I think I may be done blogging. I feel like I have nothing of importance to say. I stress about writing and no one being interested enough to read. I feel like others have far more insight on raising FAS kids than I. Others are far more eloquent. Others have a far greater following. Perhaps my small voice in the big pond will not be missed. . .
There are far more informed and eloquent posts floating around these inter-webs about the tragedy that happened at the Safe Way grocery store in Tucson Saturday. I just feel the need to purge my thoughts and write a small post about it. It may not inspire or be truly insightful, but I feel the need.
I think we all agree it is a senseless tragedy and for once it was surreal hearing neighbors and acquaintances saying "he was a nut-job" instead of the common "he was so nice, we would've never suspected this". I think I deal with a certain level of crazy in my world, and I can identify with the unknown. The ability to see that you are unaware of what might come next. You cannot fathom the things that could happen in the future in the minds of crazy people but sometimes you just know it will not end well.
Let's ponder the political element for a bit. I believe that our political environment is far too divisive. I have talked about our country being torn down the middle before. I think that people look at each other with disgust and anger when they don't agree. I think people result to name calling and hate speech when they cannot see a common ground. It scares me and has for some time. I have stopped being any sort of political on here and in my life over the last few years because to me it makes me ill. It turns my stomach. It makes my OCD go off the charts. I am completely unable to make people see that my side could be viable, and if not that I have the right to think it is without angering them. It always seems it is either one way or the highway. I think we have long since removed the ability to agree to disagree for the most part. I understand arguing your belief, but I think the ugliness is absolutely unnecessary. I am thankful I live in a country were I can disagree with you and still respect that you have that same right. I think far too few of us exercise that right.
So what do I do now? I don't share opinions politically unless asked. I don't argue points. I try not to get drawn into discussions that seem to be heading south. I don't even insert my opinions at family functions anymore even when I believe what they are saying has no factual basis. We have stopped watching all the talking heads at home, we don't surround ourselves with the divisive world of politics. It was making both my husband and myself angry and obsessive. We decided it was too much. We try to keep informed, but limit the opinion factor.
While I will say that there is ugliness on both sides, I will say that the terminology that has been used both in some of the Republican party and the Tea Party is just plain irresponsible. Things like "Don't Retreat, Reload." "We came unarmed, this time". Some of these quotes literally make me ill:
"I hope that's not where we're going, but you know if this Congress keeps going the way it is, people are really looking toward those Second Amendment remedies and saying my goodness what can we do to turn this country around? I'll tell you the first thing we need to do is take Harry Reid out." ~Sharon Angle
''Our nation was founded on violence. The option is on the table. I don't think that we should ever remove anything from the table as it relates to our liberties and our freedoms.'' —Tea Party-backed Texas GOP congressional candidate Stephen Broden
'I'm thinking about killing Michael Moore, and I'm wondering if I could kill him myself, or if I would need to hire somebody to do it. ... No, I think I could. I think he could be looking me in the eye, you know, and I could just be choking the life out.'' —Glenn Beck, May 17, 2005
"I want people in Minnesota armed and dangerous on this issue of the energy tax because we need to fight back. Thomas Jefferson told us 'having a revolution every now and then is a good thing,' and the people — we the people — are going to have to fight back hard if we're not going to lose our country" - Michelle Bachmann
Really? Just wow!
Now, do I believe that these people and those like them are responsible for Jared Loughner's actions. No. He bears the brunt of his actions. He alone will have to atone for those sins. But did rhetoric like the above help to form his warped views? I think that could be absolutely possible. I understand that we are a nation that is founded on the premise of Free Speech. I get that you can talk about "Second Amendment Remedies" in a political speech but what possesses us to stand up and cheer for that? When did this become normal. When did it become alright to put gun cross hairs over a congressional district with a directive to "take down" the opposing incumbents? Really? When did we become so okay with violent imagery and rhetoric? These political opponents are real people, not avatars in a video game!
If indeed rhetoric like this shaped the Arizona Shooter's views and possibly caused the crazy that lives inside his head to carry out the plan on Saturday, then we as a nation are just as guilty for allowing it to continue. We nurtured it by tuning in to it. We groomed it by repeating it. We made it blossom by cheering it on. We made it okay by not standing up and saying "This is not okay!"
If Palin, Angle, Beck, Bachmann and countless others need to rethink their choices in the wake of this tragedy then we all need to rethink our inaction. ENOUGH is ENOUGH.
Okay, so remember my post about The Canvas People, I wanted to tell you that the very same day I posted this, my mom called and said she had received ANOTHER canvas. Apparently, when Canvas People got my complaint via email, they sent another canvas to her. Great, you may say. Boo, I say. Why? This canvas was not shipped in the box like the other two, with protective paper, plastic sleeve, instructions for hanging and hardware, it was shoved in a large manila envelope. Because of the cold, shipping etc the frame of the canvas was all whopper-jawed and split.
If they would've responded to my initial email I would've told them I received the first canvas and they could've kept their crappy attempt at sending a replacement.
On another note, I have been NOTHING but pleased with Shutterfly. I organized a photobook for my step-dad's family to give to the grandparents this New Year's Day. I thought it would be something they both would enjoy and treasure. I had never use Shutterfly before and I would very highly recommend them. The book was easy to lay out, uploads were fast, the directions were clear and precise. The options for customizing were many and beautiful. The book was relatively inexpensive with some coupon codes and I got a great deal for the quality of the finished product. They delivered the product quickly and it was fabulous!
The only problem we had is that when we gave it to them, everyone began passing it around and looking at it. After about 6 people the binding began to split and the perforated pages began to pull away. About 5 pages were coming out of the binding. I emailed them yesterday along with a crappy phone photo of the pages. They responded within 12 hours and assured me that another photobook was already in production and would be mailed to me asap.
Now that is what I call customer service! Kudos to Shutterfly!
Okay, this little scene just happened at our house and symbolizes a common problem we deal with around here. It deals with food issues and object permanence and plain old indecisiveness. Yay for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (<--- insert sarcasm here)
Dustin came home from being with his mentor. He asked for a snack. I said certainly, you can have a snack from your basket. He did not want a snack from his basket, he wanted a couple Slim Jims, the short ones that come in the can. I agreed. I told him he could have 2.
He asked for another. I said no, but he could still have something from his basket. He said, "Nah, I'm not hungry."
He sat down in the "kid area" to watch television before bed. He is only about 20 feet from where we are sitting in the living room. I see him bending completely over and trying to get something from under the loveseat. I say, "Bring me the Slim Jim." He brings one unopened one over and says, "I'm sorry I stole, this is the only one, I swear." He is told to come over to the adult living room and have a seat since he cannot do the right thing.
I see the dog trying to dig under the couch. Lo and behold, I find two more wrappers under the couch. So he has eaten four. He sits in the living room for a total of 5 minutes and Robert asks him is he wants the rest of his soup. Dustin does and is told to go to the table. The table is about 40 feet from me in the living room and in direct line of sight of where I am sitting. He goes to the kitchen gets a spoon and sits down at the table. In his other hand is another unopened can of Slim Jims (they were on sale on a 2fer) He brings the Slim Jim can up to his lips and very noisly rips the plastic strip off the can with his teeth. I look over and see him reaching into the can, he looks at me straight faced and says, "What? I didn't do anything."
I then him to come back to the living room and he collapses on the floor hollering wanting the soup. I tell him I will sit iwht him if he really wants to eat the soup he can be monitored and he starts saying he doesn't want the soup. Then, he begins hooting about being tired and wanting to go to bed. I tell him we will take him upstairs and turn on the alarms and he can go to bed, then starts hollering about wanting to sleep on the loveseat in the kids area.
Nothing is ever easy.
Right now he is sitting in the only chair in the living room that you cannot see the television from. He is settled down but certainly not happy. He keeps going on under his breath about how we don't want him to eat and how we don't want him to live here. He keeps saying that nobody loves him. Every once in a while I respond by telling him I love him and he needs to be quiet and rest.
It's been a rough holiday season for us here at Chez Rouse. I think I have struggled therefore the whole house has struggled. I am in a weird place right now with Dustin. We have some new supports and he has been testing his limits with them. Testing like we haven't seen in a long time! We tried to switch around some sleeping arrangements and that was a complete FAIL. I am glad we did a test run before we moved tons of furniture around and over two levels of the house. It was difficult for me to accept the failure of the sleeping situation, but it is what it is. Robert knew it wouldn't work, but I am thankful he gave the chance to prove it to myself.
(Harrison ringing in the New Year)
If I was completely honest with myself I would see that most of the difficulties we have had lately is of my own making. I tend to sabotage success sometimes due to my OCD. I am getting a grasp on that and really feel as though I am making a comeback in that area of my life. My husband is an angel. He puts up with so much of my craziness and does it with such a giving spirit. We have come a long way in our marriage and relationship. I think as we have gotten older we have definitely mellowed out. I need some more mellowing, but I recognize that! I realize that if Robert was not the man he is, we would not be able to raise Dustin. He is so calm and so patient and so very unemotional about most things. He is fabulous at being his primary caregiver, a job I could never do!
(Bowling on New Year's Eve)
It seems that once every three months or so we did not switch up how we deal with Dustin and his issues. I am not certain whether we fall into a different pattern and we need to take a new direction, or his behaviors dictate new interventions or a combination of both, but it seems we need to struggle and struggle and hit the wall before we change direction and do something new. I wish we could see that and make the change before we hit that wall, but alas it never seems to happen. Right now we are pulling out of the U-turn after the crash into the wall and are limping to a new direction. Hopefully that new route will take us sailing into Spring.
(Hanging in the WiFi section at Grandma's LOL)
I have also been dealing with wicked case of strep. If you have been a reader here for any length of time, you will recall that I am a strep carrier and get hit hard with strep. This one knocked me on my butt, but I am making a quick comeback. It has allowed me to loose a few pounds and I plan to keep it off. When the weather lets up in a few weeks I plan on making the Couch to 5K program a part of my life. I am excited about it, we shall see how that shapes up for this asthmatic. I think running is good option for me since I can do it in peace and without kids! Woot! In the past the only time I have run is if someone is chasing me so it should be quite a feat if I succeed! I am expecting all of you to hold me to it.