Tiramisu, OCD, Pennies & Pasadena

Sweets for me and my sweets

There’s tiramisu in the fridge again.  (Insert contented happy dance here.)

It’s such a mess to make, but so worth the effort and the cocoa dusted counter tops.

Have I mentioned lately how much I hate grout?

It’s everywhere in my home and nowhere in my dreams.

And this evening, my grout is cocoa powder brown.  😐

But like I said, there’s tiramisu in the fridge again.

And it’s the good kind.

The almond kind.  

It’s not the rum kind.

It’s this kind.  🙂

OCD and then some

The little boy is going through an increased phase of obsessive compulsive behaviors again.

He has some of these behaviors all the time, but every month or so they intensify for a while.

It makes us tired.  And frustrated.  And teary.  And sometimes really, really mad.

He will insist we do things for him that we haven’t done since he was a baby, or ever.

Tonight, for instance, he called me to come into the bathroom as he was finishing his shower.

“Mama, pull the plug?”

I’ve really never pulled the plug for him after his bath time, but suddenly, he is desperate for me to do it.

When I refuse and explain that it’s his responsibility to pull the plug, he starts a tantrum.

I leave the room.  😐

He has also started asking us to push him or carry him everywhere again.

THAT makes me lose my mind.

I sit at the dining table with my cereal and he wants me up so that I can carry him three feet, from the kitchen to the couch.

I ask if his legs are broken.

Sometimes, he gets the point.

Sometimes, not so much.

And just now, he was standing in the kitchen with me.

He was waving a cloth napkin in his hand.

“Mama put the napkin down?”

He wanted me to take it from him so that I could put it on the counter.



You get the picture.

Exhausting.  Exhausted.

Penny for your thoughts.  And your patience, please.

Before we weened ourselves away from the little boy’s private psychologist, we got one last piece of great advice.

She suggested we offer him a penny every time he waits patiently at a red light.

Until we started doing that, he would absolutely freak out in the car.

He doesn’t like to wait.

He doesn’t like things he can’t control.

Traffic + his being in the backseat with a limited view = intersection of all anxiety, mine and his.

I’ve written before about being pelted in the head with McDonald’s toys, having my seat kicked, having my ear drums pained by sudden blood-curdling screams, and having papers and magazines torn to pieces.

All because of red lights.  Or pedestrians.  Or bicycles.  Or buses.

Being in the car pretty much sends my kid into the deepest recesses of his autism.

Or at least it did, until we started the pennies.

Now, things are usually okay.

And this week we took the pennies to Vons and threw them into a CoinMaster machine.



He bought another nightlight.  😀

Pasadena Partners

In the wake of some marital strife – no, you don’t get details – I have concluded that the husband needs a fabulous weekend like I had in Pasadena.

I suggested it today and though we do have a lot on the calendar in the next several weeks, I think it will work with some creative planning.

So, husband, start thinking about all the guy stuff you wanna do.

I will help with reservations.  🙂

And that’s all she wrote.

Happy Thursday.


Report Card

Mom #2 asked me to give the Disneyland trip a grade…

A through F.

I have been thinking about that all weekend.

In no particular order, here are some components of the grading:

Marital Strife = B

Average level of miscommunication and failure to recognize the other’s value and contribution to the pre-travel readiness process.

Extended period of uncomfortable silence lasting through first half of drive up.

Extra credit for letting it all go and having goofy fun with camera on balcony Thursday night.

Packing & General Preparation = C+

Remembered wet wipes & bandaids (lucky for random dad on Tom Sawyer’s Island with skinned knee kid & no mom along).

Neglected to bring or draw a suitable calendar for the little boy.  Major points off for this since little boy lost track of days and after all the challenges he faced with queasiness, control issues, difficult transitions, ride disappointment, etc., he actually didn’t want to go home on Friday.

Forgot the clips I use to keep my bath towel wrapped around myself when I’m blow drying my hair.  Annoying.

Neglected to put ice in cooler with drinks and snacks.

Extra credit for remembering to bring stuffed animal and travel playdoh kit.

Points lost for leaving both of them in the car until the third night.

Car Ride for Little Boy – B+

Minor expected agitation over red lights in beginning of trip & again at end of trip.

No car sickness.

No objects chucked at mom’s or dad’s heads.

Minor wiggling and some kicking of front passenger seat.

Generally sunny disposition and willingness to go wherever necessary.  Even Target.  Because what’s a vacation without a trip to Target?  I had a craving for Riesen candies.

Extra credit for waiting through most of the CD before telling Dad to turn the music off.  Good CD for Dad and a little bit for Mom, just not for boy.

Disneyland Hotel Choice = B+

Excellent location in heart of Disney Resort.

Extra credit for immediate Goofy & Pluto sightings, extra towels, exceptionally pleasant gift shop employees and really fast elevators.

Bonus points for lovely view, but points lost for being there on a day without fireworks.

Special credit for a pool space that encourages all body types to relax and enjoy swimming with kids.

Points lost for failure to send promised text message when room was ready for check-in.

Points lost for failure to offer the creme brule through room service.  Flourless chocolate cake selected as alternative not worth $16.50 in cost, hidden delivery charges, tax & tip.  And I make better raspberry coulis in my own kitchen. 😐

Number of rides & overall amusement park experience = D

No crowds.  Best week ever to go.

Remembered to get letter from psychologist for special pass to front of lines.

Good foundation built by riding Small World first.

Excellent follow-up choices in Peter Pan and Dumbo rides.

Some points lost for failure to remember herky-jerky characteristics of Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.

Three full letter grades lost for thinking even momentarily that taking child on Matterhorn was a good idea.  Oy.  Three hours into day one and little boy was done with the rides.  Sigh.

Thank goodness for Tom Sawyer’s Island on Day 2 – perfect for mom who needed to sit in the shade a minute, little boy with too much energy and dad who never got to go to the hotel gym to continue training for upcoming century ride.

Food – B

Worst Boca burger ever at Red Robin in Tustin on drive up, but empathetic vegetarian waitress took it off the bill.

Extra credit for planning most of meals away from expensive Disney.  Who knew that Denny’s had such tasty granola?

White Water Cafe at Grand Californian has a good veggie burger, but big, bad, super dry brownies.

Coco’s is really close to the hotel.  Seriously, I like that brown bread and the Asian salad.  Without chicken.

Never got my vacation requisite Mexican food.  Sigh.

Points lost for turning in the seedier direction for supermarket search.  Why doesn’t this Albertson’s have any good cheese?!

Points lost by husband for giving all of leftover snacks to Pidgee.

Bonus points to Pidgee for keeping the location to himself.

Miscellaneous Extra Credit for…

Remembering to use our camera during the Mickey Photo Op so that we didn’t have to buy the expensive Disney version.

Going to Burger King at least once so the little boy could finally enjoy a meal and have some real fun.

Letting the little boy crawl under the big star…

And hug the row of rainbow towels when we were shopping to replace Mommy’s broken sunglasses…

Going to the Lego store and just letting the little boy hug whomever he pleased – including Woody & Darth Vader…

Remembering to get chocolate milk at seedy Albertson’s…

And that’s pretty much it…

so what do you all think?


Yeah, B.

A few sordid details to follow in the next couple of days…

Happy Sunday!