Monday, October 27, 2008

Life Moments With A Child On The Spectrum #8

Adam was getting ready to do his homework. A project from his geography unit. He had to draw a birds eye map of one floor in our house.

Adam - Mom, Dad, I'll need a ladder and some duck tape.

Mom - Why do you need that to do you your homework?

Adam - How else am I to get a bird's eye view of the floor if I don't climb a ladder and duck tape myself to the ceiling?

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Friday, October 24, 2008

Greeny and George

A couple of years ago Adam found an inch worm outside. And he fell in love with him. He named him Greeny. He got a container, filled it with grass and a moist paper towel, covered it with plastic and poked holes in it for air. Greeny's new home. He talked to him. He carried him around the house. After school he'd run up to his room and grab the Greeny's home. Outside he'd fill his toy wagon with grass and leaves. He'd put Greeny in the wagon and walk him around the yard. After all, all living creatures need fresh air, he'd tell us. He'd let Greeny crawl around on his hand and he'd ever so gently pet him. Greeny became his best buddy. His little pet. Greeny even got a few bed time stories read to him.

One day Greeny was gone when Adam woke up in the morning. I told him that maybe Greeny escaped and crawled through the open window to look for his family. This helped reassure him that although he couldn't have Greeny, Greeny was out there somewhere. And happy.

A week later Adam found Greeny. Under his bed was the shriveled up remains of an inch worm. The tears came. And came. And came.

As he grieved Greeny's untimely death he talked about wanting another pet. Hubby and I agreed. It was time for a pet. After all, Adam had completely proved to us he was willing to take care of another living creature, and had done so quite well and on his own.

Because of allergies dogs and cats were out. We decided on a lizard. Off to the pet store we went. Adam choose a Gecko Lizard. He named him George (yes - based off of Tom and Jerry's take of Of Mice And Men).

George has been with us for 1 1/2 years now. And I can honestly say, 90% of the time Adam feeds, waters and nurtures George on his own. At night time I often find him propped up on his bed watching George climb around his home. I've overheard conversations between the 2 of them. Conversations of small talk, talking to George and asking him how he is doing and also conversations where George becomes the listener and confident of Adam's worries and concerns.

And to think, it all started with a little 'ole inch worm found in the grass one day.

This post was written for Parent Bloggers Network as part of a sweepstakes sponsored by Burger King Corp.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Lazy or Motivated?

Our basement is completely finished with a laundry room, rec room and a room (could be a bedroom, but because there is no exit outside on that level we can't legally call it that). It was hubby's computer room. His cave. He could play his shoot-n-kill-em games as loud as he wanted. He could make his 'comments' as loud as he wanted.

But he actually got lonely down there. And we miss seeing him. So, we converted one of the bedrooms upstairs to his new computer room. It's working out great.

Except the remains of the old computer room. We decided to turn it into the exercise room. That way the rec room is free of exercise equipment for when Adam and his friends are being wild. But the old computer room/new exercise room still has some computer stuff in it. And it also has a cardio thingy, a kickbag and my excesses bike in it. None of them usable. Because it's a half-exercise, half-computer, but-mostly-a-mess-of-a-room right now.

And I miss riding my bike. (I know, weird, but I read not-for-grad-class books when I ride - it's MY time. And I'm told that exercise will help one lose weight - although I'm still waiting on confirmation of this myth).

So, what does any of this have to do with lazy or motivated title above?

Well, I wanted to ride my bike. But I was too LAZY to clean/organize the room and/or move the bike into the rec room to ride it. So, instead I've been going on bike rides outside. As in 2 hour bike rides a few times this week. The weather has been perfect. The scenery -amazing. I absolutely love being outside this time of year with all the colors.

So - am I lazy (because I didn't want to take the energy required to move my bike so I could ride it), or motivated (because I've been going for longer rides outside instead)?

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I'm Going Back

To work. Full-time.
And I'm panicking.

Working part-time was WONDERFUL. The balance was incredible. But it just wasn't cutting it for those unexpected bills. An opportunity to go back full-time with the county and not in the classroom presented itself. A position similar to one I had years ago that I loved. And so I took it.

I start next Monday.

I only have this week left. To sleep. To do projects around the house. To read books. To be lazy. And all of a sudden there is So.Much.To.Do. Book reviews to write, more books to read and the review. Blog posts. Cleaning out closets. Catching up on scrap booking. And the fridge - how is it possible for the inside of a fridge to get so dirty? You put things in, you take them out. It's all wrapped up in a container of some sort. How does it manage to get so dirty?

I feel like I'm at the end of my pregnancy and nesting. And Stuff.Must.Get.Done.Right.Away! Because life as I know it will be changing next week.

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Forgetful Lately

Do you ever have a great topic, or even just a good topic for a post? But you're not at the computer? You're on your way out the front door, falling asleep, in the shower, in a store, in traffic instead? And then when you do get to your computer you've completely forgotten what it was?

Maybe I'll start carrying around a little memo pad for those moments. How obsessive would that be though?

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Saturday, October 11, 2008


Via DC Metro Mom's, I was invited to a VIP Sneak Preview for Fresh City - Your Daily Eatery.

OK I thought - I'll go and grab a sandwich, collect a menu and maybe go back at some point.

There's no maybe with this one though. I will go back and lots. Good think it's only a 5-10 minutes drive from my house! (for those of you near Herndon, VA, its in the Clock Tower shopping center on Centreville)

What I truly liked about Fresh City is their selection of food. Like their name, it's fresh and lots of organic stuff too! But the menu is not full of dishes that I wouldn't know how to pronounce or be leery of trying. It's basic soups, sandwiches, salads, burritos and stir frys - great American food, but good, quality food (and did I mention lots of organic choices too?).

I meet the talented Julie (of Darling Hill) and her adorable children for lunch on Friday. The staff was great, the service was great and being an opening weekend servers came around with samples of cookies and smoothies to try too. When you walk it there are menus on the walls. After deciding what you want to you go to that 'station' to order it. They give you a number and bring the food to your table when it's ready. I tried the New England Clam Chowder (I am from New England, so why not?!). It was yummy! Creamy, lots of potatoes and clams. I also had the Asiago Roast. Their bread - so yummy too!

Their website if very user-friendly. With Adam being on a gluten free diet I always have to check out a restaurant ahead of time to see if it will work for his limited diet. Fresh City's website was very easy to find the gluten free list, and I was very happily surprised to see such a huge selection of menu items he can eat there too!

I do believe this will become a fast favorite of ours on those nights we don't feel like cooking!

Thanks Fresh City for lunch!!

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Thursday, October 9, 2008

What is it with this window?

It's really just Joe Shmoe average window in a family room looking out at the backyard. There is really nothing special about it.

Except non-human living things are obsessed with it.

Remember the bird? He liked our window so much that he survived a cold and windy winter knocking on our window. Finally after about a year he stopped knocking. I was just beginning to enjoy the quiet again.

But this season? It's worse. About twice a week I find some sort of Flying Insect With Stinger (bee, hornet, yellow jacket, not sure cuz quite frankly I don't inspect him much after I squish him to death) buzzing around the window. And it's worse because he's on the INSIDE of the window.

At first I thought maybe he was getting in somehow via the screen. We've been opening the windows a lot to let some fresh air in, now that it's not sweltering outside. So I stopped opening the windows. And somehow once or twice a week I mange to find/hear another Flying Insect With Stinger buzzing at the window trying to escape through it.

Really. What is it with this window and non-human living things?!?

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Back to Reality

While hubby and my weekend getaway was more than awesome, Adam's weekend was not.

My parents came down to see the new niece and had no problems watching Adam Saturday night. Adam seemed to be OK with it too - he would still be spending Saturday and Sunday at my sisters house and playing video games with my brother-in-law, so he was all set.

Then Sunday morning my Mom left a message on my cell phone. Adam was refusing to take his meds. He has not.once ever tried this. By the time I had called her back he had taken them, but I also learned that he was grounded from video games for the day from my Dad. Because he:
-wouldn't brush his teeth
-feed his lizard
-instead of going to bed went into my room and watched TV for an hour
-wouldn't wear sneakers with laces in them
-talking back
Basically treated them like crap.

My Mom who felt he was acting this way because we weren't there was trying to convince my Dad to let him have video games so they could enjoy the day with him and have him lose video games Monday (when I had him). I told my Mom no, he lost them for the day and to tell Adam to be lucky it's only for 1 day. We've been having 'attitude' problems with him brewing for a week or so, so I doubted it was ALL because we went away.

So, we all get reunited and he just has a smug look on his face while being talked to by me. And his attitude doesn't improve during the day. I told him we could keep going away and having my parents stay with him until he listens to them. That got the smug look wiped off his face.

But, the attitude remained high all day. It remained all of Monday at which point he lost all screen time. Then it remained all of Tuesday at which point he lost everything. No screen time. No playing with his toys. No playing with his friends. He also had to respond to any request by me with a "Thanks Mom, I'd love to do 'x'. You're the best!" (hey - you gotta put humor in at desperate times!)

One would think this would be motivation to improve one's attitude. To get stuff back.

Nope. The attitude continues. The arguing continues. The stalling continues. We're not going to even talk about the battles to get homework done.

I think 5th grade is going to be a very long year. I'm really, really, really not looking forward to the teen years.

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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Going Away, or not, or maybe - Part 2

Oh, right. I left you with that cliffhanger last week.
We went. And it was Absolutely.Amazing!

Way, way back, like, as in last year, I wrote this post for The Parent Bloggers Network. And I won a purple package from Excitations!

Excitations is this really neat concept where you can buy experiences in different regions of the country. And all sorts of experiences too.

Because I'm really picky and also a big fan of wine (which wasn't in the purple package, but was in the green and orange package, and the green and orange package value equaled the purple package value) I asked the nice folks at Excitation if I could trade a purple for a green and orange. No problem!!

So we did. For our orange package we chose a picnic at the winery. And then I got brave. I decided this would be just hubby and I -a night away from Adam - for the first time. We'd get a hotel room. We'd relax. We'd talk about stuff like we used to without being interrupted by Adam. We'd have fun.

With a minor glitch, we were on our way last Saturday to Pearmund Cellars. Nestled away in (what I consider) country, but only 45 minutes outside Washington the drive was scenic, especially this time of year.

After tasting their classic wines, we got to pick a bottle to take with us on our picnic. We were given a choice of sitting out on the terrace, or finding a spot on the grounds. We choose the terrace. Overlooking the vineyards are small tables under a trellis. This weekend there was some guy with his guitar singing songs. Our table was elegantly set with tablecloths, flowers and settings. For our first course we were served cheese, fruit and sausage. The main course was turkey salad, croissants and macaroni salad. Dessert was a scrumptious cheesecake with cherries on top and an eclair. Midway through our meal Mr. Pearmund came by to chat.

So, for three hours we sat, ate and talked while enjoying the music and scenery on one of the most gorgeous days of the season. It was amazing.

Afterwards we drove out to Winchester for the night.

On the way home Sunday morning we were already making plans for our next adventure without Adam. I can't believe I waited so long to do this!

Huge thanks to Excitations and Pearmund Cellars for a very enjoyable weekend! We'll be spending the other half of our Exciations experience at Pearmund Cellars too!

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Thursday, October 2, 2008

Going Away, or not, or maybe?

I've got another post up over at DC Metro Moms.

Update: my new niece is doing wonderful as is Mom, Dad and Big Sis. It's been a FUN but busy week helping to take care of the Big Sis and help out my sis too. Folks are coming down tomorrow, so Hubby and my weekend getaway is now a maybe. Since I had already cancelled our plans I have to see if I can reschedule them. And if so - we're OFF!!!!

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