Yo Ho Ho and a Bottle of Rum…

 

This graphic was plundered from the folks at LiquorList.com (it's like a porn site for drunkards)!

This graphic was plundered from the folks at LiquorList.com (it’s like a porn site for drunkards)!

I love me some rum. It’s just a happy drink that makes me think of white sands, blue waters and pirates (movie pirates, not the authentic scurvy and scabies ridden ones). I’ll drink it any time of year, but it’s summer and that means it’s a necessity. No summer is complete without some frothy goodness infused with either a spicy or coconutty (it’s my blog so I can make words up) rum. In the right amount, I merely refrain from making children walk the plank; too much, and I may end up browsing for cursing parrots on Craigslist. Either way, it makes life interesting while tasting good.

This love of rum sent me to Pinterest (that evil mind control place taking over women one fake wedding at a time) and looking up rum recipes. I collected 6 of them that sounded like something I’d enjoy and that possibly you would, too. So if you have an inner pirate dying to be set loose on unsuspecting family and neighbors–keep on reading!!

Rum (1)

Mmmm… Sorry!! I Got lost staring at that picture (that I totally made at Canva) and drooled on my keyboard. Let’s get down to business and start off with those nummy looking popsicles up there. I snagged that recipe and photo off of Endless Simmer. They’re called Dirty Pirate Popsicles. They had me and dirty…and pirate…and rum. There are only 3 ingredients which makes this lazy wench happy: Coke, Captain Morgan and Kahlua. If you want to check out the exact recipe click HERE.

What a beautiful picture of Dirty Pirate Popsicles from Endless Simmer.

What a beautiful picture of Dirty Pirate Popsicles from Endless Simmer.

Our next stop is at the Island of “A House in the Hills” for a recipe for a lovely Lemon Shandy with Dark Rum Float. There are only 5 little ingredients needed for this fancy little drink. It calls for hefeweizen beer and dark rum for the kick. I think I’ll be giving it a try if for no other reason than the fact that the blogger took such amazing photos of this drink. Go check her out and look for other goodies. (Besides, I have UC and she has Crohn’s, and us intestinally challenged chicks gotta stick together.)

A lemon shandy with a dark rum float by Sarah over at A House in the Hills.

A lemon shandy with a dark rum float by Sarah over at A House in the Hills.

Now, that we’ve got a dose of sunshine prettiness, let’s dock this vessel over at a darker port. Hold onto your bootie ’cause things look a little shady over here at CompleteRecipes.com where they’re serving up a recipe for Bonefish Grills’s Blackberry Rum Runner. Who can resist that deep purple color?!? Not this pirate. Now, this is more on the fancy-smancy side as it requires 7 ingredients and get’s a little too specific for my taste. I mean, will the drink explode if you use 4 instead of 3 blackberries? (I hope so. That would be some cool shit!) This is one I think I’m going to give a try and possibly make some adjustments, starting with a little Jolly Roger flag sticking out of it.

Bonefish Grill's Blackberry Rum Runner

Bonefish Grill’s Blackberry Rum Runner

All aboard The Drunken Wench so we can steer her down south where pirates must have had their way with some southern dubutantes and produced this drink. The lovely blog Threebeansonastring.com invented this lovely cocktail called a Georgia Meets Bermuda and described as peach sweet tea and rum. They’re even kind enough to instruct you on how to make proper sweet tea so all the Yankees out there can enjoy this drink, too. There are only 4 ingredients, so this sounds like a go for me.

Georgia Meets Bermuda: peaches, sweet tea and rum!

Georgia Meets Bermuda: peaches, sweet tea and rum!

Let’s finish off with something sweet. Who can possibly resist something called “Boozy Brownies?” Not this sea wench. Head over to have a visit with Sasha Rumage at Tattooed Martha (how can we have a pirate theme without some tattoos?). She has made a batch of yumminess called Boozy Brownies with salted caramel rum sauce. Don’t worry, I’ll give you a minute to let that all soak in. Seriously, take your time. Go to another room if you need to. Back? All good? Ok, on with details. This is the most complicated of all the recipes but good things come to those who have the patience and time. Even if it just looks like too much work for you, take some time to look around at the blog. Look at those bad ass photos. Look at the Sailor Jerry rum! Yes, I keep large bottles of this in our cabinet.

Boozy Brownies with salted caramel RUM sauce from Tattoed Martha.

Boozy Brownies with salted caramel RUM sauce from Tattooed Martha.

Our final stop on this rummy booze cruise will be in Turks and Caicos. I had to post this because I’ve been dropping hints begging for the hubby to take me there. I’m even wearing Turquoise and Caicos nail polish by Essie, for God’s sake. Anyhow, I saw this rum punch recipe on the ultra lovely blog Sugar and Charm. Head on over there and check out this recipe for the Turks and Caicos Rum Punch and all the other stuff they have going on. There are only 5 ingredients, so you can’t go wrong.

Now, off with you scurvy dogs and scallywags! Take these inspirations and plan how you’ll be intaking your rum this weekend. Arrgghhhhh……

XOXOXO-

One-Boobed Sally (my pirate name)

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Mommy’s Little Helper Monday (Royal Birth Edition)

July 2013 141

Pip! Pip! Cheerio! Jolly good! God bless the Queen!

Ok, now that I’ve used all the stereotypical English terms I’ve heard in movies and most likely insulted all of my British friends in the process, let’s get on with it. Congrats to William and Kate on their eight pounds of precious Prince George! I will admit that I was hoping for a little princess but I’m obviously not good at influencing the sex of babies with my wishful thinking as I am the mother of 3 boys.

Anyway, I figured  the fact that dear Kate chose to push out the little royal on a Monday was a bloody good sign that I needed to pull myself out of my current project and post a blog. Needless to say, this will have an English flair to it. The problem with this endeavor is that outside of watching Love Actually about 20 times, reading ALL of the Harry Potter books in two weeks, and being able to name at least 3 of the Spice Girls…I know very little about British culture.

Sure, I’ve been to London, but it was a 24 hour stop on our way to Italy. If it hadn’t been for my husband’s lovely cousin, all we would have seen was our hotel and the Tower Bridge. But with a quick trip on the tube (ooo…be amazed by my London slang) we were whisked away by our generous family for a whirlwind trip that included Abbey Road and the house boat Richard Branson began making his millions from. Now, it wasn’t the Jack the Ripper tour I had my heart set on (have I mentioned I studied forensic psychology?), but it was a blast that I can’t wait to do again.

My resource, Sam, cooking fish and chips for their annual St. George's party.

My resource, Sam, cooking fish and chips for their annual St. George’s party.

So, since my knowledge is limited on all things across the pond (outside of 19th century serial killers and the Bard), I have turned to my amazing, wonderful, genuine, kind, beautiful, hilarious, creative friend–Sam!! You may think that I’m just buttering her up with all those compliments so she’ll help me out, but it’s all true. She’s also ADD like me and often makes me feel better by falling short in the “keeps a perfect house” category. She also loves wine, belly dancing and swimming naked!! She even has an honest to God pub in her house!!!! And the cherry on the top of this awesome friend sundae–she’s British!!!

Now don’t get any ideas and try to come kidnap her. I found her first!!! But tonight I am willing to share her knowledge with you to make this royal edition the best it can be. Pip!! Pip!! And cheerio…again!!

The Libation (the pint):

Sam informed me that when a baby is born in England the father will often head to his “local” (pub) and buy everyone a round of drinks. This is called “getting the baby’s head wet.” Now, I figured the baby came out pretty wet but apparently amniotic fluid doesn’t substitute for a good ale. I’m not quite sure I can picture William doing this but I bet Harry would gladly do it on his behalf.

Our "local"-- The Aidan Arms. It just happens to be in the home of our lovely friends, Bret and Sam. The beer is lovely but it's the friendship that makes it special.

Our “local”– The Aidan Arms. It just happens to be in the home of our lovely friends, Bret and Sam. The beer is nice but it’s the friendship that makes it special.

Now, I think this is a grand (that’s sounds pretty English to me) tradition…for the father. But what about the mum? When does she get her chance to “get the baby’s head wet” outside of pushing him out and giving him a bath? Sam has assured me that Brits aren’t as stodgy when it comes to drinking some wine when you’re pregnant or nursing. Her midwives even prescribed her a large glass of red wine every night to help relax her irritable uterus. Hell, that idea sounds so good I think I’ll go get some wine right now to relax my uterus (nevermind that I don’t have one).

So, where is the libation recipe in this dribble? If you aren’t good with downing a yard of Carlings or a “dirty chicken” with your closest mates at a local pub, or maybe even kicking back some wine with some ladies with grumpy reproductive organs, then maybe these classic English cocktails will do.

pimms-cup

The Pimm’s Cup:

Sam said this is something like a British Sangria in that it’s basically liquor with fruit floating in it. All you need is some ice, Pimm’s, lemonade (the British word for 7up, Sprite, or ginger ale), cut-up fruits and veg, and some mint. Sam says that mint was too posh for the concoction they made at her old pub in London, and I say that cucumbers are just gross. I mean, if I want a salad I’ll order a salad, but it’s up to your taste buds.

So grab your pitcher, dump in some ice, pour in one cup of Pimm’s no. 1 Cup, 3 cups of your “lemonade”, and a whole bunch of chopped-up fruit (apples, oranges, lemons, berries, and cucumber and mint if you must). There you go! Easy! The perfect drink for the old trouble and strife while she’s on the dog and bone (that should make Eliza Doolittle proud).

If you're still holding a grudge over that whole taxation without representation thing and need to "Americanize" this drink--serve it in some mason jars like they did over at Brooklyn Supper.

If you’re still holding a grudge over that whole taxation without representation thing and need to “Americanize” this drink–serve it in some mason jars like they did over at Brooklyn Supper.

(For a more proper recipe go here or over to the above mentioned Brooklyn Supper.)

The Duh-I-Alread-Knew-That Helpful Tip:

Me and Sam at my birthday party. She made it more special than I could have imagined.

Me and Sam at my birthday party. She made it more special than I could have imagined.

Find a good friend. Seriously. Find one amazing friend who absolutely won’t bat an eye if you show up at her house wearing your 8-year-old’s field day t-shirt and your husband’s swim shorts because they are the only 2 items of clothes that aren’t attracting flies. Have a friend who is able to recognize when you are teetering between an overdose on your homemade cocktail of wine, “borrowed” ADHD meds, and chocolate and beating the shit out of people with an umbrella. This is the friend who laughs with you, cries with you, and helps buy the plastic tarp and shovels when you’ve “accidentally” back-over the neighbor who keeps releasing his dog into your yard to crap. And when you find this friend, make sure you reciprocate. LISTEN to them. SUPPORT them. Make sure you extend the same kindnesses they do to you. Don’t just talk to them when they call you–call them. It seems like common sense, but eventually people notice when they’re the one making all the effort. Make conversations equal. Don’t say “hello” and immediately turn the conversation into something about you. Love and connection is what every single human needs and craves so if you’re lucky enough to find someone you click with, cherish them.

The Funny:

Well, I spent a couple of hours making a funny little bit in photoshop only to realize I was using a Getty image for the base. I’m all about paying people for their images but they need to make it more affordable for bloggers who are making approximately Jack shit off their blog. There are also little rules about not manipulating the image once you buy it. Maybe one day I can afford to do the same shit Perez Hilton gets away with on his page (and mine will be funnier). Unfortunately there are too many bloggers I’m hearing about getting lawsuits slapped on them to take the risk. My personal Facebook friends can see my little invention on my personal page but the rest of you will just have to rent Austin Powers. Until then, a photo I cannot be sued over. This is the sign that hangs over Sam’s amazing stove.

Sam's sign

Amen!

Confessions of a Crazy Cake Mom (and some other news)

One of the many things that makes my “crazy” show is a birthday. I love planning birthday parties and especially cakes. The fact that my two oldest sons are having birthdays within the next two weeks made me decide to write a quick bit about my sickness surrounding birthday cakes.

My birthday cake made by Leslie's Cakes for my...uhh *cough* 29th birthday. Yeah, 29th. That's the ticket.

My birthday cake made by Leslie’s Cakes for my…uhh *cough* 29th birthday. Yeah, 29th. That’s the ticket.

My mom was great about either making me special cakes or ordering exactly what I wanted. I carried that tradition on with my own kids but am far less likely to hire a professional because, well, because I’m crazy. Now I’m not saying I’m über talented and should open my own little cake business (that would be a nightmare waiting to happen). I just like doing it for my kids.  But I thought I would share with you some of my attempts at birthday cakes and cupcakes over the last few years. You can certainly tell which ones I started on the night before the party and which ones I was icing as the party guests were walking through the door and I was still in a bathrobe. (Now, if you want a great looking/tasting cake by a true pro and live in the North Texas area, you should totally check out Leslie’s Cakes. They are amazing!)

Let’s start with some simple cupcakes I made for my two oldest when they decided to have a beach themed waterpark party (one of the few perks of having summer birthdays).

Beachy fun!

Beachy keen!

The decorations were simple: canned icing with blue coloring topped with little fondant shark fins and starfish. The hardest part of these cupcakes are hidden under the icing. They’re rainbow cakes which meant splitting the batter into several containers, dying them different colors, and spooning them into the cups in layers. It was a little time-consuming but had a nice little “wow” factor when the kids bit into them. (Note: we usually try to avoid dyes because of our ADHD/Autism diet but I throw all that out the window for birthdays. You have to just let kids be kids sometimes.)

Simple decorations on a complicated icing recipe (but so worth the effort).

Simple decorations on a complicated icing recipe (but so worth the effort).

Now these are also very simple cupcakes I made for my youngest son’s first birthday. His nursery was an owl theme and of course that was a year before everyone went owl crazy and you could buy it everywhere. I stuck with the theme for his birthday, using the colors in his room and simple fondant owls I cut out with an x-acto (is that right?) knife. The star of this was the icing. It’s a homemade batch of browned butter frosting that’s recipe I got from Martha Stewart. It is freakin’ awesome!! First birthdays are more about the adults anyway so I used this icing recipe knowing it wouldn’t be a favorite with the little one. He did his obligatory duty as a one-year-old and smeared it in his hair and everywhere else before crying over our singing.

Now, here are some cakes I did that are certainly half-ass. I call them “cheat sheets” because I go buy a plain sheet cake from our local Market Street and then decorate them myself. This method insures that I have a nice smooth surface for the base, allows me to spend my time doing the fun part, and keeps me from shanking folks.

Fondant Angry Birds I made myself ont top of a bought sheet cake.

Fondant Angry Birds I made myself ont top of a bought sheet cake.

A last minute monster cake built on top of a bought sheet cake.

A last minute monster cake built on top of a bought sheet cake.

I made smaller cakes at home using what I call a "boob pan" and just iced the crud out of them.

I made smaller cakes at home using what I call a “boob pan” and just iced the crud out of them.

I made candy clay with Candy Melts and corn syrup (so much easier than fondant) for the belt to celebrate my son's first rank up in karate.

I made candy clay with Candy Melts and corn syrup (so much easier than fondant) for the belt to celebrate my son’s first rank up in karate.

And now for my masterpiece. This is hands-down the best looking cake I’ve ever made and I imagine it has something to do with the fact that I actually made it the night before the party. We hired a local wildlife educator name Critterman to come to our home with lots of creepy crawlies. It was a fantastic party. The kids got to learn about a lot of animals and even touch them. My oldest son LOVED chameleons so I went with it and this is what he got…

Chameleon and spider cake complete with a Zinger branch.

Chameleon and spider cake complete with a Zinger branch.

I’m darn proud of the cake even if it’s technically a “cheat sheet.” I baked a round cake that I cut up to make the body of the chameleon and some more of the “boob” cakes to make the spider and leaves. Zingers made the perfect branch and I had to cheat and use pipe cleaners for the spider legs. Obviously it was mixing all of the different colors and doing thousands of little stars that took up the most time, but it paid off.

Isn't he pretty?!?

Isn’t he pretty?!?

And that was a peek into my craziness when it comes to birthday cakes. I’ve had requests for Minecraft, Legos and Adventure Time for these upcoming parties. I’ll past what I end up doing. Now…ON WITH AN IMPORTANT NEWS BULLETIN!!!!

First, I’ve already bragged and gloated on my primary blog that my parody, Fifty Shades of Puddin’

received an unexpected but amazing review on Villara Noir. It got me pumped, so I posted two excerpts from the prequel The Hunger Camp. Go check them out of you want a laugh. Amazon (Kindle) has decided to mark my book down to a buck for some reason (they reserve the right to change your price at their discretion), so go buy a copy and I’ll take that $0.35 royalty and go on a crazy spending spree!! Anyway, my loss but your gain, right?

Second, I’m taking a break from blogging for about 2 weeks. With two birthdays, travel, the end of school, and looming deadlines on real writing projects, I have to take a step back. I’ll be back the first of June with lots of summer-saving tips drink recipes.

Mommy’s Little Helper Monday: Mother’s Day Edition

Me and my third little boy. I'm smiling so the drugs were still working.

Me and my third little boy. I’m smiling so the drugs were still working.

Did all of you survive Mother’s Day? Was it filled with grocery store flowers and handprint art thrown in your lap as payment for wiping countless asses and noses? My holiday was actually fantastic. Why? Because I spent 75% of it pretending I didn’t have children. Does this make me sound like a horrible mommy? I really don’t give a flying crap if it does or not. I needed it SOOOOO bad, and I think other moms do, too. After eating a breakfast (I never eat breakfast) that my sweet hubby made, I took a shower (I rarely get to do that either), put on makeup and a low-cut dress, and took off for a day of pretending.

The boys all meeting for the first time. The drugs are still working.

The boys all meeting for the first time. The drugs are still working.

I had the top down (the vehicle’s– not mine), the sun on my face, the wind in my hair, and every uncensored Prince, Eminem, Beastie Boys, JayZ, etc… song I have on my phone blaring through the speakers. I set off to use a gift certificate for a pedicure my sweet neighbor had given me for my birthday. I read the address in my usual half-ass/ADD manner and took off to the Shops at Legacy to get my gimpy toe and its equally ugly brothers polished into submission. The Shops of Legacy is a hoity-toity outdoor shopping center in north Plano. The sidewalks were packed with people all waiting for a spot in one of the restaurants, and they all got to hear “99 Problems” in all of its glory as I slowly drove back and forth looking for the nail place. I just smiled and let them all stare with envy at the girl who obviously didn’t have children.

The drugs have obviously stopped working and I've realized that I have 3 freakin' kids!

The drugs have obviously stopped working and I’ve realized that I have 3 freakin’ kids!

And it was all good until I got the bright idea to pull over and read the nail salon address again. It was then that I realized that the shop was on Legacy alright, but it was miles away– much closer to my house. Stupid! So I decided to play it off and went to the mall. I shopped! I shopped for sassy dresses. I’ve gained weight recently so I took dresses a size bigger than what I usually wear into the dressing room with me. They were too big! It was a magical miracle! I’m usually left crying in a fetal position while the flourescent lights highlight every single bump of cellulite I have. I usually run from the dressing room like I’m being attacked by velociraptors. And I keep running all the way to the food court where I stuff a cookie and a Diet Coke down my throat because I’ve decided that’s the way to make me feel less fat. But not this day. This day I actually bought a dress–with gift certificates I found in my wallet. More magic!!!

I then got 2 free pairs of panties at Victoria Secrets. Magical magicness!! Then I found the nail place and had my toes painted Cajun Shrimp while I drank wine. Wine!!! With no kids!!! There was so much magic it was like the entire senior class at Hogwarts had thrown up on me. I felt so good that I decided to go cruise through Target. I got there and discovered Starbucks had their frappacinos half off for Mother’s Day!! Holy coffee beans!! I got a caramel ribbon something–venti!! I sucked that 1000 calories down while I browsed through crap I didn’t need and talked to the BFF on the phone. It was then that I realized I was starting to shake. It was then that I started feeling a little queasy. It was then that I realized wine + massive amounts of sugar and caffeine – food + hypoglycemia = NOT SMART. Not magic.

Screw my blood sugar!! Make it a venti, bitch!

Screw my blood sugar!! Make it a venti, bitch!

I went and sat in my car shivering like a chihuahua. It was ugly there for a bit, but I muscled through. My day of pretending that I didn’t have children couldn’t be over! I drove my ass to the tanning place that I haven’t been to in months. I marched in and used my free Mother’s Day upgrade offer and climbed into this space ship looking bed NAKED! Yep. I decided to tan away those stretch marks so I could really pretend that I didn’t have kids. I was committed to my role. I finished roasting myself with one of those stupid little heart stickers (hey, better than a Playboy bunny) on my hip and drove home. I arrived to a lovingly prepared meal of surf and turf cooked by my sweet, ex-chef hubby, and three little boys lounging in front of the TV in their underwear. I tried to pretend they were just hired help but the undies made that thought a little creepy.

After dinner I lounged in bed, drinking wine and watching Game of Thrones. It was then that I began to slip into a state of deep relaxation…and itch. What the hell? Why am I itching in places that I shouldn’t? I go to the bathroom, drop my jammie bottoms and lift my top…OH, my god!!! I’m sunburned. I’m sunburned in places you NEVER want to be sunburned! And I want to pretend that me having a buzz and being sunburned is just like in my twenties when I’d drink on a boat all day and end up looking like a lobster, but I can’t. I was drunk most of the time in my twenties but I was never stupid enough to tan naked…Wait a minute…STUPID! That’s it! I really did live my day just like before I had kids. I did stupid things. I taunted my hypoglycemia and I burned my crotch. I was in a fairly constant state of stupid before I had kids, so I did it! I did stupid!

The Libation:

I know that you were fearful that after that long-winded story you were going to get duped on the drink, and you are!! Well, sorta. I tried to come up with a Mother’s Day themed drink, but in my opinion anything with a proof label was created for mothers. So, I had to dig deep to come up with something and then it popped in my head. My BFF and I created a drink when we were teenagers and my parents had gone on a vacation. We had to use what we could find and that came down to a packet of Purplesaurus Rex Kool-Aid and vodka. We called them Purple Mother F*ckers! (Do I really have to add some little symbol to these naughty words? It’s not like you don’t say it in your head when you read it. I think that’s the last half-ass attempt at censorship you’ll see from me.) And they weren’t bad. The Kool-aid is a mix of lemonade and grape, and to teenagers it tasted pretty damn good. The sad part is that you can’t buy Purplesaurus Rex anymore. If one of you do find some, let me know.

Purplesaurus

The Duh–I Already-Knew-That-Helpful-Tip:

Take a Thelma and Louise day for yourself...

Take a Thelma and Louise day for yourself…

If you are a mom pick a day to pretend you’re not. After you make sure your kids are safe with a spouse, sitter, relative, or firestation, take a day to just pretend you’re a person without all of the responsibilities you deal with every day. Go be with yourself. If you’re an introvert like me, go by yourself. If you’re an extrovert, gather some friends. Go do stupid shit that won’t land you in jail or maim you (wear bottoms in the tanning bed), and just have fun. Enjoy a taste of freedom. Turn off your cell phone for heaven’s sake. Don’t schedule anything! Make every decision on the fly. We forget what that’s like sometimes when we’re buried under schedules. Hell, we almost have to pencil in our potty breaks. Just go live without worrying about fixing meals or taking kids to violin lessons. Drive down a street you’ve never taken before. Just go! Trust me, you’ll feel so much better when you come home.

...but watch out for canyons.

…but watch out for canyons.

The Funny:

If the thought of me walking around with a burnt crotch doesn’t make you laugh, I don’t know what will. But, if you’re expecting more, go to my other blog Wckedwords. For those of you who don’t know, I wrote a redneck parody of Fifty Shades of Grey called Fifty Shades of Puddin’. It developed quite a little following so I decided to play around with a prequel. Go check out The Hunger Camp for a post Mommy Day laugh.

Mommy’s Little Helper Monday

It’s a beautiful Monday (repeat this 100 times until you believe it or somebody calls the authorities because they think you’re a danger to yourself and others). How was your weekend? Saturday started off well with my middle son scoring a goal from midfield during his soccer game and then enjoying a pizza party with his friends. It went downhill from there. That same wonderful boy managed to flood my bathroom. Have I mentioned that we’ve had two small floods in our home within the last month? The first one took out our two other bathrooms that are still under construction. This minor flood didn’t do enough damage to require walls and floors being torn out, but it was enough to make me clean up toilet water and piss me off.

One of my many hooker heels that willbe very lonely for a couple of months.

One of my many hooker heels that will be very lonely for a couple of months.

Then the dog escaped. The boys didn’t listen and chased her so she decided it was a game. I got the bright idea to use my mad ninja skills and hide around the corner of our fence and snag her when she ran past. It worked but it freaked her out so bad that she started flipping around and managed to step on and twist my little toe…and broke it. So now I have a fat, little blue sausage for a toe, which really isn’t much different from how it usually looks aside from the color.

What really pisses me off is that I won’t be able to get a pedicure or wear any of my hooker heels for weeks!!! Grrr….

Ok. I’ve bitched and moaned about my stupid little problems and am going back to keeping it all in perspective. Maybe we should just get on with some drinks and funny.

Keep reading. You'll understand.

Keep reading. You’ll understand.

The Libation:

I’m on a diet. I want to bitch about this, too, but it’s my own damn fault for gaining the 12 pounds that are keeping me from wearing my normal clothes. I’m one of those people who won’t allow themselves to go buy new clothes that fit because then I might get comfortable. So, I’m wearing my stretch pants, t-shirts, and tennis shoes everyday. Thin lycra/cotton stretched that tight is frightening to look at and probably offensive to those who must be around me, but too bad. I’m going to at least look like I’m working out even if I’m not. Anyway, because I’m trying not to eat pure sugar for every meal, I decided to look up some low-calorie libations.

During a trip to visit the BFF, we discovered this skinny bitch wine (not the real name but you can figure it out pretty quick), and we grabbed a bottle. Not a good idea. You could make this yourself. Just take a real bottle of wine, pour half a glass, and fill it the rest of the way with water. Seriously. Not good. We also tried skinny margaritas. Not good. This left me with rolling up my sleeves and diving in for some Magnum P.I. style investigation (if you have to investigate shit you might as well do it in a Ferrari and a Hawaiian shirt). Here’s what I came up with as the best alternatives when you’re watching your thighs.

Miss Goody-Two-Shoes My-Thighs-Will-Never-Touch-Because-I-Stick-To-My-Diet Options (under 150 calories):

• Skinnygirl margarita (4 oz): 100 (Bleck…insert sounds of gagging)
• Green apple martini (1 oz each vodka, sour apple, apple juice): 148
• Port wine (3 oz):128 (Does anyone really drink this?)
• Bloody Mary (5 oz): 118
• Red wine (5 oz):120
• White wine (5 oz): 120
• Alcohol-free wine (5 oz): 20-30 (Are you serious? Who thought this stupid shit up? Go buy some diabetic grape juice if you want this.)
• Light beer (12 oz): 95-136
• Ultra-light beer (12 oz): 64-95
• Champagne (5oz): 106-120
• Wine spritzer (5 oz): 100
• Mimosa (4 oz): 75
• Rum and Diet Coke (8 oz): 100
• Mike’s Hard Lemonade (11 oz): 98

My personal picks on this list are mimosas (the breakfast of champions), champagne (every girl feels prettier sipping those magic bubbles), Mike’s Hard Lemonade (we like anything with the word hard in it), and my all-time favorite– rum and Diet Coke.

Miss Nobody’s-Looking-And-I-Had-A-Pretty-Shitty-Day Options (150-200 calories):

• Martini (2.5 oz): 160
• Beer (12 oz): 150-198
• Spiced cider with rum ( 8 oz):150
• Mulled wine (5 oz): 200 (Uh…Do you also knit your own underwear while sipping this and watching Martha Stewart reruns?)
• Vodka and tonic (8 oz): 200
• Screwdriver (8 oz): 190 (They said screw…huh..huh…)
• Gin and tonic (7 oz): 200
• Rum and Coke (8 oz): 185

Some good choices here, but for one of these you could have 2 to 3 of the ones on the first list. That’s some important math, people. Think about it.

Miss My-Kids-Suck-My-Life-Sucks-And-You-Can-Kiss-My-Fat-Jiggly-Thighs-You-Skinny-F#ckin’-Bitches options (between 200 and you don’t give a shit calories):

• Long Island iced tea (8 oz): 780 (Holy shit! At least they make that one drink count considering it’s ALL liquor–no mixers.)
• White Russian (2 oz vodka, 1.5 oz coffee liqueur, 1.5 oz cream): 425
• Mai Tai (6 oz) (1.5 oz rum, 1/2 oz cream de along, 1/2 oz triple sec, sour mix, pineapple juice): 350
• Eggnog with rum (8 ounces): 370
• Hot chocolate with peppermint schnapps (8 oz): 380
• Hot buttered rum (8 oz): 292
• Coffee liqueur (3 ounces): 348
• Godiva chocolate liqueur (3 oz): 310
• Pina Colada (6 oz): 378 calories (These calories are automatically voided if you’re lucky enough to be swimming to a bar to order it.)
• Mojito (8 oz): 214 calories
• Chocolate martini: (2 oz each vodka, chocolate liqueur, cream, 1/2 oz creme de cacao, chocolate syrup): 438
• Margarita (8 oz): 280

So there you have it. No matter where you fall in the categories that day, you have options!! You can thank me later.

Magnum kept finding fruity drinks at Rick's bar. Not much help but I let him stick around.

Magnum kept finding fruity drinks at Rick’s bar. Not much help but I let him stick around.

The Duh-I-Already-Knew-That Helpful Tip:

Ok, I just dug up all that info on the internet (thanks, WebMD) without the help of T.C. and his helicopter and you still expect a tip? Geez. Ok. Here it is– chasing a crazed husky down an alley is a bad idea. Don’t do it! You will break your toe. Also, wear your most fierce hooker shoes every chance you get because you never know when you might decide to chase a husky down an alley and break your stupid toe.

The Funny:

I thought you might get a kick out of this snapshot that was taken of me during my day as Magnum. That lazy T.C. was too good to let me use his helicopter but certainly didn’t mind weaseling his way into a picture. That’s ok. I told him that Long Island Ice Teas are great for your waistline. He had two and took off in his chopper. I’m not sure what all that smoke is out there behind those palm trees. Oh, well…here it is.

Wow! I didn't realize how good I looked in a mustache...and look at that package. Why did those short shorts ever go out?

Wow! I didn’t realize how good I looked in a mustache…and look at that package. Why did those short shorts ever go out?

Aloha!!

Confessions (of a crazy costume mom)

I love Halloween. No. I. Love. Halloween. Maybe it’s the actress in me. Maybe it’s the girl who loves a good horror movie. Maybe it’s the insane ADD/OCD/COC (crazily over-creative) mom in me that can’t believe she gets a chance to use her powers for good and not the evil it usually inspires. I LOVE to make costumes for my kids. The entire process is exhilarating for me. I love sitting down with them and deciding what they want to be. I love drawing up the design. I love figuring out how to execute it (it’s like a big puzzle). And I even love putting it all together. When my kids ask for a store-bought costume. I actually get upset. Why? Because I’m crazy.

November 2012 147

My husband and others do not like me at Halloween because I become something that borders on psychotic. My kids often won’t decide on what they want until a couple of weeks before the big event and then I drop everything to get those damn costumes ready. My kids can eat later. Who cares if we’re out of toilet paper and they didn’t brush their teeth for a week. I have to make a Rancor with cardboard and dental floss, dammit! They can wait.

I think my first costume for one of my kids that I actually made, was an octopus. Yes, an Octopus. Couldn’t have been a ghost. It had to be a cephalopod– 8 freakin’ legs! And I’m not a seamstress. Did I mention that part? My mom is a brilliant seamstress. She offered to teach me several times when I was a teenager, but I was like all, “No, Mom. I don’t need that crap. I’m not having any kids. Now, leave me alone so I can go sneak some Purple Passion into the movies with my friends.” But everything changed. I have 3 kids (and I only go to movie houses that serve liquor instead of carrying an inconspicuous, clinking beach bag into a show). Now, back to the octopus. I somehow figured out how to make an octopus out of two bed sheets, some stuffing and metal coat hangers. AND I sewed it together with a second-hand machine I bought off a neighbor. There was some crying involved as well as many creative uses of the “F” word, but I did it. Once I made that one, I was hooked and determined to make all of the costumes.

And I’ve made a lot. Unfortunately I don’t have most of the pictures, but I’ll share a few that I have on my computer from the last few years.

Ash Ketchum and Mr. Mummy from 2010. I had to sew parts of the mummy on him and cut him out of it.

Ash Ketchum and Mr. Mummy from 2010. I had to sew parts of the mummy on him and cut him out of it at the end of the night.

An old white leotard left over from a play I directed and some strips of an old white sheet tea-dyed was all I needed for the body. I used paper towels and makeup method from Marth Stewart to do the face. He got lots of compliments all night especially since he stayed in character, moaning and walking stiffly. Ash Ketchum was very excited when a neighborhood dad yelled out, “Ash Ketchum, catch ’em all” to him.

Freddy and Darth Maul of 2009.

Freddy and Darth Maul of 2009.

My son had no idea who Freddy Krueger is, but once he saw this in the store, any hopes of making him a costume was dashed. Freddy is a fun killer in more than one way, but, honestly who can resist a knife-glove? For a 6-year-old, little Darth sat incredibly still for that makeup job I did on him.

Jack Sparrow. I can’t tell you how excited I was that my theatrical child chose Jack. I was determined not to buy a single Jack costume piece and I didn’t. All of the clothing was bought at the thrift store and then altered to fit him (I’ve gotten a little better at sewing but don’t look real close or you’ll see the fabric glue). The wig was a Wal-Mart reggae wig that I cut, braided, and wrapped with beads I strung myself. The bone is made from this amazing stuff called Model Magic by Crayola. It is incredibly light weight. I had the synthetic hair from some theatre thing I did. I used eyelash glue instead of spirit gum because that stuff is rough on skin and stinky (I know). The boots are my old barn boots (probably added to the pirate smell), and the sash is an old bedsheet I drew lines on with a marker and yardstick. The only costume piece is the plastic gun that I paid over $10 for and broke in about 4.5 seconds.

Jack Sparrow-- saavy?

Jack Sparrow– saavy?

Why are we out of rum?

Why are we out of rum?

Because I took so much time on Jack, my oldest son got ripped off. He agreed to a store-bought costume to save mommy’s sanity. I had to pay him back and let him chose a complicated costume for the next year. I was thinking maybe he’d pick something from a video game or a Teen Titan or something. Nope. He decided to make up for the years he’d chosen bought costumes and he chose an alien. Not just any alien– THE alien. Ridley Scott’s alien (another movie he hadn’t been allowed to see yet). But I didn’t panic. I got excited, because, once again, I’M FREAKIN’ CRAZY. And I was determined not to puss-out and buy anything. But since I apparently love to torture myself, I decided to give myself a $40 budget. Yep. And I did it.

The beginning. A bicycle helmet, two dollar store pitchers, glue and paint.

The beginning. A bicycle helmet, two dollar store pitchers, glue and paint.

Cheap, fake nails trimmed a painted silver. Hot glue alien gums. Pool noodle lips.

Cheap, fake nails trimmed a painted silver. Hot glue alien gums. Pool noodle lips.

I can’t keep my house clean or remember parent-teacher conferences but I can make an entire alien out of hot glue, recycled Tupperware, cardboard, pool noodles and paint.Then there was more hot glue than is probably legal to use on one item. I used it to hold shit together and make glistening, drool and ligament. There were strings of hot glue on everything in my house. I burned my fingers. I even sat on the damn gun once. How many people can say they’ve burned their ASS with a hot glue gun? Yep, I’m that kind of special.

November 2012 163

Not a great picture but you get the idea.

Not a great picture but you get the idea.

My son has sensory issues from his autism so he won’t let me put makeup on him. It would have looked better if I could have blacked-out his face but no big deal. Everyone wanted pictures with him but some of the really excited kids tugged on his pipe insulation-tail and popped some of the staples holding the chest plates together (I was still putting it together as he ran out the door. It’s not perfect but it’s not bad for something I made for less than $40. My other son had to take on less complicated costumes. Max went as Ace Ventura. I bought all of the clothes at the thrift store and altered them with safety pins and fabric glue. The hair took the longest. He stayed in character and actually got recognized by some of the parents. My youngest son wore a costume I’d made for his older brother when he was younger– a rattlesnake, with a tail made with tiny plastic maracas to rattle as he walked.

Ace Ventura-- pet detective (and hairspray hog).

Ace Ventura– pet detective (and hairspray hog).

I had to dig up my old '80's hair teasing skills for this.

I had to dig up my old ’80’s hair teasing skills for this.

And that’s just a glimpse into my craziness. Another confession. Another reason to keep your kids from playing with mine. Are any of you crazy costume parents? What’s the craziest costume you’ve made? Come to the dark side and share.

My bloated rattlesnake. I got a little carried away with the stuffing so we just pretended he'd eaten the neighbor kid dressed like Mickey Mouse.

My bloated rattlesnake. I got a little carried away with the stuffing so we just pretended he’d eaten the neighbor kid dressed like Mickey Mouse.

Mommy’s Little Helper Monday – Tax Day Edition

It’s Monday, but it’s not just any Monday– it’s Tax Day Monday. It’s the day all of the procrastinating folks sift through mountains of receipts and try to figure out how to convince the government that their new bass boat is a business expense and that their dog, Mr. Fluffy-nuts, is actually a child they adopted from Russia (it was the radiation from Chernobyl that made all the kids over there grow extra legs and lick their own butts). For all of you that get healthy refunds and still use an EZ form, I got a special public service announcement for you…

bum giving finger(See, I told you I look horrible before my Monday liquor coffee.) But for the rest of us who aren’t already scoping out new flat-screens, eyelash extensions, and other necessities to spend our refund on, today is a day that feels a lot like a violation. For us it feels like when creepy uncle Gary’s wondering hands get a little too friendly at the family reunion.

So if you’re one of the folks who will be taking a shower all Crying Games style after today, or if you’re one of those lucky people awaiting a refund, there’s plenty of reason to drink this Monday. And on that note…

The Libation:

If you’re doing taxes today you ain’t got no time for fancy drink making, so I’m making this easy enough to do even after hours of brain-draining tax shit. Step 1: drive your ass to your local Sonic. Step 2: Order yourself a slush. Step 3: Pour some vodka, rum, PGA, or whatever else floats your boat into it, and enjoy.

There are 398, 929 possible drink combinations at Sonic (according to them), so if you can’t find something that tastes good with liquor, there is something horribly wrong with you. And because today is tax day, why not be patriotic and order a blue coconut, ocean water, watermelon, strawberry or cherry. And because we’re feeling it in the old pocketbook or bra (yes, I’ve seen women who keep money in their bra), I’m passing on this little hint: All day today you can get your mixer drink half off!! Tax Day Happy Hour, baby!

Maybe you can try a “Why didn’t I keep that !*%&*#$ receipt watermelon cooler”, or a “Can I claim that keg party as a charity event? cherry smoothie”, or even “Uncle Sam kicked me in the (blue) coconuts slush.”

sonic tax (2)

And speaking of hints…Duh- I Already Knew That Helpful Hint:

Apparently there are plenty of other big businesses out there who want to ease the pain of paying taxes (something they don’t know much about) and offer freebies today. Arby’s and Cinnabon are just two of the places who are willing to throw you some salve in the form of carbs. Here is a link for other free crap to help you get through Creepy Uncle Gary’s Groping Day (I laughed quite a bit over the free Trojan Vibrator give-away for L.A. and San Fran citizens…they’ll be the ones smiling at the post office). Another link is here.

So to all of you hard-working, tax paying readers out there, Happy Monday from me and Uncle Gary.

Uncle Gary

Mommy’s Little Helper Monday

Yes, it’s Monday again. I’m still struggling with that fact myself. My coffee hasn’t worked nearly fast enough and I look extra lovely today wearing a nightgown Holly Hobby would find too conservative and a robe that has an honest-to-God zipper up the front. Add in my it-was-wet-when-I-went-to-bed hair and my dark circles and I pretty much look like Medusa if she was living at an assisted living center. And because I look like this, I guarantee that our contractor will pop by to check on our bathroom situation. So, before I permanently scar the psyche of some young man, let’s get to the good stuff…

The Libation:

The Colorado Bulldog

"Seriously, you can cancel my neutering appointment because I'm pretty sure those suckers froze off an hour ago."

“Seriously, you can cancel my neutering appointment because I’m pretty sure those suckers froze off an hour ago.”

I have no idea why they call this drink a Colorado Bulldog; all I do know is that they taste a little like a chocolate shake, go down too easily, and influenced many of the stupid decisions I made in my 20’s. They are essentially a White Russian if that Russian has been Americanized in the south by becoming addicted to trailer park protein shakes, also known as Coke (or is that Mountain Dew? I get confused). Here’s what you need to make your own:

photo

You’re probably wondering about the little illustration instead of a beautifully staged photo. Honestly, it’s a lot faster for me to doodle this out than find all of the ingredients, clean a spot to take the photo, and stage it to look like something you’d see on Pinterest instead of a crime scene photo from an episode of Police Women of the Appalachians. The other thing you’re probably wondering about is who the hell would mix vodka and milk? Trust me, I thought that too. Give it a try, and all will be good.

Directions: Get out your prefered drinking recepticle wether that’s a camouflaging Starbucks cup you can take with you in public or a blinged-out pimp cup that says “Mommy’s a Crunk Be-otch” or whatever. Drop in some ice and your jigger of vodka– you know, that weird little two-sided funnel you thought was some Martha Stewart brand eggcup for quail eggs you got as a wedding gift (Seriously. Who the f%ck eats quail eggs?) . Add a jigger of Kahlua, and your jigger or two of milk (cow, soy, almond, hemp, goat, yak, whatever). Mix that up. You can even use your fancy martini shaker if you think the sound might lure Daniel Craig over. Once the White Russian part is in the glass, add a splash of Coke and your done. Yay for vodka! Now this is not calorie friendly ( I only drew the recipe with a Diet Coke because I like to look like I care), but neither are those tater-tots you just scarfed off your kids plate because you didn’t want them to go to waste.

Speaking of eating your kids wasted food…Duh–I Already Knew That Useful Tip:

We’ve all done it, and most of us have felt guilty about it. We’re moms not vacuums, but for some of us with OCD tendencies (raising my hand over here), it can be hard to see food go in the trash. I’ve caught myself more than once eating something off my child’s plate instead of letting it go where it should. If I was a person truly qualified to give advice I would be giving you a tip on how to tell yourself you’re worth more than those extra calories and all that other great bullshit, but I’m not. Instead I’m going to enable your behavior because…well, because misery loves company. So, here is my “helpful” tip. If you are facing down a Spongebob bowl half-full of Krap Kraft Mac-n-cheese and you can’t squash that overwhelming desire to eat it, sprinkle some Sriracha sauce on it. Seriously! It was pretty good, but I guess if you numb your tasetbuds first, everything goes down easier (I bet that Bizarre Foods idiot person carries ass-loads in his suitcase).

If you manage to lure Daniel Craig over with your martini shaker, let us know if he's wearing these under that suit.

If you manage to lure Daniel Craig over with your martini shaker, let us know if he’s wearing these under that suit.

Now, I’m supposed to give you something funny to keep you going on this Monday, but I feel like my funny bone is having to work hard today. Maybe all that spring cleaning yesterday broke it? I don’t know. I guess I could scour pinterest or Facebook or I could be really lazy and just post some random photo from my files. Yep, that’s the winner because I’m actually really, REALLY behind on my current novel and have to get my ass typing (my ADD just shoved an image in my brain of ass cheeks typing…Ahh, I love my ADD). So here you go, a photo I took of some fabric that I swear on a bottle of rum was being sold at JoAnn’s…

Are you beating a drum or are you just happy to see me?

Are you beating a drum or are you just happy to see me?

Yeah, I noticed that there seemed to be a theme to todays post, too. Not sure why. Anyway, here’s the “cover my ass” portion of the blog also known as credits and disclaimers: Medusa is still going strong and doesn’t need a retirement facility even if she is getting a little incontinent with age; the bulldog photo was found here; trailer parks don’t actually allow protein shakes on their grounds; Police Women of the Appalachians isn’t a real show but totally should be; Martha doesn’t sell eggcups for quail eggs (she carves them by hand and gives them as favors at her annual Spring Equinox parties); I’ve never seen a mommy hide liquor in a Starbucks cup (its hard to type that without thinking lightning is going to strike me);  Daniel Craig is probably not going to fall for the martini trick…again; and you can actually buy those undies here.

Happy Monday– Ash

Life With Boys– part deux

Maybe I should title that “Number 2”, as in the secret bathroom code developed by our ancestors before they were even walking without the aid of their knuckles. Yep, nothing that has even the slightest link to poop will escape a boy. Crap and crapping is considered highbrow art in the world of the male child. They set up miniature think-tanks under the monkey bars at school to hold summits about how many ways they can talk about it . If you want to get the attention of a boy under the age of 15 simply work in the word poop, crap, pooh, poo-poo, dookie (how they hell do you even spell that), or whatever else they call it into a conversation.

Let’s say you’re lecturing telling demanding begging them to clean their room. All they hear is blah…blah…BLAH…BLAH…sound of muffled sobs…blah…blah… sound of wine bottle being opened…blah blah. But if you slip “pile of stinky poop” in right before you get to the important stuff, you’ll have their attention.

I’m not sure why I’ve started this off with a discussion on poop. I guarantee that my ADD is involved since it saw “part deux” and chased it down a shiny bunny trail, but it could also have to do with the fact that our house that normally contains 3 functioning bathrooms is currently down to one–mine. There was apparently a leak going on under my boys’ upstairs toilet (a bathroom that’s odor reminds you of a primate house on a scorching summer day) for some time. We didn’t realize it until we found a puddle in the bathroom below it and the paint peeling in there and the living room. Anyway, the floors are torn out and that leaves 4–FOUR people with male genitalia using my bathroom. Insurance doesn’t understand that some people’s safety could greatly depend on how fast they get that check cut.

Just how upset would our HOA be if I built this in the yard?

Just how upset would our HOA be if I built this in the yard?

But enough about poop and bathrooms, let’s get to some more photographic evidence of what living with boys looks like.

When you’re a mom of boys your son will decide…

Who can resist a sparkly wedge that gives your calves some extra lift?

Who can resist a sparkly wedge that gives your calves some extra lift?

…. that your sequined flip-flops are ideal for a leisurely spin on his bike.

When you’re a mom of boys you’ll discover that a little thing like a nosebleed…

"This tastes a little salty."

“This tastes a little salty.”

…will not keep them from enjoying a fine PBJ.

When you’re a mom of boys one of them will eventually beg to make pancakes by himself, and because your drinking (3 boys, remember?), you’ll agree. If it’s your artistic child he’ll make a doughy replica of a minature weenie dog…

IMG_0499…but he’ll also make something else in the “weenie” family…

IMG_0430

He’ll then try to convince you it’s an elephant, but you will not be fooled because you’ve never seen him think an elephant was so freaking funny.

Happy Friday!!

Cowardly Lions

Usually this blog is the place I put my funny spin on being an ADD mom raising ADHD boys. I created this blog separate  from my primary blog, Wckedwords, so I wouldn’t bore the folks looking for heavier material with my ridiculous attempts to raise my children without a mental institution getting involved. Today’s post is on the serious side. April is Autism Awareness Month and my oldest son has autism. Life has been hard for him and a couple of years ago I wrote a piece about that struggle. I’m proud of it because outside of my Fifty Shades of Puddin’ series, it gained the most attention of all my posts. It was even read in churches and portions placed in newsletters. It felt good to help shed some light on what it can be like to raise a child with special needs, especially one who is being bullied. The first post I wrote on this blog was actually another serious one about the same subject– A Tale of Three Amaryllis. I hope that you’ll take the time to read them and possibly share  with others who may benefit from reading them. I promise to go back to making you laugh on Friday.

Thank you for your support– Ash

courtesy of wikimedia commons

courtesy of wikimedia commons

April has once again come and gone. It shouldn’t seem different to me than the passing of any other month, but it does. You see, at some point April was designated as Autism Awareness month. During this time store chains ask people to donate money at check-out and tape paper cutouts of puzzle pieces on their walls. More than once I’ve stood there with my credit card in hand, staring blankly at the cashier as she waits for me to answer if I want to add a donation to go towards Autism Awareness. My son is Autistic, but she doesn’t know that. Do I give a dollar so my name can be scribbled on that puzzle piece and taped on the wall when I’ve already spent thousands of dollars fighting for my son? Do I laugh like I want to and say, “Trust me, I’m more aware of Autism than you’ll ever think of being”? Those are thoughts that run through my brain as I slowly nod and pay the extra dollar.

Sometimes I feel like I’m a bad Autism mom because I don’t fight on a public platform. I don’t organize fun runs and social gatherings. I don’t wear a blue puzzle pin on my lapel. I don’t even have an Autism ribbon magnet on my car. Quite frankly, it sucks most of my energy just trying to research and implement what I need to be doing just for my own child; so fighting for the thousands of others seems daunting– even crippling. But saying that I don’t fight publicly is not saying I don’t speak about Autism. I do every day, and I have literally bibles full of materials and everything ever sent home concerning my son’s “special needs.” I’m open with people about what he has to the point that I’m having to stop myself. I tell him he can’t let Autism hold him back, yet I find myself using it as an excuse so that others won’t just think he’s weird, impolite, or just unintelligent. Most people look at me now and say something like “Oh, I didn’t have a clue,” and then I realize that I just labeled him—handicapped him– in the eyes of others. I say I want him to be treated normally, yet I’m making sure he isn’t.

My son’s Autism has made him an easy target for predators. Just like in the animal kingdom, predators are able to pick the easy target out of the crowd. They sense their weaknesses, and once their prey is in their sights– they go in for the kill. My son has more than once been on the receiving end of targeted abuse. At school he has been physically attacked more than once on the playground by the same child who waited for him to wander away from the others as he often does to play by himself. Another child thought it would be funny to try to shove his head in a toilet, but we were lucky that some other kids went for help. At a summer skate camp my son figured out quickly that he didn’t have the same physical skills as the other kids so he resorted to riding his board by sitting down. This annoyed another boy to the point that he hit my son with his skateboard and then stole his shoes and equipment and threw them over a fence where he couldn’t reach them. Each of these encounters has left my son with bruises that run much deeper than his flesh. He always puts on a tuff façade and holds his tears at bay until he finally breaks; and I hold and rock him as he weeps in my arms, and I do my best to hide my own tears as his pain rips at my soul. As his mother I want to be the soft place for him to land, but also the solid, unmoving support that holds him up when he’s feeling weak; so I don’t cry in front of him. I march on like he does until my own wall crumbles and I find myself shut in the laundry room where the sounds of the machines will drown out my crying as I sob into a dirty towel.

These are the times I become consumed with my anger, fears, and sadness while forgetting the blessings of my son and the opportunities he gives me and others to grow as humans. So here it is May, and Autism awareness month has come and gone again without me officially recognizing it. I think it’s because I knew it would be so difficult for me to do and I wasn’t sure what message I wanted to give. I don’t want people to read this and only have pity for him and the others like him. I don’t want the bullies and predators to be the ones whose actions are remembered; so I decided to post below the speech I’ve formed in my head more than once when I’ve been crying in the laundry room. This is the monologue I rehearse in my head, that if given the chance, I would deliver to the bully who’s harassed my son. This is the message about Autism I want to share.

Dear Bully-

Today you made the decision to hurt my son in one way or another. Something inside you whispered in your ear that by making my son feel less, you would feel greater. You chose to put aside kindness and inflict hurt. You and you alone chose to do this. I know that you had reason for doing this. You hurt inside. Someone in your life has made you feel like you made my son feel. For once you wanted to feel like you had the power, and so you chose to make my son feel even weaker than he already does.

I imagine it was easy for you to do. He’s small and doesn’t have many friends around him to help keep him safe. He probably didn’t even fight back at first because he didn’t quite understand what was happening. But you accomplished what you set out to do: you made him feel even more different, more of an outcast, more of a loser. As a mother I can say that I truly ache for you and whatever makes you hurt inside. You did not ask for whatever unfairness has found you, but neither did my son. He did not ask for the doctors to make mistakes at his birth. He did not ask to be born not breathing and have to be revived. He did not ask for countless illnesses and a first year of life that was physically excruciating. He did not ask for a condition that made his clothes feel like razorblades against his skin. He did not ask for sounds and smells and lights to be amplified by his senses to the point of being painful. He did not ask to feel like he isn’t even connected to his own body. He did not ask for Autism. He did not ask for you to remind him that he will never have the “normal” life you do.

You probably would never want to admit that you and my son are similar, but you are. You both feel less about yourself because of someone or something else. But that is where the similarity stops. You see, my son has every right to be just as angry as you. He has every reason to want to go make someone feel as bad as he does—but he doesn’t. Everyday my son chooses to take a different path than you did. He chooses to stand back up and walk back into the groups that make him feel different and bad about himself. He chooses to smile and try one more time to make a friend. He has done this everyday of his life. You knock him down and he gets back up. He chooses not to bully to make himself feel better, and that is why he’s my hero. He is the bravest person I know. His courage runs deep and the saddest thing is that you will never know those things about him because you only saw the outside. You saw a coward where I see a lion.

Maybe if you had taken a different path you could have been friends. Maybe you would have found someone that would have understood your pain and stood by your side, but you chose differently. You physically overcame my son, but know that you did not win. You’ll never win until you learn to choose differently, and my son and I pray that one day you will.

“What makes a king out of a slave? Courage! What makes the flag on the mast to wave? Courage! What makes the elephant charge his tusk in the misty mist, or the dusky dusk? What makes the muskrat guard his musk? Courage! What makes the sphinx the seventh wonder? Courage! What makes the dawn come up like thunder? Courage! What makes the Hottentot so hot? What puts the “ape” in apricot? What have they got that I ain’t got?” -The Cowardly Lion The Wizard of Oz