Just another Minnesota Mom blog.

Holy S%*& Balls

Posted: June 4th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Stream of Consciousness | Tags: Manic Mommy Monday | 3 Comments »

Tomorrow is the last day of school.


Let me say that again in case you didn’t hear me the first two times:



It kind of snuck up on me.

Apparently even though Minneapolis public schools get out later than everyone else in this fair state, I can still be totally unprepared for the end of the year.

Last week I was day dreaming about the end of the year gifts for their teacher and therapists and aides and then all of a sudden it was Sunday night and my plans to get crafty via Pinterest so I could bring their gifts to their end of the year party tonight were looking dismal.

With the help of one Great Aunt (who is pretty great) I was able to whip out these cuties without a moment to spare:

Thanks for Helping Us Grow flower pots

I am not that crafty to begin with, so I am kind of impressed that we pulled this off.

So, tomorrow is the last day of school.

All year long I kind of convince myself that the year just isn’t going to end, that we’ll have the same teacher and aides forever and it will always be great.  Not that I’m concerned about their new teachers and aides.  It’s just hard to shake things up when they are going so well.

Now we have a few weeks before summer session starts.

Which means the past 2 weeks of gym going might get all messed up again.

See, I didn’t go to the gym for like a month.  And then I started going again and it’s been awesome.  I even managed to maintain the weight loss I had up to that point.

Yogi Dad and I have even got aspirations to do the Fraser Triathalon next July (relay style- anyone in the metro want to be our biker in 2013?).  I met some pretty convincing women in the locker room the other day and not only were they very complimentary of my swimming, they both live fairly close and one has an adult son with autism.  I feel like I struck gold!  Even if they are much older than I am.  It’s nice to put names to faces in the pool.

We have had out of town visitors for 10 days now.  It’s going pretty well.  I wish I would have taken some picture of all the home improvement/ fixes that Yogi Dad’s dad did for us while he was here.  It was awesome.

I think the biggest thing would be finishing off the fence and blocking off the garden from the kids.

Everyone is contained!

They aren’t pulling all my plants up!

We also got the best compliment I could ask for from the neighbor across the street.  HE said he hasn’t seen our yard look this good since the 70’s.

Considering we have no idea what we are doing and we are pretty much starting from scratch, I’ll take it!

On a different note.  My cat is a killer.

A killer of baby bunnies and a collector of dead birds.

She started getting out last week and now thinks it’s her job to roam the neighborhood and bring me presents.

I about had a heart attack when she cam prancing down the sidewalk with that baby bunny in her mouth.  She, of course, couldn’t have been prouder.

13 years old, never been outside for more than a few hours when she escaped a few years ago and now she’s going all out.


I should probably get her a big bell for her collar.


I should probably wrap this up and head to bed.  Anyone catch Mad Men last night?  I kind of saw that coming.  I can’t wait for next week.  On the other hand I don’t want this season to end!

Link up to Manic Mommy Monday! hosted by The (always awesome) Gnome’s Mom.

House Keeper

Posted: May 21st, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Cleaning | Tags: Manic Mommy Monday | No Comments »

Friday my sister arrived in town for the weekend from Kansas City ans we did a pretty thurough cleaning in case they stopped by our house. It wasn’t really in the plans but I figured I needed to up my game with out of town company. So I cleaned and also take advantage of this and also did some repairs since the roof were broken so we get professionals from http://www.palmbeachroofingexpert.com/ to fix it.

Then we were at my moms from Friday until Saturday afternoon, so the house *stayed* clean for 24 hours. Who cares if no one was there to mess it up- 24 hours is some sort of record!

Then yesterday, on top of us being outside for most of the day, I busied myself with doing dishes and taking care of little messes before they became big messes all day long. I folded all the clothes while I listened to the radio from 7-9 (as per usual) and I scrubbed my sink within an inch of it’s life before I went to bed.

This morning I woke up, did a load of laundry, got the boys off to school (where they have own school cleaning services) and then proceeded to clean clean clean all day long.

It was insane! My clothes are all put away, all the fall/ winter clothes are removed from my drawers. The dishes were all done and I was busy making dinner when Yogi Dad got home…I even got a blog post done while Judah napped!

I have to give credit to this no blogging on the weekends thing I put into effect last week. Not falling behind with housekeeping on the weekend means I have a head start on Monday and when shit hits the fan, it’s really not that hard to recover from.

Actually I probably shouldn’t jinx it, considering I’m only 3 days into a clean house.

I also discovered Judah is not a fan of the vacuum cleaner. If I tell him I’m going to vacuum, he’ll repeat to me “vacuum floors? vacuum floors” and then he will run from whatever room we are in and sit on the couch and cry, our floors are porcelain tiles with a wood effect so I always make sure they are clean.

Poor kid..

There are very few things Judah is afraid of and if he wasn’t so sweet sitting with his legs straight out in front of him and his hands on his legs sniffing back tears I might giggle at how comical the scene is.

So that is my Monday- not as manic as usual. Maybe there is something to this clean house thing? But just in case this is just a phase I am going through I have already found a few phone numbers for domestic cleaning services in Bournemouth.

I’m linking up this post to the Manic Mommy Monday hop hosted by The Gnome’s Mom– mostly because she is awesome but also so that I can remember to stop and record my daily life once in awhile. You should try it!

And then they dropped all the branches on my garden.

Posted: May 7th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Living in the City | Tags: Manic Mommy Monday | 1 Comment »

So, remember that post from yesterday where I talked about all the work we did in the yard despite the tree coming down on Friday?

Well, the power company came out today to remove branches from around the power lines and although it was really fun to watch them up in the cherry picker, they apparently don’t work as cleanly as the city does.

Last summer we watched as the city came and took down an Elm tree across the street from us.  You could barely tell they were there after they were done.  I assumed this is how it would go today.

Not so much.

The roof of the garage is littered with branches.  Our yard and driveway are covered.  I can’t really see my straw bales but I am hoping they are still standing!

It sounds like the tree service will be tasked with taking care of the debris, which is fine.  I totally understand that the electric company isn’t in the business of disposing of trees as much as it’s in the business of making sure their wires are in tip-top shape.

On the other hand, if you have pets in your home, then you should design your backyard or garden with them in mind. A space which is friendly for your dog will keep it happy, healthy, and safe. Well, I got a guide for designing a friendly backyard for your dog.

I just really hope once this is all over it looks like no one has been here!

Link up to the Manic Mommy Monday hop hosted by The Gnome’s Mom!

IEP’s, Dirty Dishes, and Sour Beer

Posted: April 30th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Stream of Consciousness | Tags: Manic Mommy Monday | 1 Comment »

I am still recovering from this weekend.

Friday I went shopping in the afternoon and spent mot of my evening potting plants, baking brownies and drinking wine while Yogi Dad was at the baseball game.  I went to bed with the dishes piled in the sink and on the counter.

Saturday I had a funeral in the morning and then Yogi Dad and the boys met me and we drove to a family barbecue.  We got home long past the boys bedtime and collapsed into bed with dishes still piled into the sink.

Sunday we had a fairly lazy day (of trying to catch up on the dishes in the sink) but I ended the day with my big grocery shopping trip (where Target owned me big time) and then I finished out the night with a handful of blog posts, a massive pick-up of the playroom and a little Facebook action.  You guessed it…there were still dishes in the sink.

Today we had the boys IEP meeting and as usual, I have absolutely nothing to complain about.  I seriously think we hit the jackpot here and I hope our luck continues.  I am super excited for next year when the boys will be in separate classrooms.  They have only been apart on one, maybe two occasions and I am interested to see how they react to being split up.  It’s not like they play together, so I don’t think there will be any anxiety about being apart.  Only time will tell.

After the IEP meeting Yogi Dad and I went to a favorite brew pub for an early dinner and a beer.  I am quickly falling in love with sour beers- it’s like beer for wine drinkers and it’s so light, fresh, crisp and just generally amazing.  I’m going to have to start actively looking for these when we stock up for the summer.  Total yum.

My dishes (well, not the same ones from Friday) are still piled int he sink and calling my name, but I have some things to do tonight- mainly finish up my review of the Bum Genius Freetime for the big cloth diaper giveaway hop that starts tomorrow!  After that?  I might just collapse into bed 😉

Check out the other Manic Mommy Monday hop hosted by The Gnome’s Mom!

April is Almost Over!

Posted: April 23rd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Autism | Tags: Manic Mommy Monday | 4 Comments »

Manic Mommy Monday!

Well, I still have a  week or so, but yeah.  Autism Awareness month flew by.

Last April I tried to write a post every day and although I didn’t make that goal, I had quite a few posts.  This year I feel like I am dropping the ball right and left.

I did have an article published in the newest edition of Multiplicity Magazine (I start on page 70) about the importance of Early Intervention and that was pretty exciting.

But I think this year, Autism is just so much part of our routine, I kind of tend to forget about it unless we have plans to go out beyond our front door.  Because that is when I start to break a sweat and become hyper aware of everything around me and how my kids are acting.   I’m not to the point where I don’t care what people think.

But, that is not what I was planning on talking about!

I was going to talk about how far the boys have come in the past year. (Among other things.)

So, for starters.  Lincoln.  He didn’t talk until December.  And now…well let’s just say the only time he is NOT talking is when he is asleep.  I love it.  He wants your attention all the time.  He will come right up to you and grab your hand and force you to engage him, saying over and over what he wants until you acknowledge him and what he is saying (it’s just so damn typical!).  It is just so amazing I don’t think you can fully wrap your head around it unless you have had a non-verbal kid who does not engage.

Last July I wrote this post and at the time we really thought there might be a chance he would never speak.  Actually, we thought that all the way up until the moment that he did.  And then I thank God that I did not listen to anyone who told me I jut needed to wait it out because holy shit, what has happened in the last year has been amazing and it wasn’t going to happen on it’s own while we sat around and waited.

And then we have Wyatt.  Wyatt is a different animal than Lincoln.  Wyatt has his speech down and he does engage but he has a pretty typical trait of autism that Lincoln does not: he likes to script.  Wyatt will recite episodes of Super Why from beginning to end even though he has not watched TV on a regular basis since our TV was retired to the recycle bin in January.  After the boys teamed up to push it onto the floor.  That was a big crash.

The end of TV in the living room was the best thing we ever could have done.  The engagement of both boys has grown by leaps and bounds.  The other thing that has helped is finally getting our playroom back in order.  Last spring and summer we dealt with a flooded basement every time it rained until new gutters were installed.  It took us almost a year to actually trust that we wouldn’t be pulling back carpet and sucking up water with our carpet cleaner after every downpour to try and make it a usable space again.  But we did it and it’s got a few finishing touches left but I am hoping to have my reveal up next week!  Now that they have a designated place to go, we are there all the time.  Our house is less chaotic and everyone seems  a little happier.  I am loving it!

I’m back into brain dump territory here so I am just going to cut myself off!


Post Walk Brain Dump

Posted: April 16th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Autism | Tags: Autism, Manic Mommy Monday | 1 Comment »

Saturday we had the Fraser Walk for Autism.

This was the first “event” that we’ve participated in since the boys diagnosis in December 2010.  Everything else was a bit too soon but this year, we were ready!

I’ve never been a fundraiser and I was a little be apprehensive about setting a goal at double the suggested minimum team donation, but I figured we could scrape together $300.  I chose $300 because the cost of an initial evaluation at Fraser (not the medical eval, the get you in the door and explore eval) is $150 and since we’ve got two guys there  it only makes sense to raise enough to cover two evaluations.

Well, we covered five and some change!  Up until last week I was one of the top fundraisers, not something I expected at all.  In total they raised over $75,000.  So that was pretty awesome.

Thank you to everyone who donated on behalf of Team Clotfelter.  Family, friends, people I have never met in my life.  I am so grateful we were able to give that back.

So, the walk.

It was good.  We got there and the first thing I thought was “which kids have ASD?”  It was different to be around so many families just like ours where our kids and their quirks don’t stand out quite so much.  It was a good feeling.

I had one little break down.  Well, *almost*.

Before the walk they had some dancers from a local dance school preform.  It was great, Lincoln was laughing and clapping through each dance.  Out of the corner of my eye I saw one dance getting ready, she had Downs.  I thought that was pretty cool.  When her group was called up the announcer talked about how this group of dancers was made up of 20+ special needs girls (Downs, ASD, CP etc.), some who had been dancing together for 12 years and their partners- other girls their age.

Turn on the water works.

It was just so awesome to see pre-teen and teenage girls spending their free time to help these girls enjoy something like dance.  I have to say I don’t think 14 year old me would have done that given the opportunity.  Of course we were in the very front so I was begging Yogi Dad to tell me something funny so I could pull it together.

I have a feeling there will be moments like this at all the events we attend over the years.

The walk itself was fun- it wasn’t a 5K or anything.  It was just walking around the 1st floor of the Mall of America and they had booths set up along the way.  The boys got to hold a bunny from a therapy animals group on their lap.  Lincoln looked at the handler and said “Does this bunny have eggs?” (I think the Easter Bunny book has really left an impression!).  Then we met a Peep from the Peeps store (another big hit with Lincoln).  And then we ended at the sensory booth put on by their therapists at Fraser.

That was probably the most fun of all- music, ball pit, art projects, bubbles.  And of course seeing their therapists outside of Fraser!  (Sorry for the blurry pic- Wyatt was a squirmy worm!)

Judah had fun too:

It was a good way to spend a morning.  I’m sure we will be back next year.

Meet The Slacker Mom!

Posted: March 5th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Parenting | Tags: About Me, Manic Mommy Monday | 3 Comments »

It’s week one of The Gnome’s Mom’s new Monday blog hop- Manic Mommy Monday!

Manic Mommy Monday!
Since it’s still all shiny and new and because she is taking this opportunity to introduce herself, I thought I’d introduce myself to those who may be new. (This might get a little stream of consciousness on you, it’s late and I am tired.)

So, I’m Erin. I live in Minneapolis. I have curly hair. I hate it. Seriously, not all curls are created equal (can I get a what-what from the curly girls?). I was also blessed with a nice gray streak at the age of 21. A horrible combination if there ever was one. Wow- I am really hating on my hair today…

I should move on.

I have three boys. They were born 21 months apart. My youngest is 19 months old and I look at him and thank my lucky stars I was not pregnant for the last 7 months because oh holy hell that was hard to have infants while pregnant! Not to mention it was hard having three kids under the age of 2. Did I mention his older brothers are twins?

What am I saying? It couldn’t have been that bad. We’re still talking about having another one so either we have both lost our minds or we are just really cocky and think we could actually handle it. I’m not getting any younger, we’d rather have our kids all fairly close in age and get out of the baby stage ASAP and move on. Also, we really love being stretched to our physical and mental limits and we are pretty sure one more would stretch us just enough. (I’m sure my mother will say we are stretched enough as it is.)

Well there it is- our reproductive dreams out there for all to see. Maybe I should address something a little less personal?

Why The Slacker Mom?

So- there seems to be this rush to choose a camp (crunchy mom, alpha mom etc.) and obviously, I chose the slacker mom camp. It’s not original but it’s totally true, I was even mailing it in when it came to researching a name for my blog. I said I wanted to call it HalfAssedMom and Yogi Dad (my husband who is in no way a slacker) said “no way”. So I typed in TheSlackerMom instead and huzzah, the domain was available. (In a strange turn of events I was recently followed on Twitter by HalfAssedMom. She was smart)

And then a few months later I realized everyone and their mother has SlackerMom somewhere in their domain name. There was even a book- Confessions of a Slacker Mom or something like that. (It took a long time to knock those Amazon listings off the top spot in a Google search let me tell you.)

So what makes me a slacker mom?

– Pajamas- if we aren’t going somewhere, everyone is in pajamas all day long. If they ditch their PJ’s and run around in nothing but their diaper- as long as the diaper is on, I really don’t care. This is absolutely a regular thing- like multiple days of the week if at all possible.

– I am 1 month behind on the 18 month well-visit for my youngest. I completely missed his 15 month. The twins are 4 months behind on their 3 year visit. What? They are all scheduled for this month. Promise.

– I never got around to buying snow pants for the youngest because winter was so mild I was hoping we might not need to. Of course now there is snow on the ground and no snow pants to be found. I should know better.

– I’m OK with the boys watching TV (although now it is rare). They have had plenty of sweets in their young lives. I got over my self-imposed all fresh all organic all scratch made foods thing really quickly. I need to pick my battles and fighting over food is not going to be one of them.

– I take the path of least resistance. If they are destroying the kitchen, I put up a gate and lock them out. When they were tearing apart their dresser every night we put all three beds into one room and the dressers into the other room and called it the “Family Closet”. Never-mind teaching them right from wrong, I need whatever is going to be less of a mess for me to pick up.

I could go on all day!

More about me…I cloth diaper and am a complete addict. Lori has me switching over to wool and I get excited just thinking about it.

I’m fairly liberal and am easily riled up by things like abortion, gay rights, conservatives thinking they corner the market on morality and talk show hosts calling women sluts simply because they take birth control. Among other things. Usually that all plays out on my Facebook page if you want in on the action.

I was kind of obsessed with the idea of breastfeeding which has never actually worked really well for me. Ironic that someone that is so gung ho would have such a crap supply. I’ve worked through most of my guilt and fears and pain and sadness over that through the Breastfeeding Blog Hop last year, I honestly started to get physical pain and had to get a prescription pain relief treatments in order to feel better.

My twins have Autism- so that can be a big theme over here, on the flip-side, sometimes it’s so all-consuming that I don’t actually write about it.. I now host the hop each Thursday and hope that everyone finds as much support as I did.

I recently joined a gym and am trying to get into better shape before we jump back into TTC. I’m having mixed results- although that widget over on my sidebar isn’t synched or something because it takes like 3 days to register a loss which kind of makes me think it’s holding my bad eating choices against me. Like if I lose a pound somehow it thinks because I had 6 glasses of sangria over the course of the weekend I must be ling…I hate that widget.

Anyways. Me in a big ol’ nutshell. Are you linking up?