Wednesday, September 29, 2010

What Is The Baby Looking At In This Picture?

It is 10:18 p.m. and both boys are in bed.  One of them is even sleeping!  Am I dreaming?  Well, I just pinched myself and although I'm slightly irritated at the force I used, I came to the conclusion that I am indeed awake. Since I have a few moments to spare, it's BLOG TIME!!!

Hello Aspierations friends!

Tonight's blog will not be "Kicked In The Shins - Part 2".  I am relieved.  Although if you read that last blog, I made a couple typos and mistakes so I went back a few minutes ago to correct them.  If there are more there, please don't let me know.  I confess this to you because I am a bit of a  an annoyingly insane perfectionist when it comes to trying to get things in my blog just right.  It's one of those good habit / bad habit kinda things.  When I was temping during college summers, I could put my analytical skills to use. I was hired to proofread HR manuals and employee training documents at the corporate office of an employment agency one summer and it was easy money.  Ever notice the first four letters in analytical are anal?

Lately I've told myself to go raw, let it all hang out, blog like a wild woman and then proofread later or do something really daring and just put it out there as is.  That way I won't get caught up in the minutiae and take an hour writing something which could have taken me ten minutes.

The thing is that when I go back to my blogs to read comments from my Aspierations buddies, it really irks me if I see that I made a typo or word mistake or left something out or spaced out on something. I'm embarrassed and I have to stop what I am doing and correct it.  Last time I checked, the grammar police had not shown up at my door to arrest me but wouldn't that be an interesting lock up?

You would think with all the organizational tendencies I have in my head and in my writing, my desk and surrounding work area would be the epitome of neatness. HA!  Our house is presentable on the rare occasions we have guests but it has definitely got a lived in style.  It also has Molly Maids who come once every other week.  Sometimes I wonder if I am less of a Mom because on top of everything else I've got going on with the family and business, I'm not a domestic goddess and Stepford Wife too.  I know it seems really silly because there have to be priorities and something has got to give but I really want to be a good role model for my children and teach them strong life skills.

I guess part of the reason I question my abilities is that my Mom & Dad's home is as immaculate today as it was when they purchased it 39 years ago!  My Mom and Dad do an amazing job with it and my Mom has always kept the place sparkling, except of course when I lived there.  I know she loves me very much but during my teen years, I think she thought my unkempt room was a deliberate attempt at disrespect. Love you, Mom if you're out there!  It was just me being messy!

When my parents adopted me, someone from up above really thought they needed a challenge.  Mini Taz, the Picky Eating Queen vs. the Mom Extraordinaire, the Home Maintenance Machine!


This wasn't really the way I had intended my blog to go tonight.  I actually had planned to talk about our weekly drive from Vancouver, WA to Beaverton, OR for Ryan to participate in an Autism & Communications Research Study at the Oregon Health & Science University.  Will you stay with me if I make a transition?  Awesome!  That's one of you!  (But just the one I want!!!)

We've been driving Ryan back and forth to this study in Oregon for about a month and a half now.  It's about an hour there, about 1 1/2 - 2 hours for the testing and research and when there's not traffic, we can make it home in about 45 minutes.

We had been going on Wednesdays and leaving mid-morning.  Today his appointment was at 9:00 a.m.  As I mentioned in an earlier blog this week, Ryan has not been sleeping well lately and when Ryan doesn't sleep well, the rest of the family is thrown off as well.  As for me, I've been having a string of nightmares lately.  Something about the Grammar Police coming to take me to lock-up and throwing away the key.

Not really... but I have been having nightmares and so when Ryan wanted to put in a Teletubbies DVD for the car ride to Oregon this morning, I realized being awake wasn't particularly an improvement.

Tinky Winky, Dipsy (or is that Tipsy?), La La, Po, Teletubbies, Teletubbies, Say HELLO! Eh-Oh!

I'm laughing now because I realize that if I'm able to get these inane lyrics out of my head and onto my blog, maybe they will transfer into someone else's head and I can share the wealth.  That is very socially inappropriate behavior and if Justin and Ryan were up right now, they'd be laughing right along with me.  It may not just be the Grammar Police who will be knocking on my door if I keep this up!

Sorry...  It could have been worse though.  I could have shared a YouTube video with you!
Hmmm... maybe I did?  Quick! Scroll below!!!!

Just Kidding!  What kind of friend would I be if I did that!?

Okay... immaturity break over.  Time to act like an adult.  It does feel good to laugh though.  Love those happy endorphins!  When was the last time you had a good laugh or gave someone a great giggle? If you're ticklish, that's one way to do it, although it's kind of hard to tickle oneself effectively although I've watched my youngest try!

Reading my blog:  Justin's Middle School Orientation Part 2 - Lots of Laughs is another option.
Or.... maybe you'll find what I say below to be a bit humorous.  We'll see.

So.... after driving from Vancouver to Beaverton, listening to whatchamacallit and forgetting my water bottle (I drink a TON of water), we got to OSHU a couple minutes after 9:00 a.m.  I really loathe being late but we got caught in some traffic and as we sat bumper to bumper, I reminded myself that as much as I missed California, I did not miss the Silicon Valley commute.

In addition to forgetting my water bottle, we also neglected to bring Ryan's weighted vest.  He's never worn it before for the research study but because it was an earlier session and Ryan has a lot of early morning wild body and sillies, it could have come in handy.  Today definitely would have been a day to have it.

The researcher who worked with him today had spent time with Ryan last week and today's testing involved him watching and listening to an animated story on a computer and then 30 minutes later seeing what he could recall of that story.  Well, I personally know that if Ryan is focused on watching something, he has an incredible memory.  Whether or not he's able to verbalize it in a test setting when he's feeling out of sync and silly is another thing altogether.

There is a waiting room for the parents to sit in while Ryan does his thing.  He's taped (video and audio) and the room he was testing in was kitty-corner to ours.  Usually we can't hear him.  Today we could!

Come on man, sing it with me!
WILD THING, you make my heart sing,
You make everything
Wild Thing!!

That was for you Jimi Hendrix fans out there! Anyone? You in the back? I see you! Don't be shy with me!

Speaking of groovy, has anyone seen Mrs. Brady (Florence Henderson) performing this season on Dancing With The Stars?  It's mainly background noise around here but go, Mrs. Brady, go! Get your GROOVE on....

ERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRHHHH!!  The Tangent Police have just pulled up, knocked over the wimpy Grammar Policeman with a baton and yanked me away to tangent lockdown!  Save me!!!!


Okay, no-one out there attempted a rescue.  I am so disappointed.  Guess I'll have to continue this blog from my cell!

So as I was alluding to, we could hear Ryan through the walls and he was being very goofy and silly. I have no idea where he gets it from.

A short time later, the researcher comes in with one of those telling smiles on her face and politely remarks that Ryan is "just a little off" today.  Perhaps he needed a little break and snack before they started up again.

This was one of those moments when I smiled politely and looked concerned but hey... this is a research study on autism and communication and it would honestly be a disservice to their study if Ryan was always on his game.  They know he's a bright little guy but it's important they see his challenges too.  We live with him around the clock and know they only get a small picture and experience with him.

Fortunately, they have NOT had the experience of being kicked in the shins.  We can keep that special bonus for Mom and not share that one again!

The researcher is truly a nice person and she asked if one of us might come in for the rest of the study to help provide Ryan with a bit of stability.  We've been through 6 of these sessions so far and this was the first time either of us had been invited back and so I jumped at the chance.  Ryan led the way from the waiting room to the testing room and when we got into the room, he sat at a small table with a computer and the researcher sat next to him where there was another table with a laptop.  Nearby was the video camera recording the session and I sat about 12 feet away from Ryan and observed.

In the beginning, he appeared to be focused and doing well.  My presence there did have a calming effect and he blazed through a lot of the questions.  I noticed while he was answering the questions that he would alternate between standing, sitting and moving around.  He didn't make much eye contact but he smiled and laughed a lot and although I didn't know the parameters of the testing, he gave some pretty intricate answers to what I thought were some basic questions.

Then he decided to show off for Mom and get goofy.  He started answering "I don't know" to questions he did know (he does this at home a lot) and when prompted for follow-up, he would use some of his favorite silly made up words like stainers, ainers, eenis and.... what was that?  ANUS? (I know I didn't hear that right...  okay, I know I did but I'll pretend I didn't.)

And in one of the final questions of the day...

Question: "What is the baby looking at in this picture?"  (Cue to what is probably a moon in the sky.)
Answer: (In a gleefully LOUD voice!)  Your ANUS.  (I bit my tongue and considered kicking myself in the shins not to laugh.)

It's a good thing the researcher had a sense of humor and I'm sure the people reviewing the videotape will get a good chuckle as well.  Apparently before I had joined into the fun, Ryan had been saying "Anus" to questions he didn't seem to know the answer to.

His brother is into astronomy...  Ryan, well... he likes the word "Anus".  Guess what his favorite planet is???

Hope you have a great rest of your day, Aspierations friends!

Let me know what you thought of my blog if you are so inclined!  I enjoy hearing your feedback!  If you have any questions for me or there is any topic you'd like me to write about, please let me know!  I need to do my penance for trying to get those Teletubbies song lyrics in your head...

May you have love in your life.  May you have laughter.
May you have your Friendly Aspierations Blogger,


  1. Karen,
    I am just now catching up to reading some of your blogs this past week as it has been a very crazy busy week and not much time online.
    I very much enjoyed reading about Ryan's testing and research that he is involved in. I enjoyed your wit and humor in the situation. Thanks for sharing and for being you!
    A friend who loves you,

  2. Thank you so much, June! You are a CYB friend, an Aspierations Friend, a true friend!

    Hope school has been going well for you! :-)

  3. Hi Anonymous!
    I realize I probably shouldn't have left his/her bullying comments up as long as I did but I don't know... this time it just really hit emotionally home and I had to respond.

    I got my response out. The first I was pretty proud of. The follow-up was admittedly emotionally charged.

    Thank you so much for your sticking up for me and for your compliments too. I do truly believe you're not a troll but since this jerk messed with my mind I will say to all of you out there who post anonymously that your comments are always welcome even if it is constructive criticism or opinion disagreement. I just ask that you respect me, my family and my Aspierations Friends.

    I enjoy my Anonymous Aspierations amigos and don't want any bully scaring you away either. Please stay here with me and let's fight the good fight and let our lights shine together!

    Are you with me? I hope so!


  4. I read this crap and want to kick his A$$. Man I'm vexed. What a douche. He's just trying to mess with your mind. There are real people here who care about you. Just because I or maybe even other people post anonymously and don't need my boss to know what I'm doing, doesn't mean I don't think you rock, don't think you bang, don't think you are as beautiful inside as you are gorgeous outside. Do not stop writing, sweetheart and know if I am not commenting it does not reflect on you. You are a beacon of light in a sea of darkness. You will always be inspirational to me. Ignore the douche.