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Category Archives: Marleyisms

“Well at least you know…” Part 2

“When can I get my blood shot?”

“Is it time for my blood shot yet?”

“Can we get my blood shot now?!”

Never in my life would I imagine that I would have a child who was so intent on having labwork done. I had been honest and upfront with Marley about what to expect at our evaluation appointment. I let her know that the doctor would be checking her blood for cholesterol. She needed to know exactly how that would happen, so I showed her some phlebotomy diagrams and instructional videos on YouTube. She was able to see the vacutainer, butterfly needle, cleaning procedure, etc. shown step by step. It seemed to calm her fear that the tech would hit her bone.

For days before we left she would ask if it was time for her ‘blood shot’ yet. Done with hearing “soon” or “tomorrow”, on the way to Fredericksburg to stop for dinner she asked if we were getting the ‘blood shot’ that night when we arrived in Baltimore. In an attempt to avoid a meltdown over this (again), I told her that it was really late but that I would call the hospital when we left and see if they were still open.

Yes, I lied to her. I had tried unsuccessfully to explain it to her, and I’d like to think that overall I do a pretty good job of keeping her in the loop and answering any questions she throws at me. At this point, though, I was exhausted and no matter how many times I told her when the blood draw would happen she is not the best with timelines.

As we got down the road, she would ask once more. I told her that I would call, but that it was late so they may be closed. She then surprised me. “If they are closed, do we get to go to the hotel first?”, she asked. I told her yes, and asked if that is what she wanted to do. She said yes, that she wanted to get to the hotel, but that I should still call the hospital first. I breathed a sigh of relief– it’s so much easier when she’s on board!

From the moment she woke up the next morning, she was again fixated on the blood draw. She kept repeating her phrases over and over, despite being told ‘later’ or ‘soon’ or just plain being tuned out as the first doctor spoke with me. When it was finally time to go to the lab, Alli walked us down. Marley was excited to take a ‘secret tunnel’ Alli showed us which was painted in an underwater themed mural. She ran slightly ahead and pointed out animals along the way.

Once in the lab area, Marley and Killian played for a bit before it was time for Marley to go in. She jumped right up on the stool and thrust her arm out. The tech was surprised and suggested that Mo sit on my lap to be a bit more comfortable. When the latex band went on, she was not impressed. Knowing that ‘tight’ frustrates her, I had prepared her for the fact that this would be tight on her arm but that it is not on for long. In retrospect, maybe I should have tried to show her by a quick visit to our pediatrician’s office for a ‘this is how the band will feel’ rehearsal. (Yes, Dr. Young is just that awesome!) Eh, hind sight & all that jazz… Anyway, she was not a fan of the band, which lowered her tolerance just enough for the needle to bring on the tears and complaints. She kept her arm perfectly still despite wanting to be finished. She didn’t move a muscle or attempt to pull away. We are all shocked at how well she did. After the blood draw was over, the tech wrapped Mo’s elbow in gauze tape. (That stretchy bandage material that sticks to itself.) Well, to get it to stick, you have to stretch it a bit– you know, tight. Pink and purple hearts be darned– Marley wanted this thing OFF. Alli and I both offered to take it off for her which would have been fine except for the fact that she was convinced that she was going to bleed out/fall off (or something) and wouldn’t let us near it.

I still had a good bit of paperwork to do and Marley was given a boxed lunch to eat. We sat in an exam room in the lab area and a few moments later Marley declared that she needed to pee. Since I was eyeball deep in paperwork, Alli asked Marley if she could walk her to the restroom. Marley was fine with that and let us know that she would need help with her pants with a worried “But my arm is BROKEN!!”. ūüėČ I nodded to Alli that it was ok, and the potty trip was uneventful. After a bit longer, Marley was done with what she could eat of the lunch (lettuce from the sandwich, pretzels, a cookie or two, and a Sprite), the room was beginning to get stuffy, and Killian was not happy to be in the stroller. Alli suggested that we could go back to their office building and set up in a room that was larger for me to finish while the kids could be less confined. That was perfect, and we headed over.

I worked my way through the pages of questions. At one point there was a sheet that listed symptoms/disorders and with check boxes under the headings of “Mother”/”Mother’s Mother”/”Mother’s Father”/”Father”/”Father’s Mother”/”Father’s Father”. Without going into too much detail, I think this would be an excellent checklist for at risk teens who want to get pregnant– it was enough to make ME reconsider having kids… and mine are already here! ūüôā Items like “has had trouble with the law”, “suicidal”, “depression”, etc. are listed and I must say, it makes you think about what you’re throwing into the gene pool!

It wasn’t long before Dr. Tierney came in. By this time, Killian was tired and so he was on my lap nursing. She offered to give us time to finish and I cracked my typical “You’ve got boobs/I’ve got boobs” reply and she assured me that she didn’t mind a bit, so we got down to business.

I have since realized that these¬†questionnaire’s are not only about how I¬†answer the questions, but also how they are expanded upon for¬†me. When the first doctor had asked me about Marley making up words, I said yes, but drew a blank– only thinking about the (many) nonsensical words she comes up with that have no basis in reality or phonetics (which means I don’t commit them to memory since she will only inform me that I’m saying them wrong anyway). When Dr. Tierney asked, she followed with “such as creating other words for¬†¬†things…”– THIS was what I needed. “Yep! ‘Zombie garden’ for¬†cemetery, ‘squirrel peanut’ for acorn, she does that for a lot of things!”

As we went through the many questions, she was patient and understanding when I couldn’t answer a straight “Yes” or “No”; I realized that I prompt Marley often (as I do with all the kids in an effort to teach manners and proper socialization) such as prompting for “Hello”/”Goodbye”/”Please”/”Thank you”/etc. This is all well and good until you have to recall the last time your child said this or gave a gesture (for hello/goodbye) of their own accord or in response to someone without a push. Questions like “Does Marley show you things?” “Does she point?” were hard for me to answer. Yes, Marley asks me to come see a drawing or brings it to me, but in the car or on a walk she’ll simply say, “I saw a cow/dog/airplane.” in more of a informative way than a ‘I’d like you to see, too’ way.

Thankfully, Dr. Tierney is much better at this than I am. After an hour or two of questions, observing and talking to Marley, she looked at me and said (and I won’t even claim this is verbatim; I think there was a preceding phrase¬†affirming¬†that I wasn’t nuts, and if not, it came just after)…

Marley has Autism. She’s a tough one– she can make eye contact and has an interest in being social even if it isn’t working, but she does have Autism.

At this point, I cried. I think this particular flow was tears of relief. Especially as earlier that very day, I had felt that my moments of denial and questioning myself seemed to gain the upper hand as a doctor told me that she “didn’t see ASD”. To have been so close to going home with that… and now I’m being told that I’m right. I’m not crazy. I am in tune to my child and no, this behavior isn’t typical.

She mentioned that since Marley didn’t qualify for her study, she would bring me information on another. A developmental pediatrician named Dr. Deepa Menon is doing a study on macrocephaly and Autism. I never thought that Marley having a head in the 98th percentile would be a good thing, but it seems that for now it is. (It also explains her disdain and sensitivity to ‘tight clothes’– neck holes are her #1 trigger in clothing fit.) Dr. Tierney also mentioned something that I’ve told our pediatrician and a few close people without me saying anything to her first– it’s almost too coincidental that Marley had the Myoclonic Seizures as a baby and now has another neurological issue.¬†¬†I hope to speak to Dr. Menon about a possible link as well; it’s nice not to feel like a conspiracy theorist. ¬†She then took us into her office and wrote up a letter for the school system. Since I had so much trouble with my GPS on the way in, she asked Alli to get me directions for the way home and even highlighted a map for me. She told me to take some time to process this and then send her an email or call with any questions. I thanked her and joked that I had already decided to limit myself to sending Alli one email each week with all my questions from the days prior so I don’t flood them. We said our goodbyes and were on our way.

The trip home nice, the kids both slept the entire time. I called Ben and briefly explained things to him. I sent a text to our pediatrician to give her an update as well. Traffic was typical, but decent for rush hour in DC. I woke Marley & Killian up a little over an hour from home to stop for dinner/snacks and to get a Cinnabon. I didn’t expect the Cinnabon signs to lead me to a truckstop, but they did. It was a huge one and quite the adventure for the kids (ok, and me, too!).

Chlo√ę and Ben were glad to have us back and the littles were glad to see them both.

I will say, I was blindsided by how right Dr. Tierney was. When she said to take time to process this, I didn’t ‘get’ it. Like the soda for the road that Mandi ordered me at Sammy T’s, I didn’t think I’d need it.

I was wrong.




This is Halloween… This is Halloween…..

Halloween is probably our (Me, Chlo√ę & Marley) favorite holiday!

This year, the girls and I (+Killian) planned to attend the Richmond Zombie Walk as we did last year.

Mo loves braaaaaaains.

The girls had decided to be ‘Zombie Girl Scouts’ and we even went to our local scout store to get them the uniforms (Chlo√ę was a scout until recently and had some gift certificates to the store to use up). ¬†I bought Halloween patches and blank patches (to make our own).

(L-R clockwise: Brain Eating, Lurking, Umbrella Corporation, Limb Reattachment)

I hadn’t decided on the basis for my costume yet, but had decided that Killian would be ‘baby food’ (by riding in a cooler or collapsible shopping cart with a sign and discarded baby dolls). He was such a hit last year just sitting in the stroller eating fake blood off of his hands, lol!

"Nom." (Photo Courtesy of Robbie at Greyhaven Studios)

Unfortunately, we didn’t get past the costume construction this year– the forecast took a sudden turn towards cold, rainy weather and we opted to skip the walk. The kids weren’t too bummed since they were able to walk outside and know that they did NOT want to spend a few hours outside in 44* rainy nastiness.

We did, however, wake up Saturday morning and enjoy Znombie pancakes which are cousins to the 6 Znombie Bites  (a RockStar Confections creation) I shipped to Kelli in June!

Znombie Pancakes

After breakfast the kids played and I took care of a few things before heading out to our local Chinese & Sushi buffet. We stuffed ourselves silly and then went next door to dollar tree. I let the girls pick out candy buckets and then we headed across the street where there is a church pumpkin patch. They didn’t have many pumpkins left, but we’re kind of ¬†‘Charlie Brown Christmas’ like that!

Pickin' out Punkins!

I had fun driving Chlo√ę nuts by trying to pick the ‘perfect’ pumpkin and having her check its price. (This is done by taking the pumpkin up to the tent and placing it in wooden cutouts. The bottom of the pumpkin must touch the table under the cut out– about 2 inches down– and you try to fit it in the smallest circle that allows that. Beside each cut out is a price– which ever one fits your pumpkin is what you pay.) She was laughing as I talked about needing a body/head/boob(s)/and a baby head to make a “Boo’ing” pumpkin. (Marley & Killian both called breastmilk/nursing “boo”.) She was horrified and supportive all at the same time! $22 and 5 pumpkins later we all left cold but happy.

Carving the pumpkins was fun– Marley LOVES the ‘guts’ and once we scooped out all the pumpkins, she wanted to take the pot I used for the ‘guts’ ¬†into the bathtub with her and play in them, lol! (I had to say no to that, though.. since Daddy would be the one clearing any clogs!) After I finished carving Marley’s pumpkin and Chlo√ę had finished her own, she took Mo upstairs to get a bath while I worked on my pumpkin. After everything was carved, lit, and photographed, I dumped the ‘gut pot’ onto the plastic we had laid down under our sheet. I then gathered up all the sides, twisted it, and let Marley put her feet/hands/face onto the plastic and felt the guts squishing inside!

Ewww..... guts.

This is a HORRIFIC pic of me, but we were totally clowning it up and having a blast! And... pics of me + the kids are rare-- especially me & Marley lately.

Gutting my pumpkin!

Have I mentioned that there were guts? ūüėČ

The aftermath of PumpkinParty 2011.

This evening it was cold and rainy, so not really trick or treat weather, but I hadn’t endured numerous costume idea changes + meldowns+ planning ways to avoid more meltdowns for nothing. Since we (well, Chlo√ę & Mo) ditched the zombie scout idea until next year, Killian’s ‘zombie hunter’ costume wasn’t going to work. I quickly grabbed a pinstripe shirt with ‘Rockstar’ emblazoned on the front and Ben grabbed one of our PaperJams guitars for him to tote— instant Lead Guitarist! The girls’ makeup took probably an hour. I bought some cream makeup so that ¬†I could make Marley’s face black like the Francois Langur/Black Leaf Monkey¬†(which she decided to be today)— she came up to me and asked if I remembered the black monkey in the zoo that had a mohawk. I didn’t remember any such thing, but googled ‘Mohawk Monkey and found the link above. She told me that it was the correct animal and that she wanted a mohawk. Chlo√ę was beyond thrilled when I allowed her to use an old costume I had from a few years ago to be a vampress. Despite the weather and the fact that we only drenched ourselves for 3 houses worth of candy, I’d say it was a pretty great Halloween. Marley tolerated her mask and make up so well and for the first year ever, she actually said “trick or treat”!

Marley the black leaf monkey

Killian rocks!

So pretty it's scary.



I’ve been working on finishing an entry about a recent shopping trip with Marley, but for some reason it hasn’t been easy to write. ¬†So, it sits in ‘Drafts’ waiting for its ending as I feel guilty for not posting more frequently.

This entry, though, is so much better than the one to come! I think this is the first entry that I won’t have to list ‘Marleyisms’ or write about challenges. That might mean it’s a shorter entry, but it sure is sweet…..

A month or so ago I called Kluge Children’s Rehabilitation Center¬†in hopes of getting Marley in for an evaluation. Ben and I agreed that getting a medical diagnosis would be more beneficial at this time than going through the local school system since they would mainly be interested in the education side of things. Unfortunately, the waiting list is so long at Kluge that you don’t get an appointment when you call right now. From others’ experiences, it seemed the norm to be given a date for 6 months or so away, and then to be called with a cancellation. When I called, however, I was told that they can’t make any appointments at all right now, but that we will be put on a list. I gave them our name and number and thanked the woman for her time.

Since then I’ve had this feeling of dormancy. Like, what do I do now? I got her on the list– but here we are still struggling on a daily basis and attempting to get people to understand, well, her. Honestly, we are still struggling to understand her.

After a rough weekend, I decided that this week I would do more. I spent the weekend pouring over lists of places to take her to get a diagnosis– it was so daunting. I honestly didn’t know where to begin– do I call the hospitals & colleges 2-3 hours away or do I call the private clinicians that are closer? Will they know how to work around our insurance to get (even part) of this covered? How are we going to come up with the $4,000+ for these tests? What if I’m wrong?

I posted a facebook status mentioning that the following day was going to mean lots of stressful phone calls in the hopes of finding someone to see Marley. My amazing best friend, Mandi  Amanda, mentioned that I should try Kennedy Krieger Institute  on the Johns Hopkins Medical Center Campus. She and her dad have OI and visit there often. She encouraged me to get in touch with KKI and even offered (promised? insisted?) that she would go with me if we got in.  After all, she knows this place like the back of her hand.

As I read about KKI and filled out the ‘Request an appointment’ form on their website, I noticed a link for ‘research’. Upon clicking it, I was taken to a list of studies currently going on and in need of participants. I was excited to see that there were 2 that Marley may qualify for. I mustered up the courage to call the numbers listed below each and left messages with Marley’s name, age, and my contact info. I figured I’d give it a few days and then maybe try emailing the addresses that were also listed on the info sheets.

Imagine my surprise when I woke up this morning and found a missed call on my phone from a number with the Baltimore area code! I checked my messages and heard a friendly voice belonging to Alli Koch stating that she was interested in talking to me and I quickly wrote down the digits to the direct line for her. I made the kids breakfast  and entertained them for a bit before letting Marley turn on Netflix. They became engrossed in watching Rugrats and I jumped at the chance to call Alli back.

Let me just say– she was amazing! She was so friendly and patient! She went over our demographic info and allowed me to tell her a bit (a lot?) about Marley. She listened as I rambled about zombie gardens, vegetarian vampires, and Mo’s ‘other mom who lives in China’. She then moved on to a 40 question ‘mommy quiz’ about Marley. Some questions were things I’ve answered to myself many times while reading online, but some really made me take pause. Some were downright hard to answer with a solid ‘yes’ or ‘no’. ¬†She was understanding when I didn’t feel like I could answer quickly and allowed me to think aloud to her until I finally hesitantly answered ‘yes(?)’ or ‘no…….’ to each question. She really seemed to ‘get’ Marley’s spirit and the fact that the kid is a riot and completely awesome!

After the ‘mommy quiz’ she explained that the info would be passed on to Dr. Elaine Tierney so she would have it when we came for Marley’s evaluation.
An evaluation which would be provided for free.
An evaluation which will result in a diagnosis.
An evaluation which is scheduled for 11/2/11. (Yes, I nearly fell over. I thanked her 50 times and then cried when I hung up.)
Oh– and, funny story, it just so happens that my amazing best friend will already be at KKI on 11/2/11 with her dad.

Someone was smiling down on us today.

They even sent a rainbow…….

 Yes, Marley played outside today in her swim suit.
This was the compromise between “Mommy, I want to swim” and “You can swim in the tub.”

The Others

Sounds like the title for a low budget horror flick, huh? (Actually– it probably already titles quite a few, but I’m too chicken to look!)

My last post¬†was brought forth due to the interactions I have with ‘outsiders’… people in the store, friends, and family that doesn’t live in our house. I get so frustrated with ‘willful ignorance’ and it is so difficult to know how to approach someone who is ignorant to our situation due to lack of knowledge or a desire to avoid knowledge.

However; there is another source of frustration and sadness– ‘The Others’. ‘The Others’ to me includes Chlo√ę, Killian, and Ben. Killian of course isn’t old enough to really have much of an understanding, and my main issue with him in regards to Marley is that I notice him imitating her occasionally– he is definitely a screamer at times and it’s really hard to know how to approach it when he is growing up and seeing her behavior. Chlo√ę has struggled recently, but once I was able to sit her down and talk to her/read to her/watch videos with her about Autism/Asperger’s and what it is like to be a sibling of a child on the spectrum, she did a 180 in the way she interacts with Marley. It was like it suddenly clicked!

Tonight, though… my frustration is with Ben. I keep things very private even on my personal facebook about our relationship, being careful not to use my wall as a place to vent. The feelings I’m having right now, though, seem to come back to having a kid on the spectrum. I feel like it belongs here– I do not want to start some ‘poor me’ thing here, and I really hope I can navigate this gracefully while remaining true to the weight of how I’m feeling and the reality of the situation.

I am a stay at home mom, as most of you know. I left my job as a medical assistant in an 11 doctor practice shortly after Marley was born. I know that by nature, being a SAHM can create a sense of ‘distance’ from ‘the adult world’ and your partner. It’s natural to have frustrations when a parent/partner working outside the home doesn’t seem to care/know/understand/question how you fit 332 hours worth of work into a 24 hour day. The flip side of that is when the parent/partner working outside the home feels frustrated that you don’t seem to care/know/understand/question how they accomplish their job either. Somewhere along the line, in order for a marriage to be successful, you find understanding. You agree to disagree. Whatever– you figure it out.

Being a stay at home mom to a kid on the spectrum seems to add another level to the ‘you have NO clue’ feeling.

‘The Others’ are different in that they WANT to understand. They TRY to. Maybe they really do ‘get’ it, but even I have moments where I am at a loss as to how to handle all of Marley’s quirks.

I do my best not to bombard Ben with the daily goings on. If I have had a rough day, I’ll mention that, but I do my best not to get into a ‘who has the most stressful job’ contest with him.

Sometimes, though… like today… I’d really like to say, “THIS is how my day goes— this is how nearly every day goes!!”

  • Broken sleep not especially due to nursing Killian/cosleeping, but due to hearing you snore and not being able to fall back asleep. (Though this has gotten much better since we purchased a memory foam mattress!)
  • Wake up when your alarm goes off at 5:30am or just after and hear you in the bathroom/shower. Fall back asleep and wake up as you leave/say goodbye. Fall back asleep &/or nurse Killian.
  • Wake up to Marley in bed with me no more than 20 minutes after you leave.
  • Wake up to Killian who has noticed Marley in bed and wants to play– it’s not even 7am! Also, Marley MUST wake up on her own.
    Waking her before her body does is not good for anyone involved– and the effects will likely last all day.
  • Eventually Marley will wake up and we head downstairs for breakfast.
  • Every weekday for the past…. 3?? months I’ve made chocolate chip pancakes. Typically with fresh whipped cream. It took Marley 2 months to figure out she only likes whipped cream– no butter or syrup; however, I must ask her each morning to be sure it hasn’t changed. I must also ask if she wants the whipped cream on TOP of the cut up pancakes or on the side.
  • If we’re out of any of the ingredients, it’s a catch 22– if I tell her, she may become completely overwhelmed and state something like “I can’t eat anything” or “I don’t know what else I can eat”, but if I suggest we go to the store later, that brings on the ‘it’s too cold’ problem.
  • Dish total by the end of breakfast: 13
  • After breakfast, I wipe down the whipped cream monster, I mean Killian, and typically Marley wants to turn on Netflix. She loves Rocko’s Modern Life, Rugrats, Mary & Max, and a few other things.
  • Netflix isn’t working. Suggesting a movie we own is like Meltdown roulette.
  • Suggest she get dressed if she’s running around in panties. Often she’s in the same outfit (with new panties) that she’s been wearing for most of the week.
  • About 20 minutes after breakfast she’s hungry. This continues at least twice hourly until lunch. I’ve finally figured out she’s seeking sensory input– breakfast is usually sweet and soft (though I have been tossing room temp chocolate chips on top of the cream to add another texture). So it begins– the game of ‘what do you want’? At times she seems so hopeless, as if she’s searching for food on a desert island. Do you want an apple? Crackers? A banana? Marshmallows? Juice? Water? Yogurt? Shredded cheese? A jelly sandwich? A peanut butter sandwich? Noodles? Pasta? Apples with peanut butter? Cereal?
  • She sits down with her snack and I offer Killian his own serving. (It cannot come from HER portion, though.)
  • Killian touches her food. Game over. (This is another new peeve of hers. Another person’s food/body/fluid/breath touching her food immediately renders that food inedible. Her food put onto the plate I used to cut Killian’s (same) food before putting it on his booster tray– inedible. They are both eating yogurt– Killian drools yogurt colored drool– her yogurt is inedible. She’s eating noodles, drops one on the table– if it A)gets squished under the bowl and she sees it or B) I scoop it (unsquished)back into her bowl– the entire bowl is now inedible.)
  • Suggest Marley get dressed if in panties or to change panties if she’s in days old clothes. Suggest she brush teeth/pee/etc.
  • Meltdown roulette.
  • At some point we’ll head up to the playroom and tinker around in there– she prefers to venture up with Killian and they leave me behind often.
  • Lunch is a delicate game of 20 questions. When we figure out what she wants (typically the same thing for weeks at a time, but there’s always the day you have to figure out what that is, or the day that you have to name that and everything else before she suggests the same meal from the previous days on her own. For a while it was oodles of noodles. I was under strict instructions to ‘make them like Grandma– and don’t forget the LOVE!!’. I got away with rinsing them to cool instead of using ice cubes, but last week I tried to switch to the lower sodium kind– now she won’t eat them at all. After that, she wanted pasta and I had to offer every shape in the pantry, allowing her to sample dry noodles to help her pick. One night I thought I would be smart and cook an extra serving or two for the next day. I didn’t want them to stick together, so as I was cleaning up after dinner I put the tiniest swirl of extra virgin olive oil in, stirred, and stuck them in the fridge. I immediately worried that Marley wouldn’t eat them, but knew I’d be rinsing them to heat them anyway, so it should be ok. I rinsed them a few times in hot water until just barely warm and spooned out some for Killian. I then rinsed them a few more times until they were hot/cool enough for Mo. We’re talking a lot of water going through these things. Killian was munching away happily and suddenly after a bite or two Marley exclaimed that these taste “DIFFERENT!!! They are nasty. Something is on them and I cannot eat them.”. There was no going back and it was downhill from there as one was ‘broken’… oh goodness.
  • Suggest other foods while my food (if I’ve gotten that far) gets cold. Meltdown roulette.
  • Dishes after lunch: 13+10
  • At some point in the afternoon, we’ll attempt to fit in a homeschool activity, either formally or with something hands on/life skill based like counting how many rolls we need for dinner. She and Killian will play and bicker.
  • If the weather doesn’t suck we might end up outside in the blasted Barbie Jeep. At some point she’ll get hot which will make her itchy.
  • It’s not long before we’re back in ‘What does Marley want for snack?’ land. Today it was carrots. I peeled a carrot for her and another for Killian. A quarter of the way through her carrot, she came into the kitchen so frustrated she literally couldn’t form words. I was trying to help her by suggesting words so I could figure out what happened (note: HORRIBLE idea.) and finally she spurted out ‘Killian’s carrot TOUCHED mine and now I cannot eat it. I am throwing it in the trash.”
  • Heaven forbid we have to go somewhere– her clothes have now all been deemed ‘too tight’ (after getting rid of the ‘itchy’ ones) and getting her to wear climate appropriate (since ‘socially appropriate is long gone) clothing is a battle. I let her dress in whatever she manages to find comfortable and keep a blanket in the car.
  • Oh, this is of course after her insisting that she doesn’t want to go anywhere. 800 times. Loudly.
  • Since I’ve decided that ‘A trip to the Arctic (a.k.a. The Grocery Store)’ should be its own post, I’ll leave out today’s adventure there. (Let’s just say that couponing + a toddler + meltdown roulette= OH.EM.GEE. GetMeOut!!)
  • Over the course of a day, I will be asked no less than 20 times: “Can we go see Cam (my brother)/Heather (his girlfriend)/YaYa (my mom)!?” (they live 2 houses down and aren’t home during the day often); “Can I go back to my old school (preschool)?”; “When is Chlo√ę coming back?” (I don’t know/not soon enough for you.); “Can I have a sleep over with _insert perceived friend’s name here_?” (we’ll see… aka– no.); “Do you remember when _insert things she remembers better than I do_?”; “When can we _insert road trip/fun thing/vacation_ again?”. But that’s not even the fun conversations– the fun ones are about her seeing ghosts or recalling an event she really shouldn’t remember.
  • At some point Killian will nap. Hopefully.
  • Marley won’t. Not unless I trick her into ‘resting’ or send her to my room due to behavior (and because she’s acting out as a result of needing sleep, she’ll sometimes pass out). Most often, she sees Killian’s nap time as an opportunity to snuggle since I have open arms after I get him to sleep.
  • There’s still 13+10 dishes in the sink and you’re going to be home soon. If we haven’t left the house today, I’m still in my PJ’s. I probably have to pee. The living room looks like the apocalypse hit. Our bed’s not made because Killian just got up from a late nap– which means bedtime will be a 3 ring circus. Did I brush my teeth today?
  • Marley is hungry NOW. She won’t/can’t eat our dinner anyway, so I go back through the lunch routine of ‘what will you eat?’.
  • “No, you ate the last _food of choice_ yesterday and you didn’t want to go to the grocery store today to get more, remember?”
  • Meltdown.
  • “Oh hi, daddy. Welcome home.”

And really, I’ve left out all the ‘typical’ stuff, like diaper changes, a potty learning toddler peeing in the floor, normal sibling issues, etc. Also, it’s hard to recall every single thing in a day that ‘triggers’ Mo, so I’m sure a lot of that got left out as well.

I’ve come back to this post so many times thinking I should keep it private or delete it… Maybe it’s too hard to read… it all kind of runs together…

That’s the point though, I guess.

Marshmallows & “Marleyisms”

Yesterday morning, Marley woke up and came into our bedroom. She crawled up into bed with me and we had the following short but completely hilarious conversation:

“Good morning, Mo! Did you sleep okay?”


“Did you have any good dreams?”

“No. I didn’t have ANY dreams.”

(Uh. Ok?) “You didn’t have ANY dreams?”

“No.” (duh.) “I am a vampire and vampires do not have dreams.”

“Oh. They don’t?”

“No. Well, maybe at the daytime they do– only when they nap.”

There you have it, folks. Marleyism #789257489572947592 : “Vampires do not dream.” (Well, at least not at night.)


A few moments ago, I was rocking Marley & Killian in the recliner. I had just nursed Killian to sleep and was enjoying some Marley snuggles before hopping up to make us a snack.

¬†“Mommy– do you hear that SOUND!?”.¬†When I told her that I didn’t, she explained further “it’s kind of a… plunky sound”.

“Nope.. I’m sorry, I don’t hear it.”¬†I stopped rocking & tried to listen past the Doodlebops on tv.

(She says…. wait for it…. she, her in ‘matter of fact Marley way’ tells me accusingly…..)

“Well, it must be because YOU aren’t a vampire!”

I nearly woke Killian up laughing!!! It turns out she was hearing a ride on toy that I had under my foot as it slid 2 inches ¬†back & forth on the floor as I rocked. It was the quietest sound, but that’s pretty typical for Mo, lol!

(Marleyism #789257489572947593: “Vampires have exceptional hearing.”)

After I put Killian down, Marley asked for some marshmallows. (Lunch was a fruit plate with a side of crunch a.k.a chips, so it didn’t surprise me that she needed some ‘squish’!)

I remembered a small egg crate decoration I picked up at our local craft store this Spring but never did use. It has 9 cavities and is meant to hold small treats/baked goods. I placed a jumbo marshmallow into each spot and then grabbed food color markers from my cake pantry. I placed pink O’s & purple X’s on them and brought them out to Marley.

I explained Tic-Tac-Toe and she chose to be the pink O’s. We played one round and as she ate them we talked about ‘same’ & ‘different’ comparing the marshmallows with the O’s to those with the X’s. She’s now ripping the napkin to bits and talking me through a game of ‘buy my (imaginary) candy out of this thing’, lol!

Eyeing the Noms

The 'Tic' in her Tic-Tac-Toe!

"The name of the game is 'i win'!"

The winning line up ūüėČ

X's are delicious.

"Vegetarian Vampires LOVE marshmallows." (She also loves that you can see her 'sharp teeth' in this one!)

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