11. Back to Basics – Transcript

In this episode, we discuss the basics of self-care, such as showering, sleeping, eating, brushing your hair, flossing your teeth, attempting to look like you didn’t just wake up 5 minutes ago…

Jessica: This is Jessica,
Lewis: and this is Lewis.
Jessica: We have a preschooler and a toddler. Our children are a different kind of perfect. This is a show about surviving Parenthood throughout raising children with special needs. Well, keeping ourselves at our sanity intact. This is FUBAR surviving Parenthood with special needs kids. Hello everyone.

Jessica: Hello and welcome to FUBAR surviving Parenthood with special needs kids. This is Jessica,  and this is Lewis. Together we have two kids who have special needs. Alex, who is about one who had a perinatal stroke, and Benji who is close to four who has autism, ADHD, and developmental delays. In this episode, we discuss basic self care, what we do.

Where we struggle and what we’re working toward. I first want to talk about what self care means to us. So,  to me it means literally anything that you do to help yourself survive the day that is for you to cope or to stay healthy, you know? Anything like that. What about you, Lewis? Self care.

Lewis: Well, to me the definition would be basically anything that is able to satiate the necessities of being a living creature. So for, for me, that would be something like food, air, water, sex, Indian food, the basics for being able to survive on planet earth.

Jessica: That sounds about right. What basic self care things do we do?

So we’re not talking about like do we do yoga or get massages or, you know, like those things that we really have to go out and do. These are things like bathing, eating, dressing, brushing your teeth, going to the bathroom, all those kinds of things. So that’s really, that’s really what we’re talking about in this episode.

The really the basics. So I shower most days, weekends may or may not happen because I try to sleep until the kids wake up and then there are no free seconds until bedtime. So showers may not happen. I try to get enough hours of sleep. I brush my teeth every day. I brush my hair, I put moisturizer on myself, and I get dressed.

The things I didn’t mention, like eating are more inconsistent.

Lewis: Well, I also attempt to shower at least every other day, though. It depends whether it’s a hot day or if it’s a day doing a lot of heavy work versus passive day where I’m mostly sitting on my butt in the office, try to brush at least once a day, typically need evening floss at least once a week.

And also make sure to wipe my ass so that it shines like a marble counter top and trim my beard every month or so.

Jessica: Oh, what a shiny ass it is. My kind of bathroom routine. So like I said, I shower every day of the work week, although weekends are more inconsistent. I do brush my hair every day and try to do my hair, which really just means brushing my hair, shaking it out to get my curls to work.

And that’s about it. But it gets so hot in the morning that by the time I get to work, I have to put my hair in a ponytail and then it looks like a frizzy mess. I shaved my legs maybe once every two months. It really gets the woolly mammoth vibe going. There just isn’t time and it’s not a priority.

Sorry, Lewis. I used to floss religiously until I got pregnant with Alex. Then I had such bad hyperemesis that I just couldn’t do it without vomiting. With the push of my life coach. I eventually got back into it like six months after he was born and it was consistent maybe five out of seven days.

She and I decided that we would do three out of four self care things a day, like wear a coat if it was cold, floss, shower, and to be honest, I can’t remember the other thing. You can see how well I did with that. I did okay for a while with the flossing and then life got so crazy that I just didn’t have time in the morning to floss, even though it only takes a minute or two.

By the time I wake up at 5:45 AM, I go get my breakfast and shower and then everyone’s up. The only way I can eat my breakfast is if I do it while on the potty with a kid in my lap while getting dressed and brushing my hair all at the same time. Otherwise, no food or potty for me that day. So flossing really isn’t an option.

Although I keep getting cavities since I had Alex. So early needs to be an option. I do always brush my teeth every day.

Lewis: Oh wow. Okay. That’s a lot of information. Well, if we’re getting detailed, all right, so for me, there’s this thing, they call it a bidet. You get yourself an orbital polisher. Buffer. All right? And you get that special cream that you use for getting rid of the scratches on the side of the body of a car. All right? And don’t forget a series of mirrors so that you can get a good view of everything, all right? And then, well, trust me, you would, and then, you know.
(makes mechanical motor sounds using his mouth and tongue)
And you know, you can insert what the rest of the happens and that that, that’s my tip. Okie dokie. Then that’s quite a routine.

Jessica: Big question. Do we get enough sleep? So sleep is tough. I go to bed every day by nine. Although I want to hop in by seven, but then I wouldn’t get a chance to eat, prepare for the next day or try to decompress, let alone see my husband and I wake up at 5:45 during the weekday to get to work by 7:30 at the latest.

However, I’m in chronic pain all night and I have wicked hot flashes even though I’m not perimenopausal or pregnant, and I’m just uncomfortable. So I roll around all night. Plus still at least one kid wakes up at least once every night. So I haven’t had a full night’s sleep in over four years. So there’s really no such thing as enough sleep.

Lewis: Yeah, I try to get my eight hours in as well, but yeah, it can be be tough. Of course, you know, bad sleep hygiene, like listening to a series of YouTube videos to watch, and I’ll stumble upon a really cool science one that just blows my mind. And. Yeah. I’m a rather junkie for a good quality youtube videos.

Seems like you can often get better programming on YouTube from, from nobodies than what’d you get on cable television? Which we don’t have anyway, but that’s true.

Jessica: Eating. This is a little bit easier for me since I’m always hungry and I always want food. Since having two kids with special needs, I don’t really have time, money, or energy to do other self care things or to find ways to cope.

So food is kind of been that thing, although I know that’s a terrible idea. I always get enough for breakfast and dinner. However, I absolutely always work through lunch. Sometimes it’s so busy that I forget to breathe on those days. I either forget lunch or forget to eat part of my lunch, even though I pack my lunch every day.

Then I overdo it by eating too much or eating too much junk or sweets at dinner because I’m stressed and because I’m over hungry, so it really doesn’t work out so well.

Lewis:  Yeah, I think I eat plenty. You know enough, it’s just, it’s, for me, it’s not always the right proportions or at appropriate times, or might skip a meal during the meal of the day and then.

End up binge eating in the evening or something, and I mean, I’m a little overweight, I guess if you consider the BMI as like the infallible word of God or something.

Jessica: But still, I hate BMI, but that’s because I’m way more than a little overweight. So eating, getting enough. In is very different than eating healthfully, so I know it’s important to eat healthfully.

I also think that’s hilarious. It’s impossible. We have to buy different foods for each member of our family. We’ve such crazy schedules that we rarely do cook, although Lewis has started making small batches of home cooked food for the two of us, which has really been really helpful. We just really don’t have much time to cook, so we just heat up stuff in the microwave.

And microwaveable healthy food kind of sucks. So there’s a lot of junk or stuff with too many calories or fried foods or sweets, or we go out to a thing on the weekends and then it takes longer than we expect there and they have yummy junk. So we eat too much junk or make not so great choices.

Well, at least I do. We do bring snacks for the kids, but there is no way we are actually packing full lunches for four people plus diaper bags plus sensory stuff, plus a stroller. We have a small sedan. It really wouldn’t fit all that stuff. We couldn’t heat anything or refrigerating anything and just yuck.

There’s too much to plan for getting out of the house anyway. I’m just not going to do it.

Lewis: Yeah. Thankfully, I love cooking and some of the day, and so I do try to incorporate as much sort of healthy, I guess. You know, foods into our diet, or at least home cooked meals were recently, you know, been into like learning like tricks of like Indian cooking, their paneers and their  curries and ?? It’s calorie dense, but you know, at least it’s nutri- nutritious.

And I mean, I really think that calories are the main thing to watch outfor. It’s just depending on what you eat. Sometimes you end up tricking yourself to eating more calories than you realize. So I think in the end it’s all about the calories, but what you eat can really. Trick you into how many calories you’re eating, if that makes sense.

Disclaimer, I’m not a nutritionist.

Jessica: You just play one on TV. I feel like the stuff that you’re cooking is, I mean, first of all, it’s delicious. He’s an excellent cook, but I also feel like it has to have less sodium than what you buy and what we buy in the store in an Indian restaurant. So I feel like in that way, I don’t know, tell me if I’m wrong, but I feel like at least in that way, you know, even if it’s calorie dense, at least it’s better for blood pressure.

Lewis: Yeah, I mean, I do try to ease up on any of the, the salt for, for your consideration. So I mean, I will put some salt in there, obviously for flavor, but it won’t be an enormous amount. It will be like a few pinches or something and I kinda taste it. If I need to add salt for myself later, I can always do that.

You can Always add salt. Just trying to take it away is like impossible, really.

Jessica: I’d like to see you try that. That would be interesting. Although probably Benji could figure it out. He likes salt, so you’ll probably find pick it out. All right, so what about doing hair? I’m bad at doing hair anyway. I just, I never learned, I was never interested.

It was just. Something that I had. I have two whole styles and they take less than two minutes each. However, as you heard, things have been so crazy at home that I pretty much just let my hair dry and do its thing, and that’s how leave house, I used to be all fancy and put moisturizing cream in my hair so that it didn’t look like a ball of froze.

But then one of the kids got ahold of it and it magically disappeared. And because Lewis and I own nothing and everything is  the children’s. It’s just gone forever. There are days when I can’t even find any hairbrushes and case in point, Alex was in the bathroom earlier with me and I just saw him walk off with a bunch of Combs.

So those are gone too. There’s some days I can’t even find my deodorant. I bought an extra deodorant to have and. That walked off too, and it turned out Benji was just hoarding all of my bathroom items. So it’s really kind of difficult to do these basic self care things if I don’t have any of my stuff.

Lewis: The kids just take everything seriously considered that Benji is. Going to be like the next doctor who, or he, he somehow has acquired a pocket dimension that he uses to stuff stuff these things in.

Jessica: To be honest though, I really think Alex is worse. He, we were at speech therapy today and he every, I want to say 30 to 60 seconds, found a new hidey hole in that room to shove toys.

Lewis: And he’s the one with the pocket dimension.

Jessica: Yes. Oh yeah. Oh, absolutely. And so a few weeks ago, the occupational therapist for Benji had recommended that we do a sensory diet. So we were really trying, we were trying to implement the sensory diet to make sure that he got what he needed during the day, especially since he, then he just kind of goes completely, bat shit insane at night again today he was practically talking in tongues by about 6:40 so we put them to bed early and luckily he can’t tell time, so he didn’t know. But anyway, one of the things that they recommended was that we use a vibrating toothbrush while brushing his teeth for a few minutes. Five minutes as they recommended is not possible.

He would go out of his mind. He can’t sit still for five minutes for literally anything. This kid is like. If he’s trying to like sit down on a blanket and get comfortable, he’s like a cat just going in circles for five minutes until he just gets up and runs away. So anyway, back to the vibrating toothbrush.

We were using it for like a whole two days and then Alex got ahold of it. I’m like, eh, whatever. He can play with it. And the next morning it was gone. So we tore the house apart. Well, not literally, but like we looked everywhere repeatedly for the stinking toothbrush. Couldn’t find it. Ordered another one on Amazon.

This was like five bucks or whatever. And it was, you know, important that he had for a sensory diet. And I found it today. Lewis did, what do you think was?

Lewis:  Behind the toilet?

Jessica: That’s disgusting. But no, it was in a box of  . I see. Yes. So that was one of his  holes. Alex has a ton of  holes.

Pretty much the entire house is his hidey hole. He just takes a thing, moves it somewhere else, comes back. He’s, he’s really like a squirrel with acorns. He just keeps moving at different places and burying stuff and the ??  Where it should be and no one can find it except for him. So I guess he’s smarter than a squirrel, but you get the point, right.

Lewis: We see, actually figure out where he left him. Yeah. And regarding hair, something I figured out a long time ago is you should get yourself a big VAT of depilatory cream and just every, every so often just just dunk your whole head inside it and pull it out and boom, your hair has been liquefied so you don’t have to worry about it anymore.

Jessica: doing makeup. I know this really isn’t. A concern for you, Lewis, but yet, right. I have never been good at makeup, nor will I ever be. I know. They’re like, what trillion billion YouTube tutorials. I will just poke my eyes out. It’s not a possibility. I did use to do blush lip something. I dunno, whatever.

Whatever I did. Foundation and eye shadow before kids after Benji that got dropped down to just foundation. Now I just put on moisturizer on my face while at a stop light, if I remember it, and if it hasn’t disappeared into the mountains of trash in my car. Oh, update. So in the last episode we talked about how gross our car was.

That was actually really motivating for me. And I rage cleaned my trunk so I can actually see the majority of my trunk right now. And the majority of the front passenger’s seat floor. So this is really, really exciting. It only took five trash bags full of stuff to empty out that trunk, but it’s done now.

I can’t promise it will still be visible next week, but right now it is actually done. So how do we not look like a schlep? I always do. I’m always wrinkled. Nothing matches. I look like I just woke up and nothing fits. Like I try. I first of all. Something that Lewis knows well about me. I am anti steaming and anti ironing.

I don’t know why. I always have been. I just have this thing where I hate it. Kind of rather be wrinkled. Why? I don’t know, whatever, it is what it is. I mean, I try to wear clothes that have been hung up and are not wrinkled, but most of the clothes get pulled down by the children and so they are already wrinkled or just had been living on the floor for ages.

I don’t know where our clothes go, but nothing matches. My socks have never matched. I think since college. I don’t know where they go. As I’ve probably said before, I’m sure Alex just eats them because they disappear. We have purchased so many socks for us and for the children, nothing has a pair.

Even if we just buy all black socks and what happens is every single one of them are gone, so we can’t even try to pair them. It’s, it’s not a possibility. So I have like a bunch of gray socks and white socks and black socks, none of which are from a pair, but I, if it’s at least the same color from that day, I call it a win.

No matter what I do, I still look like I just woke up, you know, I brushed my hair and then by the time, no, Lewis is nodding. Thank you. no matter what I do, like I brushed my hair and then it freezes, or I still look tired or my clothes are like falling apart or falling off of me and I don’t have anything that fits.

I haven’t lost any of the baby weight, unfortunately. And I can’t afford to buy new clothes right now, so I just wear my baggy maternity pants, which makes everyone ask me when the baby is due. So yay for that and too tight pre-baby shirts. Well, pre Alex anyway, and I hope for the best. However, that’s again, a great way to get regularly asked when the baby is due and yeah, it’s never fun.

So Lewis, in my opinion, you never look like a schlep. So what do you do. How do you do it?

Lewis: Well, regarding socks, I guess I go crazy when my socks don’t match. I can do it, but I go out of my way to make sure that whatever I put on my feet, like both sides are like the same. I just don’t like how it feels.

My feet and ankles. Yeah. I even hate when I put on non-matching socks on the kids, even though they don’t give a shit. Like I’ll oftentimes I’ll, I’ll, I’ll pick up the socks and even if they’re not, they don’t look exactly the same. I’ll kind of eyeball them, like at the light to kind of see, all right, are they kind of closed enough?

Can I deal with this? Despite the fact that the kids don’t care and yeah, I’ll just put them on and yeah. I don’t know. I, it’s something I’ve had to deal with for a while. I need help.

Jessica: Really is the more professional thing. I’ve kind of just decided, and I decided this probably before kids, that it’s just going to be my thing. That my socks will never match and I’ll just be proud of it and the end because it’s never going to happen. And interesting story, and this should probably be my fail.

The one time I was actually recently able to get my socks to match. Oh two times. Actually, the one time, the first time I was able to get my socks to match, I put them on, got to work and realized. Geez, my feet don’t feel so good today. I, my socks are feeling weird and I took them off and I realized I was definitely wearing Benjis socks.

Hadn’t even noticed that they were my three year old socks. That was why my feet hurt. The other time. Oh, and actually they, they didn’t match. Monday I went in for an endoscopy for a possible stomach ulcer, but everything was good. So yay. And I decided to be the weird person and wore my hospital socks from when I had Alex and I walked in and they’re like, okay, I need you to put these.

And then they look down, and saw my hospital socks and said never mind. So I promptly took those pair of hospital socks and took them home so I could have one more matching pair of something. But as I’m thinking of it now, yes, they were both gray, but they had different designs. So they were from two different hospital stays, but they matched in color and they were both hospital socks.

So I’m going to call it a win. Clean clothes. So we do two to four loads of laundry a day. For tiny people our children make a ton of laundry. Technically, my clothes start out clean and washed. However, most of them have stains on them that I can’t get out. Some due to me being clumsy, some due to the children.

My pants are all ripped somewhere and inevitably before I leave in the house in the morning, I get covered in some sort of food. The other morning it was milk. I just spilled almond milk all over me, but there was no time to change, so I just hope that nobody has a working nose or working eyes.

Lewis: Yeah. I actually got called into the office once for, for having a dirty white work shirt on.

Jessica: So to be fair. It actually did look clean. I don’t know what they were talking about, but whatever.

Lewis: It was one of those, those shirts I can get dirty easily. It’s a very finely, like fine, like kind of fluffy finish cotton, 100% cotton white shirt.

So it just, anything that the air could, someone could have like farted and it would change the color of the shirt. I mean, it’s, they’re that, they’re that picky, those shirts. So after that I actually started to like. Like stop wearing them. And we were able to get some dark colored stain resistant twill weave shirts.

Jessica: Oh twill weave.

Lewis: Yeah. Cause

it was going to resist stains more and they’re going to be tougher. So I started wearing those shirts and haven’t had any complaints regarding that, at least. Although they did, I had talking to when I left some of the stinky work uniform under my desk one time, I forgot to bring it home after I had gone out and taken care of a bunch of properties and you know, after I changed and everything so.

Jessica: I never feel like I look put together or human. I see other coworkers, pretty much all of them, and they look human. They look put together, they look like, okay. They chose an outfit, they put an outfit on, they did themselves up, and then they went to work. I feel like I look like a mess and I’ve just embraced the hot mess

mom look, so that’s my new thing now I just, I don’t understand how other people do it.

Lewis: I think how they do it is they don’t have two young children with special needs.

Jessica: What I’ve noticed is that people who, it’s very easy to tell who’s a parent and especially who’s a parent or mother specifically of a special needs child because they look like a tornado just hit them.

For parents in general, they do look a little bit more disheveled, but you, you can really tell kind of the stage of non parents versus parents versus special needs parent because you just look more disheveled. The, the higher the level of the game is that you’re playing of life. So, I feel like we’re on, as my life coach says, we’re on the extra, extra super duper hard level.

And I feel like I look that. So who has the time for all this? Like I know this is basic stuff like flossing and showering and shaving and looking, not like your clothes are falling to pieces, but who has time for this? I just can’t get any of this together. And these are basic activities. It’s just too much and too hard and there’s no time.

I mean, how can any parent get this all done?

Lewis: I at this point, I honestly think that they can’t, what’s going on is we’re probably in like the Truman show or something, and everybody else is just kind of making it look like it’s so easy for them and we’re the ones who are difficult.

Jessica: It would make more sense.

Lewis: Yeah. No, I don’t actually believe that, but yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s difficult.

Jessica: The last thing I wanted to talk about related to basic self care and this kind of fits, but kind of doesn’t, but whatever I’m putting it in, it’s our show, is taking care of your health. I feel like when you have kids who have special needs, this is just a joke.

We have so many appointments for the kids that’s impossible to take care of our health adequately. I’ve been trying to get my blood pressure under control since Benji was born and I regularly take three blood pressure medications, yet my blood pressure is still in the pre hypertension range with it.

My stress level is just so high that I can’t get it down. And no matter what I do, I try so hard. I use relaxation strategies and, and you know, little coping stuff to try throughout the day to get it down. And most of the time I just can’t. Plus with eating poorly, forget it. And there’s no time to exercise, so I’m just having trouble getting the blood pressure down.

There’s no way to exercise. I wake up at 5:45 after a poor night’s sleep, get myself and the kids ready to leave, leave at seven sometimes at 6:30 like I did today. Work straight through with only breaks to pee and to run back to what I’m doing. Then I pick up the kids, take care of them until they get put to bed at seven, eat dinner, get everything ready for the next day, then it’s 8:30 and I have 30 minutes to chill before bed.

I can’t exercise with the kids in the evening because they need to be apparently glued to my body, both of them. And we also spend nine hours on meals and bath, so it just can’t be done. Plus you don’t want to do it right before bed anyway because then you get really poor sleep and yeah. I don’t need worse sleep.

The morning doesn’t work either because they take too long to eat and let us dress them. So they go to school looking like a tornado hit them. So I can’t do less to help in the morning. And there’s no time at work. I’m slammed all the time with no break. Not that I’m complaining, but there just isn’t time, so it can’t be done.

I have terrible eyesight and the kids keep hitting my glasses, so I can’t actually see out of my glasses, but I don’t have time to get them adjusted. So I just hope for the best. I get ear infections, bronchitis and sinus infections. Literally at least two weeks out of every month. So I’m always on medications for that.

The doctor said I need ear and sinus surgery to fix the problem. Lady, are you delusional? How in the hell is that possible? She said it’s a five day recovery period for the sinus surgery. so Lewis is gonna do this all alone. Yeah, no, he would be possibly literally eaten alive. It’s almost too much for four to five people to do it together.

There’s no way I can’t take off of work for that long, and then it would use up all my sick leave. And if the kids get sick, Oh well, the biggest thing is no picking up the kids. Yeah. Right. That won’t go over well and child world, but even bigger is not getting my face hit. Beni’s really impulsive and aggressive and Alex is a baby and haed buttsus and throw stuff and flails around.

So  I’m hit in  the face frequently every single day. There’s no way I can go five days without that happening, let alone the more they would probably want. It’s absolutely impossible. Update on the ear thing. I’m actually getting that done next week because, so I have ear tubes in, but apparently they got clogged, so I have hardly any hearing in my left ear and just a little bit in my right ear, which makes it really great to hear tiny voices when they talk to me.

So I have to go ahead with the ear surgery if I’m actually going to hear and I keep getting ear infections, so I’m just that I’m going to go ahead with, because it’s at this point in necessity, but I don’t actually see the sinus surgery happening anytime soon. If ever. Just going to hope that I stopped getting sick at some point in my life.

So the list goes on, but how in the world can I find time to get it done? It’s just not possible. I do take my medications religiously, but that’s about as much as I can realistically do. I mean, I know I need to take care of myself, but to be honest. Well, the kids really come first. They’re more in crisis mode than I am for most things.

So I just feel like they need to come first. What about you Lewis?

Lewis: Yeah, physical therapy for my joint disorder. You know, seeing a dermatologist annually, probably find another doctor to actually understand where joint disorders like Ehlers-Danlos and hyper mobile spectrum disorders, cause apparently no one seems to understand what those things are.

And yeah, I’ll be lucky if I can keep up with this with everything going on. But you’ve got to try.

Jessica: So in conclusion, it’s, it’s really hard. We do the best we can. You know, I’ve worked with my life coach. To try to set goals for these things and when life is on the super duper, extra, extra special hard mode like it is for those who have special needs kids, sometimes it’s really helpful to have somebody to really just set goals for these basic things like flossing, routine, showering, shaving.

Because honestly that is the only way it’s going to get done if it’s not set up as a priority and something scheduled and it will not get done. Sleep is something that I really, that I really do try to prioritize because I am exhausted all the time and that is something I’m not willing to budge on.

So I mean, I wish, I bet, got better quality sleep, but I really, really work hard on having good sleep hygiene and getting enough hours of sleep. And so, you know, I think out of all of this, for me, that’s the most important one. I am working on. Eating enough. I’ve been trying to make even a minute or two for lunchtime to make sure that I at least get food, and what I do is once I get back to my office at noon or whatever time it is, I take out my lunch.

So at least it’s sitting in front of me. So I have to see it at some point, even if I’m literally shoving it in my face as I’m walking out the door to see another patient. it’s really important the making sure to eat healthfully. I’ve been trying and I started using myfitnesspal again, but I just really struggle, especially if you’re making home cooked things and then you don’t know exactly how much of this or how much of that is in it.

And then what if you need a little bit of this and a little bit of that and you’re not quite sure how a little bit, and it just gets really hard. And then I just say, forget it. I’m not going to do it. But when I have used it regularly, it really has helped. The makeup thing, the hair thing. I don’t really care enough about to do anything like that.

The matching socks I gave up on, forget it. You know, I’m, I’m just doing the best I can and they’re taking care of my health, you know? In a way, it kind of helps knowing that I see patients every day who’ve had strokes, some of which are unfortunately young. So it reminds me, okay, you know.

Even if I don’t do every single thing I need to do to take care of myself, I do need to do as much as I can and I need to prioritize certain things like the blood pressure because otherwise I am going to be one of my patients. So that helps. Louis, before we go to fails, do you have any other words of wisdom.

Lewis: Just got to keep pressing forward. And Bend like a Reed in the wind, you know, just try and take every challenge as a comes and do what you can to make it through. I think it’ll get better,

Jessica: and now it’s time for fails, nails and comical tails.

All right, so my fail was helping Benji to find his fingerling monkey. When they were craze a year or two ago, I loved it. I thought it was hilarious. It was cute. It was really neat and Benji could care less, so it got put away and he just found it a couple of weeks ago. And then he lost it again.

Then we had to help him find it again, and for one of the nights he spent all night making it, make sounds and then giggling. Then make sounds. Then giggling and this thing is so annoying. The sounds are so annoying and he just wants to play with all the, with it all the time. And I mean, I’m glad he’s using imaginative play, but this thing is so annoying.

And then he finds it and we have to keep asking him to turn it off. And I just hate this thing. So I think he’s at the end of his interest in the fingerling monkey, which I’m glad about, but I wish I’d never helped him find it in the first place.

Lewis: Lewis me, I keep seeming like a

Jessica: everyday I trip onBenji,

Lewis: and I.

I feel terrible every time, but a little bugger. He likes to walk right in front of me. Now he does it on purpose and he’ll even tell me he’s doing it. Yeah. Cause I, I told them not to do that because I’m like, I, you’re obstructing my line of sight buddy. Like I can’t, I can’t see when. Sure that’s short.

And you kind of come out of nowhere, especially if I’m holding his brother Alex. Yeah. He just kind of sneaks in there like a sneak attack and I tripped over him and he just kind of looks at me like, you know, a dog that you trip over a middle of the night. You know? It’s just like, what did I do? Like get out of my way.


Jessica: my nail, technically I got this from what they call a special teacher, but I implemented it, so I’m calling it my nail is I helped create a calm down chair for Benji. It was really simple. He has a little Benji sized recliner in his room and we’d have that and his and a pillow and his weighted blanket, and we call that the calm down chair.

So we didn’t have to do anything to make this chair, but we sat him down and we told him, if you’re really struggling, if you’re having trouble, if you’re overwhelmed, if whatever, go to your calm down chair. So he does, whenever he’s crying or upset or having a hard time, he will go to his calm down chair, which has been really great because then it helps.

It really, truly helps him calm down. The only downside to that is he’s a clever little bugger. And he tries to use it as an escape. So last night he didn’t want to go to bed and he was crying. He’s like, I can’t go to bed. I’m crying. I need to use my calm down chair. So he did that a couple times and you know, if he doesn’t want to go potty or if he doesn’t want to eat, he uses his calm down chair.

But since he’s easily distractable, we can usually distract him or entice him into doing the bathroom or eating. So all kind of works out. What about you Lewis?


Lewis: I’m glad I just remembered to put Benji’s a bathing suit underneath his record, clothes that we’re supposed to every a swim day so that we don’t get yelled at.

So the last, at least the last two times, I think I was able to do it. So yay me.

Jessica: Yeah. He goes to school at a place that has a gym, so they have an indoor pool and the threes and the fours, they go swimming once a week, I think, four months out of the school year, which is really awesome because I know for children who have autism, there are a lot of unfortunate drownings, and this makes me really happy that potentially we can make that less likely to happen.

So I have two comical tales. Benji is really into body parts. He’s been discovering them for like a year and a half now, but they still fascinate him. So he was sitting at the table and I don’t know if this was two separate incidents or what, but he looked down cause he was, he was pantless since we were potty training.

He’s like, it’s still there about his penis. And then he’s like, is my penis mine? Can I play with it? Okay, dear. Another time, you know, at a time when he was talking about skeletons, he’s like, my fish is going to eat my bones and spit me out as a ball and give me a man’s voice. Alrighty, dear. Lewis?

My comical

Lewis: tale when I was trying to, Alex had woken up early one day and I was just trying to kind of like chill with him, like on the, on the guest bed and he, his ukulele was there, his little ukulele. And  he picked it up and he was kind of like smacking the side of it and you can hear like the little hollow like sound that it makes.

And then all of a sudden he like kinda looked around, got up really slowly, his of his arm and started to smack of self in the head. You just did a few times. Kind of looked around like confused and then started smacking ukulele again and then went back to hitting himself in the head and kind of went back and forth and he was kind of looking like, ah, why is it sound different?

And I thought it was really funny.

Jessica: Now it’s time for us to share a self care hack of the week where we share what helped us survive. Okay. Lewis, tell me what self care tool got you through this week?

Lewis: Yeah, well still working with the podcasts and that seems to be the only thing I have time for and I’m able to actually listen to it at work sometimes when I’m analyzing numbers and fun things.

Recently it was the last podcast on the left, one of those series that they did that. Those guys are pretty funny there. That’s about, it’s really like a,

Jessica: yeah, I’ve been into that for like. A year, a year and a half there. They’re very inappropriate guys, but they’re really funny. And sometimes it’s just fun to listen to something hilarious.

And Lewis didn’t want to do it and didn’t want to do it, and now apparently he’s sucked. So my self care hack of the week is subscription boxes. So this is different than what I talked about last week with the Kiwi crates. These are just for me. I’m not going to name specifics right now, but feel free to reach out if you’re interested.

One is a self care box for adults, just, it has self care stuff like arts and creams and journals and just other stuff, and it comes every quarter and I’m really terrible about using the stuff in it, but it makes me feel really good. And there are a few things that I do use regularly, so that’s good.

And there have been times when I’ve used it that it made me push myself to use more self care strategies. So I’ll call that a win. Another one is a beauty box. I’ve tried a bunch of these over the years and more when I have the funds before children, but there’s one that I get as a gift every month, and it was just like a onetime.

A thing for like, I don’t know, my birthday or the holidays or something like that. And it has some nice beauty care products and it’s great because it gives me different products that I wouldn’t necessarily buy or wouldn’t be able to afford for myself or wouldn’t even know to try for like my hair and my face.

And the cool thing is I never know what’s going to come in it. So sometimes it’s toothpaste or shampoo or conditioner or body wash, and I’m like, Oh, thank God I was running out of it and I don’t really want to spend the funds to buy some. So I haven’t had a buy any of that stuff in like a year or two because I’ve just had it, which is really nice.

So it’s self care and that, you know, I have stuff to take care of my body, but also I don’t have to spend extra money on things that I’d prefer not to spend money on. That’s my self care hack of the week. All right. That’s our show. Thanks so much for listening. This is FUBAR surviving Parenthood with special needs kids.

Well, that’s it for our show. To find out more about the show, please go to http://www.fubarpod.com check us out on Facebook with our FUBAR surviving Parenthood with special needs kids group and on Twitter @fubarpod. If you’d like our show, please click on subscribe and help us out by giving us five stars on iTunes or wherever you find our podcasts and leave us a review so other like-minded parents can find out what you like about us and discover their community in which to survive and thrive.

See you next time on FUBARs surviving Parenthood special needs kids.

Last Podcast On The Left

Fat Brain Toys
Melissa and Doug
Yves Rocher

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Please subscribe to our podcast in the iTunes store, or wherever you find your podcasts, Leave us a 5 star review, to help us know what you like and what you don’t like, and to make sure other like-minded people find support through this podcast. 

Show Music:
Lion Roar: “Lion Roar” by Iwan Gabovitch under CC-BY 3.0 License (www.freesound.org)
Intro Outro: “Intro Outro 2” by Mattias Lahoud under CC-BY 3.0 License (www.freesound.org)
Theme Song: “90s rock style” by monkeyman535 under CC-BY 3.0 License (www.freesound.org)
Self Care Song: “Green and Orange No Water” by Duncan Alex under CC-BY 3.0 License (www.freesound.org)
Outro: “Hi Daddy” by daveincamas under CC-BY 3.0 License (www.freesound.org)

Hosted by: Jessica Temple and Lewis Temple

Disclaimer: Our show is not designed to provide listeners with specific or personal legal, medical, or professional services or advice. Parents of children with health issues should always consult their health care provider for medical advice, medication, or treatment.

Copyright 2019 Jessica and Lewis Temple

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