Tuesday, June 23, 2009


My son, Nerd Boy, 11, has Asperger's Syndrome (Syndrome NOT Disorder - as he told his psychologist and everyone else for that matter. "Disorder implies that there is something wrong with you. There is nothing "wrong" with Aspies, their brains just work differently." )

Nerd Boy, in addition to AS, is Profoundly Gifted. This masked the Asperger's for years. He was not officially diagnosed until 9, but looking back ALL the signs were there. Every doctor’s appointment, I would question things that he would do, always to the same response…he perfectly healthy just quirky. I can not tell you how many emails I sent to his teachers asking if certain things were "normal"...the response was always that he is just exceptionally bright and quirky...a genius thing.

His Asperger's was diagnosed in third grade after he started to have breakdowns (silently crying, staring off into space, monologuing, pretending the world did not exist, talking to himself, depression, shutting everyone out) in class and go off into the world he creates in his mind; a world of magic, dragons and fairies.

Things I noticed over the years:

  • He never cried, ever, until he reached 3rd grade. Not even as a baby.
  • He did not play with toys; he lined them up, obsessed about them and collected them.
  • He did not have back and forth conversations until he was quite old; he repeated large passages from book that had been read to him or scenes from TV.
  • His memorization was unbelievable. His speech was very sing song. He never looked other people in the eyes.
  • He had a ton of sensory issues.
  • He was very physically uncoordinated; 6 months with a batting coach twice a week and he never learned to hit a ball. He held scissor backwards. (I have no clue how he can do that, it hurts!)
  • He did not learn other children's names until 3rd grade, even though he had been in school with the same kids since Kindergarten.
  • He called things as he saw them, so one girl was Bossy Girl, a boy was Tall One, etc. He did not play or interact with other children; he walked around talking to himself about the worlds he was creating.
  • He was very literal; saw everything black and white, right and wrong. He would NEVER break a rule. I remember once asking him to go up in the tubes in BK to get his brother because it was time to go and Monster Child was not coming down. He would NOT do it because the sign said for children 48" and under and he was 50". I had to get a manager to tell him that it was OK.
  • He would do an entire group project on his own rather than having to work with a group.
  • He obsessed over dragons. He could tell you every myth/belief/legend ever told about dragons in detail.
  • He never got jokes or innuendo.

Looking back, I have no idea how we missed it. Mind you, even though he had all these issues, he was a very, very loving child, a straight “A” student, regional science fair winner, prolific writer and generally wonderful kid. I tell people that Nerd Boy would give you the shirt off his back, if he ever noticed that you needed it, but in all likelihood he would never notice.

My mom had suggested to me once that maybe he had Autism. No way! I thought of Autism as Dustin Hoffman as "Rainman" I had never even heard of Asperger's until his school requested an IQ test at the end of 3rd grade, to see if he qualified for placement in a Highly/Profoundly Gifted, self contained classroom. They thought it might be a better fit for him.

He scored Profoundly Gifted, but the testing threw up quite a few red flags for the psychologist. The psychologist suggested repeatedly I have Nerd Boy evaluated by a clinical psychologist who specialized in Pervasive Developmental Disorders. I did, and a developmental pediatrician and a pediatric neurologist. Now we have our diagnosis, Asperger's.

I am so thankful that we agreed to let him be tested. Without the help of the district psychologist and his recommendation for further testing, I don’t know where we would be now. Nerd Boy was starting to completely shut down. With the help of our school, his pediatrician, a wonderful psychologist and a lot of others, he has made amazing strides this past year! He is still quirky, but that is just how he is.

Our goal is not for Nerd Boy to “fit” into society, but to be able to comfortably, effectively communicate (in a positive way) to the extent which he desires.I love his quirks. I would not change a single thing about him. I just want him to have the skills and tools that will enable him to change, modify or adapt when and where he wants to.

I hate seeing...

...self-righteous, judgmental mommies who are convinced there is one right way to parent, care for and raise children and they have the inside track.

Seriously, the majority of us love our children more than can be adequately expressed and are just doing our best and what we think is right for our kids in that moment.

Some days we rock; we are Supreme Mommy of the Universe. Some days we suck and some days we may be just this side of a call to DCFS. We're human, we're moms.

I have cloth diapered, baby-wore, co-slept, extended bf. I have also put my kids to bed without dinner, used a umbrella stroller, fed my kids processed, deep-fat fried, trans-fat, HFCS, fast-food crap and let them veg-out in front of the Wii for an extended number of hours (days ). I have helicoptered and practiced benign neglect. I have yelled and spanked and held and cuddled and ignored and cried and loved.

I look in the mirror every morning; I am well aware of my faults, short-comings, attributes and successes. I don't need another mom to rub it in my face when I've screwed-up or didn't follow her parenting plan and I want to apologize for the times I may have done that to any other mom.
...you may now return to your regular programming.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


We attended Sunday School at the local LDS ward a few weeks back.

What was I thinking?

I was thinking that I need to do something to jump start my journey, my quest. I'm stagnating, hopelessly sitting in limbo.

The children did not appreciate the experience.

Nerd Boy is very adamant that the LDS church is NOT the one true church, the members are hypocritical and self-righteous, they focus too much on men (JS, BY, GBH, etc.) and leave little to nothing for the Lord or Christ. He wants nothing to do with it.

Drama Queen found it ironic that the same girls that will have nothing to do with her at school because our family left the LDS church suddenly want to be best buddies with her. Can you say missionary opportunity?

Monster Child was thrilled, as the little girl in his Kindergarten class whom he has a crush on is mormon. Though he did tell the Primary Teacher a week later when we chanced to run into her, "We're NOT mormon, you know!"

Nerd Man had a right fine time. He was amused beyond all decency. I sat in the lobby listening as he attended Priesthood (As there was no way in H*ll, I was attending RS), it was quite funny.

The arrogance and assumptions left me speechless. Nerd Man just laughed, swatting away there implications like no more than pesky flies.

Public Service Announcement for any LDS members who may be reading this:
~do NOT assume one who leaves cannot live the WOW,
~do NOT assume one who leaves was unwilling to tithe,
~do NOT assume one who leaves was unwilling to "live" the life of a Saint,
~do NOT assume one who leaves was doing so to live an immoral life,
~do NOT assume all who leave are unhappy and must return to "the church" to
find happiness, and
~do NOT assume one who leaves was offended.

The implications which they fired at Nerd Man would not encourage anyone to return to the church.

I must say though, it was wonderful to see our dearest friend. He is like another father to Nerd Man and me; he blessed all of our children, he loved us and taught us, he has never judged us or found us lacking. Some days, I would consider returning to the church just to see the smile it would put on his face.

And yet here I sit...hmmm, limbo.


DRAMA QUEEN: Mother, what movie did Dolly Parton sing 'I Will Always Love You?'

JUST ME: The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas

DRAMA QUEEN: What's a whorehouse?

JUST ME: The place where prostitutes work.

DRAMA QUEEN: What?!?!? I thought they were self-employed!


Monday, April 13, 2009

Wondering and Wandering

As I struggle to find a path to follow to the Lord, I often wonder where I will end up.

Truthfully, though I spent almost 10 years in the LDS Church, I feel I know little of the Lord or of Christ. I take full responsibility; I could have pursued a knowledge of the Lord and a closer relationship with Him, even in an environment unsupportive of such pursuits.

Last night, I started the New Testament, reading from the beginning through Matthew, Mark and the beginning of Luke. It was very enlightening to read the Bible without the aid of my LDS "beer-goggles." It amazed me to see how the LDS doctrine twists Scripture to meet their view, instead of altering their view to fit Scripture.

Likewise, I'm not sure that my view of Christ accurately represents who He is. It is very disconcerting, reading the Scriptures and realizing I may not know Him...at all.

I desire to have a relationship with and a knowledge of God, it's just how to get there that keeps me up at night. Sometimes I am not even sure I believe in Christ, though I do believe in God. Where does that leave me?...lost.

I find my self drawn to the LDS church, even after all the time which has passed and all I have learned about the church.

It is like a safety net. The only path to God I have known. What if it is the only path in which "I" can follow to come to the Lord?...I'm having a bit of difficulty finding another that fits me, that feels safe. Funny, because the LDS does NOT fit, does NOT feel safe, but it is KNOWN and therefore easy.

Then another more honest part of me wonders if the only reason I am drawn to the LDS religion, is their undying, irrefutable, inarguable belief that they are better than everyone else, that they know more, that only they understand. THAT has always been a good fit for me. ;~)


After much consideration, I have decided to resurrect my blog. Yippee!

Thursday, July 17, 2008


My sister died. Almost 15 months ago. I wrote the obituary. Then I stopped.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Where, Oh Where Is Just Me

Here I am! Back from...oh wait, I can't tell you. Nerd Man has insisted that I keep this as anonymous as possible...Oh, well. I am here now!

Our Home Teacher called a couple of night ago, end of the month you know. He wanted to stop by and visit with us. Ummmm, we haven't been to church in over two years, we have declined several calls to come meet with the Bishop, ignored numerous Primary invitations, plus the fact that we have never even met this man; sure come on over! NOT! Nerd Man actually took the call, he kindly told Brother Eager that this wasn't a good time and promised to call if we need anything.

Just Me: Why didn't you just tell him that we attend the Methodist Church up the street and are very happy with our choices in life? You could even have invited him to attend church with us.

Nerd Man: Are you kidding me? Do you really want to be inundated with homemade baked goods, preserves and copies of the Ensign? As soon as we put them on alert that we are out, not just inactive they will be on us like flies on manure!

Just Me: Did you just compare us to horse poop?

Friday, March 16, 2007

The Breeders

In our first ward there was a family, I will call them the Breeders. Brother and Sister Breeder had little to their name, except children. Neither had much more than a high school education. At the time, the 13 Breeder children ranged in age from early 20's (I actually went to school with the oldest son) to an infant. They rented a cracker box sized, three bedroom house; Sister Breeder drove a 15-20 year old Subaru Wagon; all 13 of the children wore hand-me-down clothes from other members of the ward; and the children lived on mac-n-cheese and cereal. Other than children and testimonies, the Breeders had very little.

My first calling after joining the Church was as Sunbeam Leader (what were they thinking?!?!? Best birth control on the planet, call a newly married woman to work in the primary!) and Sister Breeder was called to assist me. I stood in "ah" of Sister Breeder as she explained the ropes to me...If you ask multiple parents to bring snacks for the Sunbeams, there are always extras left for you to take home. Yippee! I can't wait, generic goldfish and kool aid!

What I could never understand, even during my TBM years, is how people can justify having kids that they can't afford...financially or emotionally. And not just one or two that hopefully, eventually they will be able to afford, but oodles of children. So many children that it is doubtful that Lee Iaccoca could afford to feed, cloth, shelter and educate all of them. And yet Mormons feel not only justified in having more than they can afford, but righteous for doing so! After all who needs the "things of the world"; food not from the cannery, a bedroom with less that four people inhabiting it and occasional undivided parental attention. Damn Satan for leading the rest of us down the path of sin and abomination; convincing us that these things are necessary to raise healthy, happy, well adjusted children.

Anyway back to Sister Breeder...One Sunday after church several months after I received my calling, I was backing my car out of a space in the church parking lot when my husband very quietly said, "Stop." I stopped the car, turned expectantly to my husband, but he was already out of the car. I jumped out to see what was going on. On the ground directly behind my car was one of the four-year old Breeder twins. He had dashed out behind my car as I was backing out, completely in my blind spot. Thankfully, my husband had caught a glimpse of him out of the corner of his eye and stopped me. Little Breeder lay stunned, but unhurt on the ground behind my car, a 'Ford" emblem indented on his little forehead. As my husband, a trained first responder, tended to him, I dashed around desperately trying to find Sister or Brother Breeder.

An eternity later, I was able to locate Sister Breeder. Upon arriving in the parking lot, she told Little Breeder to get up and quit horsing around, that it served him right for running off. My jaw hit the macadam. What?!? I apologized profusely and insisted that we take LB to the emergency room. Her reply, you ask??? Not on a Sunday! They did not patronize any establishment on Sundays! She would take LB to her husband for a Priesthood Blessing and she had faith that he would be healed of all afflictions or this was a trial to teach him a lesson. WTF???? He was four!!! Whose responsibility was it to keep a four year old safe? Again, I apologized and tried to insist upon a trip to the ER. Sister Breeder told me not to worry about it, that everything would be fine with a blessing. She actually joked that it would be easier to tell the twins apart for a couple of weeks with the 'Ford' emblem on LB head.

Looking back, I wonder how I missed so many signs?

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Fast and Testimony and the Little Fishy

Fast and Testimony Meetings were my absolute favorite part of church. There are days where I still miss sitting captive, listening to the most intimate details of strangers, I mean ward members lives. There were times when I learned more intimate details about these strangers' lives than I even knew about my own family's lives.

Boy, I just miss the feeling of that sweet spirit when Sister Center-of-the-Universe would get up to tell us the details of her latest Colon Hydrotherapy for her Crones Disease and how she KNEW that the suffering that she went through was a gift from Heavenly Father, it was her refiners fire.

I remember one Sunday Sister Center-of-the-Universe approached the podium, tears already gleaming in her eyes. I briefly wondered if I should cover my children's ears, least they ask me what a colon is or what rectal stretching means. But much to my surprise, this F & T Meeting was to be different. You see, Sister COTU had a very difficult life and the Lord knew this. Even though she had six health, happy, productive children; a 6500 square foot house that was paid for; 2 brand new cars; a kind and generous husband that just happen to be the owner of several very profitable businesses...she had a VERY hard life. Now, I am not one to judge another's hardships. I know that everything is not as it seems on the outside and I would NOT want to walk a mile in ANYONE else's shoes, no matter how comfortable they may look. But I am also not one to look at life as something to endure, I try to look at how marvelous and wonderful it is. I believe that you find what you are looking for. If you think life sucks, it does. If you think it is a glorious wonder, it is.

Back to her testimony...the previous night Sister COTU noticed that one of her two remaining fish had died and the last lonely one was looking a little peeked. So Sister COTU pleaded with her Father in Heaven to spare her little fishy, she told Him that she had endured so much in life, that she simply could not bear to endure this too. Sister Center of the Universe openly wept as she poured her tale of sorrow upon us. But she knew that Heavenly Father listens and answer every prayer, and so it was with her tale. Father opened the heavens and poured out blessings upon her and her little fishy and he was healed! She knew the Church was true, because her fishy lived! InthenameofJesusChristAmen!

If I believed in the world as she sees it, I would have wondered why Heavenly Father saved Sister COTU's little fishy and yet when my 19 year old niece pleaded with Him to not take her father that she still needed him, he died. Oh, that's right, my niece isn't Mormon...