Archive for July, 2005

Poop. Lots and Lots of Poop.

Thursday, July 7th, 2005

I went missing again…surprise, no? I know I always say that things are nuts around here, but really, they are.

It’s like this folks – there’s major changes afoot, and not just getting married. (No, we haven’t set a date yet.) Beau Hunk and I have decided to sell the house and move away. Far away. About 200 miles north, to be exact. So, we’re doing all those things that need to be done to the house to get maximum return and take advantage of the absolutely insane housing prices here. If I told you what houses in my neighborhood were selling for, you’d call me a liar. Hell, I live here and I don’t believe it!

As if fixing up the house, selling, buying and moving wasn’t enough, I’ve also decided to make a major change in my career. As in totally ditching the one I have now and starting over. I’ve decided to become a paralegal. The community college in our destination area has a paralegal curriculum, so I’m going for it. And again, as if that wasn’t change enough, I’ve also decided to go for a degree while I’m there. I don’t have one, so why not? It’s not required for the job, but hey, I might as well. Got nuthin better ta dooooo. Yeah, right.

So our life has resembled the inside of blender lately. The Beau Hunk has been hard at work around the house. He’s been ripping out landscaping, has put in pea-gravel in the dog run and along the other side yard, and put in a back yard. (Grass! I have grass!!!) Dad’s been doing his part too – he came down and sheetrocked the garage (which I painted) and is working on making us new cabinet doors for the kitchen.

The kitchen will be a massive project in and of itself. We are going to replace the linoleum, paint the existing cabinets and put new doors on, replace all the appliances, and put in new granite tile countertops. The sad part is that once we get all this done, we’re going to sell. I’ve lived with that ugly fucking kitchen (including the avocado green stove hood) for six fucking years. Just when it gets livable, I’m going to leave! Oh well, I’ll be on to bigger and better things and won’t miss it at all, I’m sure.

The Beau Hunk picked up our new closet doors today. (There’s another thing I’ve been cussing since I moved into this place, but could never afford to replace.) So in the very near future I’ll be able to open and close my closet without two hands, screeching metal noises and a lot of luck. You probably don’t realize how happy this makes me.

Last weekend we began the process of tiling the entryway. We ripped up the really ugly linoleum tiles and put down the underlayment for the tile. We bought the tile, but haven’t started installing it yet, because we need to time that with our custody of Woo. These projects were so much easier to plan and execute when there wasn’t a four year old running around! There’s just no way we can do some things (like use thinset and put in tile) with the little guy at home, so we are juggling projects.

Which brings us to a Woo update. And boy, what an update. (Warning to non-parents – you may want to skip the rest of this entry.) We’ve been struggling with stage two of toilet training with him – Poopy Toilet. He’s been pee-trained for close to a year now, but he refused to crap in the toilet. When I say “refused”, I mean re-fucking-fused. Even the mention of Poopy Toilet brought on a screaming fit like you can’t imagine. His little face would cloud up, he’d get a panicked look in his eyes, start crying, vehemently shake his head and loudly declare “No Poopy Toilet!!!!” for the whole neighborhood to hear.

For whatever reason, toilet training autistics is not easy. They don’t want to do it. I’ve read some books on the subject, and the reasons seem to vary from terror from feeling like their insides are falling out, to being comforted by the warmth and weight of a full diaper. But life with a four year old (five in December) in diapers isn’t easy. Have you ever seen what comes out of a four year old kid? We use toilets for a reason ya know.

Everyone had lots of sage advice: sit him on the pot and give him his favorite toy…offer him his favorite food…sing to him and play games. All of which we tried, but none of which got anywhere, because he would go into a screaming thrashing fit everytime the words Poopy Toilet were mentioned.

We had minor success waiting for signs of desperation and holding him on the toilet. But he spent the entire time screaming, crying and fighting with all of his strength to get off. What a joy that was – for all of us. The thought process behind this was that if we could get him to go a few times, have a big party when he did poop, he’d see that it wasn’t anything to be afraid of and be ok with it. Shows what we know… this went on for months, and the screaming, wailing and thrashing never abated in the least. Then he outsmarted us and started holding it – for days. When he got desperate, he’d wait for his nighttime diaper and sneak off for a clandestine crap. When we started limiting his diaper time, he started sneaking off in the back yard and pooping in his pants. So we quit giving him outside play time. Every aspect of this was pure hell – for all of us.

Two weeks ago I saw him in desperate need again. We went through the ritual – he screamed in my face and I refused to let him off the pot. Then I started acting like I was going to tickle him. He didn’t know whether to laugh or cry – so he did both. I kept tickling. He quit crying, started laughing and said “I want tittle prease.” He wanted to be tickled. Ok, fine by me, I tickled him. Then he yelled “Stop!”, which I did. He looked at me and smiled, and I caught a whiff.

He pooped. In the toilet. And he wasn’t screaming. Could it be? I got excited and asked him “Did you poopy? Did you Poopy Toilet???” He tilted to one side and I saw an absolutely humongous crap curled up in the bottom of the bowl. Let the party begin, we have poop! And what a party it was. We wah-hooed, hugged and celebrated. We yelled for Daddy, and did more wah-hooing, hugging and celebrating.

The next night I got home from work and saw that he was clutching his butt – a sure sign he had to go. Down the hall we went, he asked for “fast tickle”, and before I knew it he pooped. Cool! Fast, easy and without trauma. It was another Poopy Party.

The next day was Saturday. Beau Hunk went out on an early morning bike ride, so Wooster and I were hanging out. He was lounging around, still in the diaper and jammies from the night. Imagine my surprise when he looked at me and said “I want Poopy Toilet prease”. Well alrighty then!! We hung out in the bathroom playing for about 20-30 minutes. I thought to myself ok, this ain’t gonna happen. He just wants the party, but I’ll give it to him because I’m not going to fight it if he asks for it.

I got up and left the room to get him his clothes for the day. I had been out of the room for about 20 seconds and I heard a noise. I went back to the bathroom and the kid had pooped! The biggest party you ever saw came down after that. This is a kid that just a few days before would have used the still-in-a-night-diaper opportunity to sneak off and poop without use of a toilet. I was so excited I sent Beau Hunk a text message.

It’s been a couple of weeks now, and he’s consistently asking for Poopy Toilet. I’ve even become the kid’s Preferred Poopy Partner and Fecal Friend. I don’t mind, because at least he’s not screaming in my face the entire time. I’m telling you, words cannot express how happy I am about this. Talk about your major milestone – not to mention a serious Quality of Life upgrade for the Beau Hunk and me.

So there ya go. The latest Poop Scoop – on all facets of my life.

And you’re probably sorry you read this far.

Houston, We Have a Date!

Friday, July 22nd, 2005

I’m not even sure how the conversation started. I do remember that I was basking around in the tub, and the Beau Hunk was keeping me company, hanging out in the bathroom and chatting me up. Somehow or another, the subject of our impending nuptials came up. This is a subject that has heretofore been taboo, causing massive amounts of stress and tension in both of us. But I guess the scent of peppermint oil coming off the tub must have hit us both just right, because suddenly we were talking about making plans. The broad stokes had already been laid down: nothing big, elaborate, nor expensive, and guests optional.

A few general ideas were bandied about – a hot air balloon ride for two (three if you count the pilot/officiant), a mountain bike ride, the side of Mt. Diablo (site of our engagement), a chartered boat on Lake Tahoe. We even had a brief discussion about cutting to the chase and doing “weddings R us” in Reno or Tahoe, or city hall. Beau Hunk ruled out the Reno/Tahoe WeddingHut idea because so many of them are just fucking cheesy. I nixxed the city hall idea, wanting something a little more special than “Congratulations, pay at window B”. Besides, the idea of getting married at the same place where you pay your water bill and renew the dog’s license was a bit off-putting to me. I may be practical, but I’m not that practical.

GazeboThen Beau Hunk tossed out the idea of someplace on the North Coast. We have had some brief and vague discussions about taking a honeymoon on the northern California coastline, so I had already done research for that area. It wasn’t long before I was in his face with a URL. “How about this place? It has a little gazebo out on a cliff point. What do you think?” He liked. As a matter of fact, it was a place where his parents had gone to vacation on many occasions.

The next thing you know, we were looking at the various rooms, trying to find one we really liked. We agreed on a gorgeous room – king sized feather bed, sitting room, wet bar, fireplace, sun room and double jetted tub, all with an ocean view. Yes, even the tub has an ocean view window.

Tub and ViewThe guest list was discussed next. We want to keep this small, especially since we were looking at travelling three hours from home. My parents were the core group. Extending beyond that, even if keeping only to those with whom we share DNA, the list grows exponentially. You open the floor to friends, you quickly get to 50+ guests, and even at that, someone gets their feelings hurt. We want to keep this small and as inexpensive as possible, without it looking like a cheap occasion. Besides the money issue, there’s a whole minefield of familial bullshit that is best avoided, so the decision was quickly reached to only invite my parents. They’re pretty much the only ones that wouldn’t understand, nor get over, not being invited.

I called the establishment and spoke to their wedding coordinator. “We want to get married in September or October, our dates are flexible, and we can do mid-week. We want to stay in X room, and we will be booking a room for my parents. Can you help us?” Of course!

A few minutes of looking, some discussion as to the needs of my parents (quiet, King bed), and two date ranges were in front of me. We chose October 12th. I’m getting married on October 12th. My anniversary will be on October 12th. I like it. Moreover, I think I can remember it.

We are going up on the 11th, and will be checking out the 13th. The ceremony will be the afternoon of the 12th. We booked a “spa package” (got a great break on the room rate), so we are both scheduled to get one-hour massages. I was obsessively looking over the website and saw something about horseback riding in the vicinity. I mentioned it to Beau Hunk, mostly as a joke. “Look honey! We can go horseback riding, on the beach!!” He blew my socks off by telling me to set it up. Wha?? You want to go horseback riding? Sure! He’s never ridden a horse on the beach before. Man, this just gets better (and sappier).

In thinking about the timing of the weekend, we didn’t really want to have to rush up on the 11th. I know we’re going to both be nervous wrecks on the 12th. So what better way to make the clock move than to schedule activities on our wedding day?? I booked the horseback ride for mid-morning, and the massages for early afternoon. That will give us plenty of time in between to not rush, but will keep us occupied and focused on something besides “We’re getting married in ten hours, thirty six minutes and fourteen seconds… we’re getting married in ten hours, thirty six minutes and thirteen seconds…” If we thought the engagement freaked us out, the wedding will most likely turn us inside out. I’m hoping having something else to do will help.

Since we aren’t having the traditional affair, getting ready should be easy too. We aren’t having a cake, there’s no reception, and we’re having dinner in the dining room with my parents. We haven’t even decided if we want a photographer. I have to do more research – most seem to want a two-hour minimum. We’ll be stretching it if we need one for an hour. Afterall, how many pictures can you take of four people?? I need to make some calls and see if one of the local pros will be willing to waive the two hour minimum for some mid-week work. It’s a Wednesday for fuck’s sake, chances are they won’t have anything better to do.

I am going to have a small, simple bouquet. Beau Hunk is going to wear a suit he already owns (and which makes him look every bit a Beau Hunk). I am not wearing a “wedding dress”, but am getting married in a dress. When I called Mom to ask if she and Dad were free October 11-13 and tell her the news, she said “You’ll have to come up and we’ll go dress shopping at Nordstrom.” I kind of hemmed and hawed – I lost my shopping enthusiasm many years ago, and have yet to find it. Left to my own devices I’d probably pick up something at Ross or some sale rack. She sensed my hesitation and quietly said “Oh, you probably want to go shopping with Ms. Monday or BonBon.”

That’s when I realized I was being a selfish twit. My Mom wants to go shopping for the dress her only daughter will wear at her wedding. Who the fuck am I to take that away from her. Duh! So I said yes, I’ll come up, we’ll go shopping and make a day out of it. I really can be dense and selfish at times. I never thought for a minute that going dress shopping would be important to her – it certainly isn’t to me.

Within a few hours of the start of the conversation in the tub, we had a date picked and a wedding planned. It was that simple. There’s only a few details left – like the photographer, booking the officiant (the hotel recommended someone) and getting my dress. We’re done. Except there’s one more project to tackle, and it’s going to be the biggest and toughest of them all. It’s called “Losing 20 Pounds so I Don’t Look Like a Stuffed Sausage in My Wedding Dress”.

Hm. Maybe I should re-think that City Hall option.