Saturday, February 09, 2008

A Good Look

Ah, winter. I am a contract employee for a living, and this time of year, the work wanes; so I wasn't working today. Instead, Mom needed a computer, so we loaded up and headed over to grab Grandma and take her to Short Pump, the location of the Mac store.

The boys have been in an unfortunate mood. They are very bickery, Andy has been having people talk to the hand instead of dealing with them, and Joey has discovered several phrases that make Mom, Dad, and/or Andy squeak in amusing protest and annoyance. It's been a bit of a long week, turning fast into a long weekend. On top of that, I have a selection of students who like to email rude complaints about my tests and grading policies, and they have been timing these emails so that I get them just as I am about to close down and go to bed, resulting in me dragging my butt to bed at 1 am instead of the planned and much needed 10 pm. Then there's tonight, when I am now overtired and wired, and its 11 pm. Bets I end up awake at 1 am again?

Anyway, we were whizzing down the street, headed to Grandma's, and apparently our van went invisible. This happens to me a lot. My car becomes invisible, and people decide they want to be in my lane. Only this time, I wasn't driving, which was a change. And then folks in front of us decided they needs to stop RIGHT NOW. Fortunately, my van has good brakes, and Allan gave up and scooted around the creeping brake-slammers.

As we accelerated to a more appropriate speed around the folks who needed to learn to drive, Joey squealed with glee, "Daddy! Look at you!"

Ah, positive reinforcement. What a supportive boy we have.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

New Design!

Because I am SO good. Do you like them? Are they pretty? Think they'll sell big-time? I just so tired of those puzzle-piece things...


I'm testing out the adding a movie thing. It didn't used to work for me, so let's see if we have progressed...

Good Morning!

So... this morning, Joey wakes up, goes into the bathroom with his Dad, points to his eye and happily proclaims, "I'm not hurt anymore!"


Wordless Retrospective: Boys in Silly Hats

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Not the Way to Start The Day

I think I cursed us yesterday. :P Yesterday started with peace and joy; this morning started with a level 10 meltdown. Yes, I'm sure you all looked at that time stamp. I'm still shaking, but I probably won't have time later to post.

Joey got something in his eye. Or he got poked in the eye. I'm not sure which. But one minute we were happily settling into a before-school episode of Signing Time, and the next moment I had Joey screaming and biting himself and thrashing everywhere. Whatever happened, it hurt. The only information I have is it was a duck (there is no duck in sight; I thought he meant Doc, because that was in sight, but he insists it isn't that) and that Andy didn't do it (and he was firm on that point, too.)I pulled him out of it before the bus came, more because I had him keep his eyes closed as much as possible- which made the meltdown worse, Joey didn't like it one bit. But the eye recovered.

I was glad to get him to the bus not because he left my hands, but because the vibration and movement of the bus is so soothing to him. Im not sure telling the bus driver about the problem was necessary, but if he's scratched his eye, it might be sensitive, and I didn't want them in the middle of a renewed meltdown without warning. Also, I thought the aide might help him keep his eye closed a little longer.

Thus begins my day. May it only get better from here for all of us. You, too.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

The Way to Start the Day

I woke up this morning in my usual chair (Joey muscles me out of bed) to find one little boy in my lap, and the other one crawling on; and both of them grinning at each other saying brightly, "Good Morning, Brother!"

Monday, February 04, 2008

Roar. Mew.

Thank you, Stimey, for my shiny new award! I'm always surprised when I get one. I spend a lot of life on fringes of things, a forgotten bounder, present but not part. I'll blog about that some time, I suppose.

Anyway, I got this cool award. It's called "A Roar For Powerful Words" and its from the Shameless Lions Writing Circle. Stimey gave it to me because I "regularly make [her] think." I wonder what I could possibly make an amazing someone like Stimey think about that she thought deserved an award. It's a humbling thought.

Part of this award is you have to come up with three things that you think makes writing powerful. I would have to say first, I think that good writing keeps in mind its audience and its goal. For blogs, this can be many and diverse; for here, my goal was to remove fear, provide grounding, and give other parents access to an experience of raising children that was accepting, joyful, and naturally human, with all its ups and downs, so that those highs and lows were not something to dread, not something dark and foreboding in their mystery. One of the great blogs I know for this ability to know her audience is MonkeyGirl at Musings of a Highly Trained Monkey. Those of you who have not yet swarmed over to her site to check out life as an ER nurse, go. Now.

Next, I would say that good writing, especially good blog writing, needs more than just a sense of humor- it needs a firm grasp of the absurd. You need more than a chuckle here and there, you need to realize that life is one long belly-laugh if you just stop long enough to take in the joke. I know Maddy at Whitterer on Autism is the true mistress of this, but she's already gotten this award. So instead I'll send you over to my other favorite ER/medico blog, Ambulance Driver. Besides, he likes getting lots of hits.

My third thing is that you have to have something to say. That may seem a strange thing to mark down, but when I was in college, I had a very serious problem with this. I was taking a wonderful poetry seminar with Andrew Salkey, which was a bear to get into because you had to apply in person with a poetry portfolio, everyone wanted to take the class, and there were only 15 slots. I was absolutely abashed to get in, especially when I walked in and found myself in a room full of English and Creative Writing majors... and me. He said straight-out that I would never be a poet. I had a wonderful grasp of language, but nothing to say. Everyone else there had the opposite problem. Without something to say, what good are words at all?

The blogs I read all have something to say, but I'll direct your attention to these:

Casdok at Mother of Shrek and her message of hope, love, and joy in her son, C. I direct a lot of families to her blog, but especially families who seem to think I can be loving and accepting of my own children because my experience of and writing about autism is "autism lite." You can accept people for who the are, as they are... no matter what challenges they may be facing.

The Autistic Bitch From Hell at Whose Planet Is It, Anyway? with her powerful reminders that autistic people are, first and foremost, people.

And then there is Big White Hat, where we find life and faith can indeed meet, and are relevant to one another. That's a good message to keep in mind.

There were lots of other folks I thought of, but most of them already had this award, and I hate to tag someone who already got tagged. Since I don't read too many blogs regularly, coming up with fresh destinations for you is- as you may notice- not too easy. I've probably sent you all of these places before. But then, i read these blogs- and the others I thought of- for a reason. I've not much time for idle blog-reading. Hugs to you all.

Boys Growing Up

Andy has been doing really well at school. As he gets more exposure to other children, he is picking up on social cues, roles and expectations. We went for a bike ride over the weekend, and he shared his bike with two other kids, quite happily. His teacher said he is doing a lot better in class, accepting the other children and playing with them, and sharing the toys. His speech is improving- lots more sentences. Even today, when he was being persnickety (Grandma was sitting the wrong was in the car, any static-y noise brought on complaints, couldn't sit to eat), we could understand him most of the time, he was playing with other children he met, and he was hugging on his brother.

Meanwhile, Joey is also coming right along. We had plenty of words after school today, He wanted to know where Miss Jill (one of our ABA therapists) was, and only took a few minutes to accept that she wasn't coming today (ABA is Thursdays). He actually tried some of the rhythm exercises for Mr. Shelby at drum lesson. He ate his dinner, cleared his place, and asked for dessert without prompting. Yes, coming right along.

They're getting to be big, big, grown-up boys. Amazing. So here's some good-luck doing-well dust to scatter around to the rest of you, to celebrate our great week- may you have great weeks, too.