Monday, May 4, 2015

May the 4th Be With You (Star Wars Gift Wrap)

We've talked Star Wars wrapping before, but does it ever go outta style?

Not for any little boy (or full grown man) I've ever met.

"There is good in him. I've felt it."

If you have black paper, you're practically there.

Wrap your box. Put two dabs of hot glue onto opposite edges of another full sheet of construction paper and tack down to create "shoulders" of the cape.

Type in "Darth Vader printable" and you'll find ridiculous amounts of outlines to choose from. I say outlines because who has copious amounts of black ink? Not me. Print out a guide onto some cardstock (the heavier weight will keep it from wrinkling) and let a kiddo paint in the rest. Name was traced onto some yellow construction paper and popped on with a glue stick.

Only 7 more months until the release of Episode 7, but who's counting?

Friday, May 1, 2015

Trigger Words

They're an ongoing joke at our house.

So imagine the effort it took to conceal my smile when this was among the "homework" pile that somebody brought home from the hospital.

(He was just discharged and we are SO HAPPY. And tentative and apprehensive and cautious. But mostly HAPPY.)

{those lighter circles are photoshopped out signatures he was practicing}

He had to identify his triggers - or things that cause him to rage - on a scale of 1 to 10.

1. Being weird ("when other people are you, Mom. You're usually weird.")

2. A friend being sick

3. Being left out

4. People annoying me --> crossed out and changed to --> Having a stuffy nose (understandably more irritating)

5. Getting bad grades

6. Someone dieing

7. Not being cool (worse than someone dying)

8. Not being able to watch YouTube (a consequence of bad behavior)

9. Jealousy

10. Mouth noises (or any other number of Brendan's stim behaviors)

He said that the counselor left more room between 9 and 10 as there was likely a couple of things that were that severe.

"It still wasn't enough room for all the things I could think of that were almost the I made tally marks instead."


What are your triggers?

{mine are science fair, laundry, whats-for-dinner, summer, cat litter, making appointments...}

P.S I can never thank you enough for all of the love and support that came through in your comments on the last post. I know we aren't alone in this struggle. I know we can get through this. I also know that to pretend you're strong when you don't feel strong at all is against my DNA. Every single prayer was felt, my friends. There is no other explanation for the peace that has enveloped our family.

Friday, April 24, 2015

still breathing

Life has an interesting way of plunging you down to the deepest of places, devoid of light and air and anything else you need to survive, and then finishing you off with a swift scissor kick to the face.

You want to get up.

You try to get up.

But after the umpteenth time of being shoved to the ground, you just get a freakin' pillow because it's obvious that you're gonna be there for awhile so you might as well get comfy. Should anyone dare to ask how you're doing? You literally freak them out with a full on melt down because faking bliss never was your gift.

This constant state of instability, as it turns out, is something I cannot do gracefully. I can talk the talk when it comes to being patient in trials, counting blessings, and choosing joy, but it the end I switched to waterproof mascara because it's just easier that way.

The thing that sucks about mothering struggles is that they don't just involve one person. It's dang near impossible to walk the line between being authentic without crossing into the no-fly zone of oversharing. I couldn't stand it when my mother used to blab on about the latest trouble I was getting into growing up, and no doubt it would've been infinitely worse had there actually been a WORLD WIDE web. So let's just say that we're finishing up counseling with one, beginning the long journey of diagnosis/therapy with another, bullies have been stopped, husbands gone for 5 weeks of training out of state have returned, and The Great Purge of 2015 continues. When things spiral out of control, nothing feels quite so good as throwing crap out and organizing the rest.

Those of you who have sent your happy thoughts, or cookies from Austrailia (Sam!) or books that are now on my nightstand (Kristi!),

or emails of encouragement or any other little ray of sunshine that make life just a bit more bearable to know that I THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart.

Blogging is the first thing that goes by the wayside when things get critical around here. Somehow it seems that everything "extra" gets cast aside all in the name of saving energy. Until I look around and begin to wonder if that maybe some of those routines were the things that created the energy in the first place?

And so here we are.

I can't promise daily posts....great photography...even coherent sentences may be too much to ask. But I'll be here. Sharing trivial fluff to build up my strength to make it through the heavier things that really matter.

                                                          *      *      *      *      *

{epilogue: one of my children - who shall remain nameless - was admitted to a psychiatric hospital this morning. We're not quite sure when he gets to come home. As my beloved friend and I followed the ambulance, I was laughing through the tears at the irony of just drafting this post the night before. All of my talk about remembering to still do things that lighten your heart no matter what? HA! It was as the universe had played some kind of cruel practical joke. Or perhaps, as she so lovingly pointed out, "an opportunity to put your money where your mouth is." And so I share this ever so small glimpse into my reality to inspire those of you wrestling with devastation tonight to remember what lightens your heart. Do not let go of it when the wind begins to howl.}

Monday, January 5, 2015


I know that you don't have to wait for a new year to start over, but I cannot emphasize how freeing it is to say GOOD RIDDANCE to 2014.

In a competition of cryfests, last year won the title of Most Tears Shed In A Non-Postpartum Season of Life hands down. The last six months were filled with losing family members, 2 {husband} job changes, significant trials of faith...and yet none of those possessed the ability to rip my soul apart as violently as watching the demons of the world wreck havoc on my children. Battled one at a time I could have (WOULD HAVE!) survived, but bundled together and swirled into a storm so unrelenting and unyielding? Eventually the wind prevailed and I was dragged under. My naive confidence in my infinite optimism and symbolic badges of honor from past struggles conquered I clung to with foolish pride were no life raft and went down just as quickly as I did.

The depths of despair is a real place, y'all. I thought I had every room and hallway and nook and cranny memorized by heart. Turns out I had never been to the basement.

In the last few days there have been some glimmers of light. Distant outlines of hope and just-maybes on the horizon. For anybody out there deep in the trenches, know that you are not alone in your fight for a bit of happiness.

{Cinco de Mayo makes me happy.}

I didn't do Christmas cards for the 10th year in a row, and couldn't even muster up the strength to do a recap post/letter mash up because NOTHING REALLY MATTERS.

Instead of the caca poo poo that happened, how 'bout a few moments of 2014 joy?

1. Jordan turned 14, grew taller than me, and became Boy Who Makes Me Laugh The Most. Captured on film is his father trying desperately to steal that crown.

2. I seriously have slacked on the photo taking this year. Partly because the kids are getting older and refuse to be a part of my antics, but also because my point and shoot camera from 2005 makes me hate everything. My husband bought a camera my friend was getting rid of as a Christmas present for me which stirs up feelings of excitement (!!) and guilt (!!) because now I have no excuses for slacking. No doubt I will invent some.

3. My boss doesn't leave business postcards with his photo laying around anymore knowing that I always keep scissors and tape at my desk.

4. Sierra not only got me an awesome birthday gift, but also demonstrated the wisdom that she has gleaned from her silly mother: perfect meme = perfect wrapping. Doesn't matter that it's still in the mailing envelope because I LITERALLY cannot love it more.

5. YOU.

Thank you for sticking around here even though I can't commit to consistent posting.
Thank you for your encouraging words.
And thank you for reminding me that the world is full of super cool people. For reals.

Happy 2015.

Monday, December 22, 2014

X-Men & Minecraft & Pokemon, Oh My! {Gift Wrap With Swagger}

First a disclaimer: there is nothing wrong with going traditional when it comes to wrapping Christmas gifts. It's simple, fast, and doesn't require any extra thought.

Most of us don't have any brain cells to spare come December. Too often getting all those gifts covered up becomes one more thing on the never ending to-do list.

{clearance paper picked up at Target after xmas last year}

Understated and natural may be just the look you're going for.

Or maybe some (gasp!) CARTOON wrap a la Dollar Tree will feed perfectly into your child with autism's Charlie Brown obsession.

But sometimes you find yourself deep in the darkest forest of life from which it seems there is no escape. And the only respite you have, aside from newly discovered Trader Joe candy cane Jo-Jo's, is to create little packages of happiness to remind you that there is still some joy to be found. Right below the unicorn.

Isn't that always the way?

{easy loopy paper bow directions here}

"What kind of monster are you?"

Yellow construction paper, and some freehanded black pieces.

You know what else is great for coping with unfixable trials in life? Bingewatching Bob's Burgers.

{To get Louise so big, she got cropped in two and printed on cardstock full page. They're cut out and glued together right on the neck of her dress. No seams and perfectly popping out ears.}

We talked about my love for half and half wrapping years ago. This time instead of covering where they meet in the middle with pretty ribbon, a strip of black paper does the job.

"I wanna be the very best..."

Recycled calendar pages get some Christmas Cheer topped with jingle bells. As a general rule of thumb, if you present makes noise when you shake it, nobody will notice that your yarn doesn't perfectly match the forest green in the plaid paper. Seriously people - relax already.

And lastly we have the second most popular animal associated with Christmas {right behind the unicorn}: the octopus. I am kicking myself for not gluing googly eyes on this. Rookie mistake.

From the Wisor home to yours, we wish you a season filled with much happiness, joy, and family togetherness. MERRY CHRISTMAS!