awareness is/was necessary though. It brought us more programs into school systems and more understanding and hopefully, acceptance of the students. Awareness has done next to nothing for some of our children as they become adults.

With funding for the disabled being one of the first things to be cut in every budget, even some of those school programs are going away now. I have already said that DC, after all of the people I have put in place as guardians after I am gone are gone, will have to live in a group home. What if there is no funding for that sort of thing when I am gone? What if everything I have put in place falls apart due to these cuts or due to one little miss-step? What would have happened if our whole Social Security debacle happened after I was gone? (A debacle that turned out to be Social Security’s  fault, but they were perfectly willing to take his benefits away, knowing full well that it was their fault – this is a 3 part-er so if you are interested, start here). Who will be there to fix it all for him? Will he be out on the streets or institutionalized? He would not survive. He is in a staffed day/work program right now. He loves it. What happens when their funding gets cut (as it does every year)?

April is a very depressing month for me now-a-days. It really is. Please do not tell me that I am undervaluing my son’s life by saying that. I am not in any way.

He is happy.

You should be so happy.

I love our life.

He loves his life.

I would not change a thing about him, except for his future.

I worry for his future and it is not for you or anyone to judge a parent, any parent who is just worried for their child’s future. His future is not your future, it is not your child’s future, you cannot compare.

I do not disparage those that are celebrating. I do not disparage the associations/charities they choose to support or not support. I do not disparage Autism Awareness at all. I am glad there is push for awareness and acceptance, but it needs to encompass everyone and we need more – much more. 

So I will just continue on my way, writing stories – some with humor and some not, some about progress made and some not. But through-out those stories, it should be apparent to you just how much I love this “boy” and how proud I am of him every day. If it is not in your face apparent in one or two; all I can say is that everybody has a bad day once in a while. I will continue to write about DC and our life  just to raise awareness to another side of the spectrum. I will continue to call and email my representatives whenever the threat of more cuts are in the air. I will continue to plan and research other methods of making sure he is safe and taken care of.

So yes, I have a blue light. It is left over from Halloween, 4 years ago (maybe 5). It may be turned on if someone is stopping by  after dark, but it means nothing other than the fact that I am just too lazy to switch out a perfectly good, working light bulb.

I am glad there is an awareness day and an awareness month. I am glad it has also become an acceptance day and acceptance month.

We need more.

 

 

 

 

St. Patrick’s Day and Tradition

First, let me say that we are not Irish. I might have a tiny bit of Irish on my father’s side but really not enough to claim.

Last Year: Facebook Status – March 17, 2018

All I have heard about since before last weekend was 1. DC’s birthday (next week), 2. Lunch with his Aunt and Grandparents (yesterday) and 3. St. Patrick’s Day (never mind that my birthday was Tuesday). I have heard quite a lot about St. Patrick’s Day – He has plans: Bookstore and “Out to eat”. I do not know why he is all about St. Patrick’s Day this year or why he thinks we are going to the bookstore. I know #ItsWhatsNext in DC’s calendar driven world, but it has never been a big deal to him before. I will have to figure out if, by coincidence we actually went to the bookstore last year and/or “out to eat” because if you do it once – it means it will forever be tradition.. whether you know it or not.


******

After a little bit of thought, I realized that we have had a few Winter Guard shows over the years that were scheduled on or right around St. Patrick’s’ Day.

Winter Guard Show = “Out to eat” afterwards in DC-land, so there’s that. Book Store? That must have happened once.


Later – March 17, 2018


I talked him down to just going out for a “treat”. He chose the red velvet cupcake (no green involved). While there I noticed that he was doing everything in slow motion (not just slowly, but really in slow motion); lifting his juice, putting it back down, picking up the cupcake, putting it back down – I thought that there was something wrong.

(Forgetting that on the way there, I had asked him to take his time eating and go slowly so I could at least finish my coffee before he was “done” and it was time to leave.)

When I asked what was wrong, he very slowly lifted his juice and said

“Going  S-LLL-OOOO-LLL-YYY” – 


Silly me.


I definitely did not want to take him to the book store the week before his birthday because I’m sure he will get a few of his beloved Barnes and Noble gift cards and seriously I am just flat out of room for books….



Last year I asked that you remind me of all of this when DC started asking to go out for a “Treat” on St. Patrick’s Day (because he starts the reminding relatively early) this year so I am not wondering why he is so adamant about going out for a treat on St. Patrick’s Day. My memory is just that bad…..

Or…could it be that he comes up with so many “traditions” for so many holidays that I just can’t keep them straight any more?  

Well, just forget about all of that because this year we do happen to have a Winter Guard Show right on St. Patrick’s Day, so I am sure that the “Out To Eat” tradition will be reinstated, overriding the newer “Treat” tradition. 

Hopefully next year, when DC starts talking about “Pencil – Very – a” (Pennsylvania = DC-Speak) and “Out to Eat”, I’ll remember where THAT idea came from.

Edited to add: And now that he realized that “Pencil-Very-A” is very a long drive, almost like a “looking around trip” ; he has just – right this minute, added a bookstore in “Pencil-Very-A” to his “Out to Eat” tradition.

So that’s how it all happens….

Magnets, Meds and Memory

Let’s begin with my memory, especially for the things we do habitually every day and even more especially, the things we do out of habit or automatically in the morning.

Back before they invented coffee makers that shut off on a timer, I can’t tell you how many times I had to leave work to go home because I had convinced myself that I left the coffee maker on. When my job moved further away from home I had a friend who knew how to get into my house for just that reason.

Never – not even once, was the coffee maker found on – I just could not remember shutting it off because it was one of those things we do automatically and do not always remember doing.  If I can’t remember doing it, I begin to convince myself that I forgot to do it.

Morning is the part of the day that I seem most affected by this phenomenon.

The second thing that you need to know about me is that I stink at medication. I have never been on any kind of  medication with the exception of the random round of antibiotics that everyone needs at one time or another. I have a hard time remembering to take them and more than once during the course of the antibiotics, I am dumping them out and counting them to see if I remembered to take one.  I always joke that knowing how bad I am at remembering to take medications (or vitamins for that matter), it is fortunate that I have not ever had to take anything for a serious condition or for a long period of time, because I would most definitely be dead.

DC had never been on any kind of medication either until he was 25 and had to start taking seizure medication.

Knowing what I know about myself, I made sure to set alarms in the morning and the evening – not one alarm, but 3 – in case I was involved in something when one went off (like trying to get ready for work) – there would be another 20 minutes later. DC is also in the habit of shutting off my alarm if I am not right there to do it myself. I usually remember on my own, but I keep them set as a safeguard – just in case. He cannot swallow pills; his medication is in liquid form – I can’t dump them out and take a count if I am questioning myself.

A couple of weeks ago after a rather difficult morning – I was convinced that I had given DC his medication twice. I did not remember giving it to him twice but once I get that idea into my head, I can’t let it go.

I was 98% sure that I had not, but ….. to be safe, I called his doctor and waited for him to call back.

When he called back he said that due to the amount of his regular dose, a second dose would not hurt him at all. He might just be very tired and/or drowsy and I should still give him his evening dose.

He was anything but drowsy when he came home from his day program and there were no notes that he had been tired during the day.

So there’s that.

But……. being the queen of overthinking and over-reaction, I felt I just had to come up with a better system.

His medication is in a bin on the stove (we have to use the stove for something, right?).

We have quite a few refrigerator magnets on the refrigerator so I figured I could put a few to use.

About now you might be thinking/wondering why I can’t just write it down when I give him his meds. Easy enough, right?

Well no, because then I would have to find a pen. All pens, no matter where I put them end up in DC”s “It’s Mine” stash. If I wait until “later” to write it down when I get around to finding a pen – I may not ever write it down and then we are in the same boat.

“I’ll do it later. I’ll remember to do it later” never works for me.

Easy solution…..

I took two of the many magnets from the front of the refrigerator and moved them to the stove hood.

On the side of the refrigerator, that is against the stove, I put two clearly marked labels: “Morning” and “Night”.

They will be right in my face when I go to pour and measure his medicine so I can’t miss them.

I was all set to start my “ingenious” system the following morning.

Ten minutes after setting up the magnets on the hood – I walked into the kitchen and they were gone.

I never explained this system to DC because he already takes it upon himself to shut my alarms off, so I did not want to get him involved in this.

Apparently it did not occur to me that DC would see these magnets out of place and need to put them back on the front of the refrigerator.

“DC, you can’t move the magnets. These are for Mom”.

DC: Okay, Mom!

That night Doug was over and I asked him to give DC his meds while he was in the kitchen. I reminded him to move the magnet.

He did.

The next time I went into the kitchen – the “Night” magnet was gone. Doug had moved it but he moved it back to the front of the refrigerator.

sigh…..

Seriously, there are labels. Even if it hadn’t been explained (it had been); this is pretty much self-explanatory.

Before bed, I moved them back to “start” position. I did. I am 100% POSITIVE that I did. No doubt in my mind.

The next morning I went over to the stove for something to find that the “Morning” magnet was moved as if I gave him his meds.

Someone is “messing” with me ……

(or am I really losing my mind?)

I asked DC. First he said yes and then he said no which is pretty standard for him. If he did move it, why just move one? Why didn’t he put them both back on the refrigerator as he did when he thought they were out of place?

I put them back and again told him not to touch the magnets.

“Okay Mom!”

The following morning after the first alarm went off but before the second ….. the same thing. The morning magnet was moved.

“DC, did you move Mom’s magnet?”

“Nooooooo, I didn’t”

I put them back.  When the alarm went off the second time I saw him anxiously pacing, reaching for the magnet, stopping himself and pacing again in front of the stove.

“Mom. You have to move the ‘mag-let'”

As I had never explained all of this to him, I could not understand how he figured out that this all had to do with his medication or why he was getting anxious about moving the “Morning” magnet. From the pacing I figured out that he must have been moving the magnet as  soon as the first alarm went off in the morning and because I told him not to and moved it back, he did not know what to do except to pace.

So I explained that I would move the magnet AFTER he had his medicine.

Then I decided I would let him move the magnet after he has his medication.

Usually I will bring his medication to him where ever he is in the house, but now he stands in front of the stove with me,  takes it right there and moves the magnet when he is done.

But only in the morning.

He does not seem to care about the night dose, the alarm or anything with the exception of reminding me to “Move the Mag-let”.

I guess I will never have to worry about forgetting ever again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In The Last Book I Read Star Trek and Autism Meet

This week’s Finish the Sentence Friday prompt is “The Last Book I read was….”.

As I am no longer the avid reader that I once was (the whole “reading glasses” situation is explained below), the last book that I DID read was close to a year ago, now.

The subject matter being two subjects that I can relate to and also very close to my heart; I had no problem getting through it (even with the glasses) and I thought this would be a good opportunity to share my thoughts again.

 

To Explore Strange New Worlds: Understanding Autism Through A Star Trek Lens ~ By Elizabeth W. Barnes

I have to begin by saying that I always loved to read, until I hit the age where my arms were no longer long enough to see the pages clearly and I had to begin wearing the dreaded “reading glasses”.  I do not know why reading a book while wearing the dreaded “reading glasses” bothers me so, but it does. Although I have from time to time, purchased a book with all good intentions, I can’t say I have been able to get through a single one.

The subject of Star Trek and autism relating to each other was intriguing to me. I have been a Star Trek fan since the first episode of The Original Series hit the airwaves; a VERY long time. I have a parent to a child with autism for over a quarter of a century. These are two subjects that I can relate to more than most.

I have always looked at Star Trek as diverse and inclusive. After my son was diagnosed and as he got older, I of course saw the similarities between him and Mr. Spock, Data, and Seven of Nine, but it never occurred to me just how much more there could be found in the Star Trek Universe. It was fun and eye-opening to look at Star Trek again though the scope of autism.

It took me a little while to begin reading it, because….. “reading glasses”, but once I picked it up, I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly I was able to finish it – glasses or not.

It was an easy read. It was not clinical or technical. It does not read like a “how to”, or an instruction manual.  There is no advice or counsel as to what you should or should not be doing. It does not preach.

What the book does, is point out the regular every day issues that our children deal with through Star Trek episodes. It provides thoughts and tips for discussion as a means of assisting our children though these issues.  It is a collection of episodes and specific scenarios from those episodes that are relevant to our day-to-day life. These situations and the manner in which they are resolved are broken down in a clear and simple manner to promote thought, discussion and understanding about anxiety, social situations, problem solving and much more. Once you read this book and begin looking at the episodes in this way, this method could then be applied to other episodes, other situations in the same episodes and even different television shows, movies or books.

Being a Star Trek fan, it was actually fun reading over all of these episodes and looking at them in this light.

If you are a Star Trek fan with some connection to autism; this book is definitely for you.

If you are a Star Trek fan who may want to learn a little bit about autism while reading synopses of episodes from most of the Star Trek television series; this book is also for you.

If you are a Star Trek fan and the parent of a neurotypical child; this book can also be helpful as many of the issues covered such as bullying, acceptance or fitting in and peer pressure are not specific to autism.

If you are not a Star Trek fan; first I will ask ……..

WHY?

Next I will say that I do not think it matters. I have to admit that there were a few episodes that I did not remember and it did not take anything away from the point of the book. To the Star Trek novice or the person who has no knowledge of the  franchise other than the name, I believe this book would be just as interesting and informative to read as a collection of short story synopses that begin with a problem, end with a solution and the break down of the steps the characters took to get to that solution.

I found “To Explore Strange New Worlds – Understanding Autism through a Star Trek Lens” a fun, informative and quite fascinating romp through the Star Trek Universe and the autism spectrum. I highly recommend it!

 

Click Image To Purchase

To Explore Strange New Worlds: Understanding Autism Through A Star Trek Lens – By Elizabeth W. Barnes (click image to purchase)

 

 

 

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This has been a Finish The Sentence Friday post. This week’s prompt;  “The last book I read was…”
Finish the Sentence Friday is Hosted by Kristi at Finding Ninee 
and Kenya at Sporadically Yours

Happy Friday!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No stuffing please

 

DC has been counting the days waiting for Thanksgiving to arrive and just know that he would never imagine keeping me out of the loop on this…… daily/hourly/every few minutes.

I do have to say that his ‘Thanksgiving’ pronunciation has improved over the past year but “firsday’ is still ‘firsday’

I am not really sure why he looks forward to this holiday so much. He will eat turkey (preferably with bones) but other than that, there is really nothing else “Thanksgivingy” that he will eat.

Turkey and bread. That is about the extent of it and honestly if there are no bones (legs or wings) to be had, the bread is really the main event. He will eat the turkey but he is not very excited about it.

Last year, he skipped the turkey entirely and went with prime rib – a big switch for him!

Stuffing? No! No way!

Funny thing about stuffing, though…. he will not touch it! Every year I tell him that stuffing is made from bread (as the song below tells us). Every year I tell him that when he was little, he would not eat chicken or turkey, but he loved stuffing.

I tell him that he loved stuffing so much that I had to buy stuffing on a regular basis and hide chicken in it to get him to eat chicken or turkey. He loved stuffing and hated chicken.

Now-a-days as we all know, he eats chicken almost every day

or “Chicken with bones and sprinkles”

-although I’m sure the wings will do in a pinch.

It’s all about the bones.

“Sprinkles” being Mrs. Dash Seasoning.

But he will not touch the stuffing.

He does look forward to seeing his aunt and uncle. He enjoys staying in a hotel.

And there’s dessert. We can’t forget the dessert.

Or the bread..

But NO stuffing…

Happy a Happy Holiday!

*****

Reposted with a few additions from Thanksgiving 2017 

 

The Costume Parade Is Lacking This Year

……. but we DO have “Jim Dear”

As Halloween’s go, this could be the “lowest key” low-key Halloween we have ever had.

This post, which would normally be our “Halloween Wrap-Up” post is not much of a wrap-up post at all.

With only 3 parties scheduled this season, we were already down a few activities (and costume choices) before the season began. One party was rescheduled to a time when DC could not attend, so we were down to 2.

He chose Peter Pan for his camp party. Chip and Mrs. Potts from the cancelled party will have to be put on hold for another year.

But…. he did go with “Jim Dear” for his Halloween/Trick-or-Treat party and he was pretty excited about it.

As you may or may not know, DC asked to be “Jim Dear” (of Jim Dear and Darling fame from Lady and the Tramp) for many years. I always talked him out of it because Jim Dear, is basically just a guy in a suit and no one would know who he was supposed to be – which honestly would not be the first time, but …….. a guy in a suit? We could do better than that.

A few years back when all of the Steam Punk clothing and costumes became popular and easier to find and while shopping for a hat for a different occasion, I happened upon a derby-type hat, I thought that would be the year he could finally be Jim Dear.

Well…… he already had other costumes in his head and Jim Dear was not on the list! It had ALWAYS been on his list but for some reason, that year it was not.

This year, it was his first choice.

He finally got to be Jim Dear.

 

Yes – still just a guy in a suit, but he loved it.

Yes, most people thought he was Charlie Chaplin and I am not sure why Charlie Chaplin would be carrying a briefcase, Lady and Tramp, but…..

he knew who he was, so that is all that mattered.

He had fun eating pizza and trick-or-treating with his friends, so in the end, Halloween was a success.

 

 

 

And we’re ahead of the game by one costume (Mrs. Potts and Chip) for next year.

In DC’s world, Halloween is over as soon as we arrive back home. That being the case, the calendars were changed to November first thing and

“Vickie, I am so excited for Thanksgiving” began –

because……

#ItsWhatsNext

 

 

 

Party Choices; The choice is not always clear.

This is more about DC’s ability (or inability)  to choose between two or more options than it is about Halloween but Halloween is a factor in this particular story.

DC takes Halloween and the costumes he chooses, pretty seriously. It seems as though we used to have more parties to attend and more costumes to put together than we do now, but this year we knew there would be the basics, Best Buddies, Camp and Halloween night. The camp party was scheduled for Saturday at noon and Best Buddies for Sunday at noon.

Perfect! Right?

No…

A couple of weeks ago it was announced that the Best Buddies party was being rescheduled from Sunday to Saturday at noon; the same day and time as his camp party. I knew this was going to be a battle. Not only would he have to pass on one party and give up on one costume, but he would have to UNDERSTAND that he could not do both.

First of all – it was on the calendar and when something is on the calendar, it is engraved in stone.

Second of all – This was not something getting cancelled, which is usually cause for some trauma, but he gets over it. This is not “Mom” making a mistake on a date, where there is no choice involved – which is not fun either but he gets over it…… eventually.

This is him knowing about and planning on attending both, and now having to make a choice between them.

DC cannot always grasp this concept. He does not always understand, as many times and ways I have tried to explain, that if he chooses one that means he can’t go to or have the other.

It is not that he expects to “have it all’, it is more like he thinks of choices as being what he chooses will now come first and the thing he did not choose will still come later, just not at the originally expected time.

The many years of explanations and the times when he had to make a choice and did not get to do or have whatever he did not choose, does not seem to stick or help him understand any better the next time.

I knew for a fact that DC was not going to be the only one who might have a difficult time understanding that going to one party means not going to the other.

Originally, when I first explained the change and conflict to him – the chose the Best Buddies party, but when it was explained that he would not be able to go to the camp party, he changed his vote and went with camp.

After a week of him yelling at me at random intervals that he wanted to go to the camp party, I stopped explaining that it meant he could not go to Best Buddies. There is always a point where the explanation causes more anxiety than the choosing.

Even though I never want to see that heartbroken look on his face after I was sure he understood the choice only to discover later that he really did not, I stopped mentioning the Best Buddies party.

He continued to randomly yell about wanting to go to the camp party for the next week as well. I continued to tell him that he was going; no worries. There was no more mention of the Best Buddies Party on my part or his.

I still waited a little while before telling his Buddy that he would not be attending just to be sure he did not change his mind.

On Friday morning (the day before), he brought up the Best Buddies party out of the blue but I told him that he chose camp and I already told his buddy that he would not be there.

No reaction….. Phew!

On Saturday morning he mentioned a few friends that would be at the Best Buddies party, not at camp. I again explained that he chose the camp party. He was getting his costume on at the time which distracted him so I did not get a reaction about his party choice.

He went to camp and had a great time. There was no mention of Best Buddies.

He even found a “Captain Hook” to go along with his Peter Pan costume. (bonus theme and he loves babies!)

 

I was sure he would start on the Best Buddies party as soon as the camp party was over, but he mentioned nothing about it when I picked him up.

I haven’t heard anything since.

If he does not mention it by the time Halloween night rolls around, I am home free and I will know that he “got it” – but as long as there is time in his mind for another party before Halloween night, I cannot be sure.

I am thinking positively (with fingers crossed) because it really seems like he understood….

Finally!

Maybe?

We will see.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Supernatural – I wish I was able to hear that Conversation #SPNNJ

 

This week the Finish The Sentence Friday prompt is a Listicle – “Share 10 photos from your phone”. There could not have been more perfect timing.

As you may or may not remember, I lost all of the photos that were stored on my computer a few weeks ago. The computer went to the “computer guy” just before we went away for the weekend. It took much longer to get it back (with some of the photos recovered) than I expected, so all of my photos from that weekend are still on my phone waiting for a computer to download them on to, so I could write about the weekend as I do with every Convention, ComicCon or the like that we attend. They were already cropped and cartoonized (not a word, I know) and ready to go.

So here goes.

As you also may or may not know; DC loves New York City. He also loves Kim Rhodes. He met her last year at the some convention in NJ that we would be attending this weekend and I believe it was the highlight of his year (Let’s Talk About Kim Rhodes #SPNNJ)

As we did last year, we decided to take the weekend to go to New York City on Friday to do “DC-Stuff”, as he puts it, go to the convention on Saturday and back to New York for more “DC-Stuff” on Sunday.

Photo #1 (since this IS Supposed to be a “list)

“DC-stuff” means Times Square, The Disney Store, The M&M or Hershey Store (he chose Hershey this time), The Book Store and Lunch at Hard Rock. We accomplished that on Friday.

The hotel where we were staying was in NJ, within walking distance of the convention center.

Photo # 2

 

He started getting a little bit anxious at the hotel. He was done “of” walking (DC-Speak) but also excited about the next day. But this is normal for him. He “Flapped Furiously” for a while and got it out of his system.

Photo #3

Because I have learned much over the years, we had to go over the rules. Briana Buckmaster has beautiful long flowing blonde hair so he had to promise not to touch it (he would be reminded again the next day, but it never hurts to begin the reminding early) and of course, he is not allowed to “pick up the people” (a lesson I learned the hard way)

Saturday came and DC did a <insert sarcasm font> “little bit” of stimming outside the hotel (I’m sure it is on you-tube somewhere) and once he got himself together we walked over to the convention center.

He had his picture taken with Ruth Connell who had her hair up, luckily – but before he got anywhere near her, he was made to listen to the rules again – just to be on the safe side.

Photo #4

We sat in on the panel with all of the women characters where he got his first glimpse of Kim Rhodes. I had purchased autograph tickets for Kim Rhodes and I thought Briana Buckmaster because DC really wanted to say or hear her say “Okey Dokey” or in DC-speak “Ok-kiddy-Do-key” but #MomFail, I did not buy both. I don’t know what I was thinking. But he got to see Kim Rhodes, so he was sort-of okay with my error.

In line, waiting for the autographs, DC was, for some reason rehearsing “This is my mother, Vickie *LastName”, but when we reached the table and Kim asked him who I was he just said “Vickie” – not his mother – just Vickie.

Onward to the photo ops.

Photo #5

First ….. Kim Rhodes. The ‘Boy” is very happy, in case that isn’t 100% obvious.

Photo #6

Even though I failed with the autograph tickets, I did get a photo-op ticket for Kim and Briana Buckmaster together. Briana had her hair up too, so she was safe from DC the Hairdresser. He was thrilled, as you can see. I did not hear if he was able to give her an “Ok-kiddy-Do-key” and if she would even understand what he was saying if he did, but he was one happy guy. He wore his “Jody (Kim Rhodes) and Donna (Briana Buckmaster) shirt very proudly that day.

Once photos are taken, it is a good amount of time before they are printed and put out on a table in the vendor room. We only had one more photo-op to go before we were going to leave, have dinner and go back to the room for a break before we came back for the concert at 930. I try not to schedule anything after 3 or 4 so we have that time to take a break before the concert. It’s a long day for DC. Doug checked the photo table while we were in line for Misha Collins.

The last photo-op of the day and I have to say, my favorite photo of all time.

Photo-ops move quickly and there is not really any time at all to say more than “hello”. I was standing off to the side and saw that Misha Collins was taking to DC and DC was answering. I do not know if he was getting actual answers to the questions he was asking but I could see that DC seemed to be responding to whatever he was saying. It was more than a quick “Hello, what is you name”.

Whatever they were talking about; the conversation led to this photo.

Photo #7

Absolutely the

Best . Photo . Ever.

Let me also point out that DC TOOK HIS GLASSES OFF for the photo! That does not happen.

I did not see the photo until after we left and had dinner. We were able to get the first two photos before we left he convention center. We stopped at Outback on the way back to the hotel. After dinner Doug volunteered to go back to the convention center to check for the photo while DC and I went back to the hotel.

DC and I were sitting at a table outside the hotel when I saw Doug coming down the road with the photo, laughing. I don’t know if he laughed all the way from the convention center (I would have) but he was sure laughing on the way to the table.

Best picture ever.

It makes me really want to know what they were talking about before it was taken.

After our break, we went back for the Saturday Night Special (the concert) where DC got to hear them all sing.

Photo #8

Photo #9

Photo #10

Photo #11 (Bonus)

The concert ended with Justin Guarini. I am not sure why he was there, but……. cool. It was also a bonus for Doug because if you know Doug at all, you know that he has no idea who anyone on TV or in the movies is, but he did know who Justin Guarini was, not from American Idol but from American Idiot – one of the few Broadway shows that I dragged him to that he actually enjoyed.

A few things I noticed, though. We’ve been to a few conventions over the years and this one is one of the most organized conventions around, without a doubt.

DC had a few minor meltdowns while we were there. No one stared, no one made an issue about it. One lady was concerned and asked me if he was all right. I started to explain that he has autism and he gets a little bit anxious and before I got that all out of my mouth, she said “Oh, I know. Does he need anything?”

During another outburst, the woman behind us in line did not even flinch and offered us some granola bars in case he was hungry.

I guess I am not used to people knowing and understanding without me having to explain. It was nice. Maybe the whole “awareness thing” is doing some good in some places. It certainly was not the case when he was stimming outside the hotel that morning.

Sunday consisted of sleeping late; as late as DC would allow and back to the City for the rest of the “DC-stuff” on his list.

Central Park

and the Eloise Store at the Plaza

 

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This has been a Finish The Sentence Friday Post. This week is a Listicle and the prompt; Share 10 photos from your phone.
Finish The Sentence Friday is hosted by: Kristi at Finding Ninee and  Kenya at Sporadically Yours

 

 

 

 

Costumes…. back to an old favorite.

It’s been busy ’round here and before I knew what happened, it is the end of September with ……

Wait for it……

Halloween right around the corner and we are just now “getting ready”.

If you are new here, you might not understand that last sentence.

Halloween is a big deal for both DC and I (don’t you just love it when your kid is actually interested in the same thing that you are?)

We finally have his costumes picked out – much later than we usually do. DC’s choices are again, not as elaborate or I should say, not as difficult to find or “create” as they have been over the years.

Last year DC decided that he wanted us to be Chip and Mrs. Potts. I was thrilled for him when I found a Mrs. Potts costume…. BUT after searching everywhere, I was unable to find an adult-sized Chip. Finding adult sized costumes for whatever he chooses to be, has been a challenge over the last few years.

Randomly, around his birthday I searched again and (Yay!) was able to find one! Halloween costumes for your birthday? In DC-land…… yes!

Mrs. Potts and Chip were meant for Halloween night, because we always both dress for the big night.

We did the rest of our “holiday’ shopping the other day.

He chose “Peter Pan” for his camp Halloween party (Boring, yes but this is not about me …… not really anyway. Well maybe a little)

His Best Buddies party would require a different costume because; Halloween and that is how we roll.

DC met his new Buddy on Saturday and she asked about his costume (his Buddies last year were nice enough to do a theme with him – Lumiere, Cogsworth and the Beast – all costumes we already had in our collection) and I was able to talk her into wearing the Mrs. Potts costume to go with DC as Chip.

The Halloween Gods were smiling upon me and saved me from burning in Hot Flash Hell wearing that costume this year! Costumes for me are becoming more difficult as the years go by for this very reason.  #IsItHotInHereOrIsItJustMe

Now we had to switch gears. His Halloween night costumes are going to be worn at a party instead. So what did he decide to wear on THE BIG NIGHT, Halloween?

You guessed it!

Jim Dear! Yes, this year!

Me? I think I am going to try to sit this one out, unless that “little” voice continues to ask about “Jim Dear AND Darling”.

(From 2016)

“Jim Dear?” – Not this year……

 


hat

So Halloween is upon us.  It is already September and we are a little bit behind schedule this year. We usually have our costumes chosen and purchased in August. We did pick out our “official” Halloween night costumes way back in April or May so we are not 100% behind, but we are still behind. There are plenty of parties to attend for which DC must have different costumes (gotta love this boy!).

Okay maybe we like Halloween just a little teeny tiny bit -but we’re not obsessed or anything….

Last week we discussed what party costumes he wanted to wear this ‘Holiday’ season. This is always a little bit of a challenge.  At times the costumes that DC requests are just people that he likes who happen to be wearing regular everyday clothing, or it is an obscure character that nobody knows but him (he might get that from me).  Most of the time there is no such costume available so my mission is to come up with something or make up something that at least in his mind, makes the point.

The one costume that continues to make the list from the time DC was very young is “Jim Dear” from Lady and the Tramp.

(sigh….)  A man in a suit…..

Not my idea of a Halloween costume, but – this is not about me….

……not ALL about be, anyway.

 But, this year I was prepared.

Last October we attended a fundraiser/gala with Tony Orlando. The gala had a 1940’s theme. It was not a costume party, it was a theme, but in keeping with DC’s love of costumes, I bought him a 40’s style hat to wear with his suit. There was also the added incentive to get him excited about going to the event of calling the hat and suit a costume.  While I was shopping for said hat, I came across a derby style hat that closely resembles the hat that “Jim Dear” wears. I purchased that to save for this year.

While looking for items to make a “Timekeeper – Spy Kids – All The Time in the World” (yes, we must use the proper and entire title) costume last year I came across a tremendous amount of steampunk costumes.  I discovered them too late for last years’ costumes (they had already been chosen and we can’t mess around with the costume line-up)  but I knew that they would be a great option for this year.

2015 would finally be the year of “Jim Dear”.

I had everything ready when we sat down to choose his costumes. I had a choice of two suits up on the screen, I had a few options for “Lady” stuffed animals for him to carry. I even found a “Tramp”…. and I had the hat.  I was excited because I knew that he would be so excited when he saw that one of his costumes would be “Jim Dear”. I saved the surprise costume for last.

He chose a Disney Character – surprise! He also chose a character from a television show – whoo hoo! – a current television show – bigger whoo hoo! When we had only one more to pick, I started to wonder why he hadn’t yet brought up “Jim Dear”. I thought he may have been so overwhelmed by looking at all of the other costumes that it had just slipped his mind, so I opened up the windows that I had saved, expecting him to be over the moon….

He said “No! No, Jim Dear!”

What ?!?  

“No, Jim Dear!”

I asked him again just to be sure he was not confused, I showed him the hat that I already bought. I showed him the photos of the suits and stuffed animals – “NO! Jim Dear!”

sigh…….

Anyone in need of a black derby hat complete with decorative feather?

– in great condition – never been worn….

 

 

As Summer Moves Into Fall

Never could I have ever imagined when I was younger, that I would at some point be counting the days until summer was over.

Summer was ALWAYS my season.

We were on the beach by the end of March or early April (maybe in not so warm conditions, but we were there) and perfectly tanned by the end of April. A co-worker and co-sun worshipper used to say:

“You realize, by the time we are 40, we are going to be nothing but leather and teeth”. When you are in your 20’s you really could care less or think about what you will look like in your 40’s.

As I got older – still worshiping the sun, I did take better care to use sunscreen.

The heat never bothered me. I could walk for miles in any kind of heat and it was never a big deal. I remember on one of my marathon walks, during a heatwave more than one person stopping me to tell me that it was just too hot to be out walking. It never bothered me.

DC always loved to swim.

All vacation destinations were somewhere warm and beachy.

Fall/Autumn meant Halloween (a good thing) but other than that, only meant that winter was on the way.

It’s amazing how things have changed.

My Listicle about the changing of the seasons is a bit different from what it would have been even 5 years ago:

  1. DC who is more and more annoyed with the Air Conditioner (“Hair-dish-on”) over the past few years, is getting antsy for it to come out.
  2. DC, who works outdoors and in a greenhouse is at the end of his rope with the morning bug spray and sunscreen application.
  3. DC, who hates to wear shorts, is already getting anxious to have his long pants back (It is still HOT here so that will not be happening soon)
  4. DC decided he did not love the water as much as he used to.
  5. Mid-August through the end of September have been difficult for DC over the past few years because of all of the above and because there is a limit to just how much he can take of all of the above.
  6. Fall is now MY Season. Once it cools down a bit, I might just venture outside once in a while.
  7. I wish the Autumn season was a little bit longer. I feel as if we are losing it as we have lost any resemblance of Spring over the last few years. The weather goes from Cold to Hot and really not too much “Spring” in-between. Summer seems to go on much longer than it did and is really starting to  taking a bite out of the Fall season.
  8. Our favorite “holiday” comes in the Fall – the one thing that has not changed over the years.
  9. We try to schedule vacations now, closer to home and with no beaches involved.
  10.  I am no longer “One with the Heat”.

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This is a Listicle Friday post. It’s the Week 2, of the old school blogging, prompt for the Finish the Sentence Friday writing community where I’m co-hosting with Kristi Campbell of Finding Ninee. This week we are sharing “10 things about the changing of the seasons”.