Sunday, September 30

Slowing Down

"On a scale of 1 to 10, how bad is the pain?"
"Listen doctor, I've experienced natural child birth; that's a 10.  Don't get me wrong this hurts, a lot.  But in comparison it's probably only a 5."

And with that the doctor recommended alternating Tylenol and Motrin and icing my separated nasal cavity every few hours.

What had started out as an idyllic Saturday morning; laying in bed with the boys and Husband.  Cuddling and snuggling, goofing around a little; had turned into TT crashing the back of his head into my nose and separating the cartilage from the bone.

We spent nearly 4 hours hours in the, normally very quiet, emergency room.  Clearly the ER's advertising on TV was paying off by the number of people they were seeing that morning.

But it could have been worse; and thankfully it wasn't.

We were due at my step-dad's Uncle's house for a family gathering later that afternoon.  Clearly I was in no shape to go.

And then the day got worse.  Details of which I will not go into now... but no one has passed and no one has been injured, no jobs have been lost. There are some things in life you dread, yesterday was one of those days.  But I will fight on.

In the meantime I am taking care of nose, and trying not to over do it (as I have a tendency to do).  I am resting, icing my nose, playing with the boys (although I will admit I am a little nervous when TT is around my face), making banana bread and taking cat naps.

Tomorrow is Monday.  Tomorrow is a new day.  Tomorrow I start aggressively looking for help.  In the meantime... resting up and being thankful for my family.

Tuesday, September 25

You Read It Here

Some of the funnier conversations with RR lately....

1st here's a now infamous one I posted on FB lately:

Me: RR that's not the shirt you wore to school.
RR: I know.
Me: What happened?
RR: I accidentally fell into the into the urinal and I accidentally flushed it on myself.
Me: That was an accident?
RR: Ok, maybe not really... and guess this I only lost 5 minutes of lunch... no lost recess time.

Or this gem from the other day:

Me (upon entering RR's bedroom): Why don't you have pants?
RR: Because I am getting naked.
Me: Why are you getting naked?  It's the middle of the afternoon.
RR: Because I always do my homework naked.  

Or how about this one while we were driving the other day:

RR - rambles on and on about Wizard 101 (a video game)
Me: Hey, RR, did you know when having a conversation both people are suppose to talk?
RR: So?
Me: Well we're not having a conversation, you're just talking and I'm just listening.  
RR: I like talking.
Me: So do I.  Can we have a conversation now?
RR: No... what's this called a monologue?   

Monday, September 24

Feeling Like...

Tonight I feel like Superwomen.  Or better yet, Super-Mom.

A sticker RR got me for Mother's Day a few years ago.
I keep it on the fridge.
I will admit I don't often feel like Super-Mom.  Every day seems to be more of the same, too much to do in too little time.

But the stars aligned tonight.

It was a decent day in the office and traffic was light coming home.

We had an awesome dinner of French toast, baked apples and sausage.  It was one of those meals everyone helped cooked... well, OK... TT sat in his high chair and licked beaters of fresh whip cream and colored.

I had time to play with each of the boys and got in two nursing sessions before TT went to bed.  Not to mention Husband and I got TT's room cleaned up while he "helped" us.

Stories with both boys... and then I made dinner for tomorrow night (chili) before getting the dishes the done and putting in two miles on the elliptical.

And for bonus points, I held it together when RR spilled water all over his bed as I was tucking him in.  Yes, it was in a closed container, I really have no idea how he pulls these things off.

Ahh... off to cap of the evening with sometime with Husband.

I love it when days come together like this.

Book Review: The Book of Tomorrow

The Book of Tomorrow By Cecelia Ahern.

This is the second book I've read by Cecelia Ahern, The Gift being the first book by her that I read.

This book is a quick read, a little slow to start but by the end you will not be able to put it down.  The book center around a teenage girl, Tamara, whose life is turned upside down with the death of her father and the uprooting of her family - and really that's all I can tell you without giving away the story.

Really... you should read this book; just so you can see how it all turns out.

Saturday, September 22

The Fair Edition

This weekend was our annual town fair.  It's an event we've enjoyed going to ever since moving to this town.  Thursday night is fireworks - but those were cancelled this year because we are in a Triple E mosquito lock-down (after dark activities are strongly discouraged).  Then the fair runs Friday night through dinner on Sunday, with a parade Saturday morning.

The fair offers rides, local vendors (our friends Tom and Kathy sell the best honey and kettle corn), local clubs (all hosting kid games for charity), 4H exhibits, food, agricultural, food and craft competitions.  They changed the way the kids exhibits are judged (now done on the danish system; whatever that means and how it compares to how things were judged before) - but Ray still won plenty of blue, red and white ribbons for his photography and crafts - and yours truly placed in 2nd for her chocolate chip cookies.  Ha-ha!!  I knew I was a good baker. 

Waiting in line for the plane ride.

RR picking up the older chicks on the til-a-whirl.

Yummy apple!!

RR showing off the cookie he decorated himself.

TT checking out the tortoise.

He's a goof.

Hanging out on the merry-go-round w/ Daddy.

Big slide!!!

So - you know what happens when your kid gets to be 36" tall?  They get to go on the kiddie rides ALONE!!!  Yeah, that wasn't happening but I did let him go with his big brother.

I spent the entire ride chasing their cart around yelling "Hold onto your brother!!".  Yes, the dragons "flew" in the air.  

He's a natural.

Gathering up all the chickens at "farmer for the day"

Watching the chicken races.  

Wednesday, September 19

Test Subject

At the beginning of the summer I learned about a research study being conducted at UMass Amherst that was looking for children volunteers.

The study was in regards to the communication characteristics of Asperger and High Functioning Autistic children versus nuero-typical children and was being conducted by a doctoral candidate as part of her thesis.

RR fit the criteria, and after getting more information on the study I asked him if he would like to participate.

He eagerly agreed.   RR loves doing little tests and showing off for people.  RR loves talking.  Oh, and he really loves money (yes, I told him he could keep the stipend).  

So he got all signed up and we waited.  And waited.  And waited some more.  The study was suppose to happen in two sessions over the summer.  When September rolled around I thought it had been called off; and then we got the e-mail with dates and times.

This past weekend we ventured off to UMass - and what a venture; apparently street signs are not allowed in Amherst.... and RR got to go and do his part.

We sat in a sound booth with a two way mirror.  He sat on one side with the assistant that preformed the test and I sat on the other side (so cool to watch him and hear him in stereo) with the doctoral candidate (DC).  He got to wear a microphone that would have made Justin Bieber jealous.   

aaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh  - he went
ppppppppeeeeeeee ppppeeeeee - he

He made up stories based on pictures they showed him.  What a story teller that boy is.  DC commented about how you could tell he had a superior IQ based on the words he chose and how he told the stories (she had a copy of his profile which included his IQ scores and diagnosis).

They sang Happy Birthday... he forgot the words.  Oh wait, he forgot the words to the "regular" version... but he knows the one when you sing about people smelling like monkeys.... happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, you smell like a monkey and you look like one too.

45 minutes later he was done.  Done and jazzed, so excited.

He signed his first consent form, and I signed as well.  His voice recordings have been released (with no identifying information) to be used in conducting research and shared with students for educational purposes. Man, did he feel like a grown-up signing the form.  His chest was all puffed out and he wrote as neatly as possible.

So proud of my boy.

And many thanks to John Elder Robinson for turning us on to the study.  You can read more about it here.

Tuesday, September 18

Mad Baby

I wanted to take a picture of TT tonight... his curls are growing back.  Did I mention he got his first hair cut a few weeks ago?  Oooppsss... I'll get to it.

Anyhow, he wanted nothing to do with Mommy taking his picture. He wanted the camera she had.  So he got mad.  And I just had to take pictures of him getting mad; because it was funny.  (Sorry little buddy.)

Sunday, September 16

Random Ramblings

A few random thoughts I have had this week:

Wine should be served at school open-houses.

There should be valet parking at open-houses as well.

Why do maternity wards offer valet parking only during 9am and 5pm?  Wouldn't a women in labor at 2am be more likely to want valet parking?

It should be easier to remove and install window AC units.

Is my child this hyper when he's alone with others?

Why aren't babies born with teeth?  It, this whole teething business, seems like a cruel right of passage for everyone involved.

Tele-porters.  We really need to step up the technology on developing and implementing these.

Tuesday, September 11

Talking to Our Kids

Over dinner the other night RR started telling us about the 9/11 tragedy.  Some of his information was incorrect, but it was mostly not understood by his eight year old brain.  When I asked him where he learned about 9/11, my brain raking for answers and concerned about his impression of this date, he answered "Mr. Baker our music teacher.  We're leaning songs about."  Oh dear.  "Oh and Iush told me, we watched videos about it at his house."  Iush being the boy that lives across the street.  Double oh dear.

I quickly and quietly blamed myself for not talking to him about it sooner.  But like most things in life, that are BIG subjects I've waited for him to ask me.  Once he has asked me I haven't skated around the truth, but have rather chosen the direct and simple answer approach.  We've had a few BIG talks in the last year.  We've talked about his biological father and the past with him.  We've talked about how babies are born.

But why do I skirt around other subjects?  Why didn't I set him straight about 9/11 when he brought it up?  Why when he asks about Santa I don't tell him the flat out truth?  Rather I use the cop out "Santa is a feeling during the season."  This kid has been questioning Santa since he was like 5, if not earlier.  Dam... girl, get over it and just tell the kid the truth.  Why is Santa such a big deal?  Maybe because I'm not ready to admit he's growing up, and ready to talk about world events like 9/11.

And all this thinking about talking has made me wonder about talking to him about his Asperger's.  He's heard Husband and I mention it, the word is not foreign to him.  Does he know more about it than I expect? Family, friends and the various mental health professionals seem to be split on talking to kids on the Autism spectrum about their disorder(s).  Some camps are all for, the more information the better.  Other camps stress not telling your child they are different.  But really who is to say a nuerotypical person is normal?  What is the deciding factor?

I know I certainly don't want him learning about sex for the first time in the boys locker room in middle school.  So I guess telling him about Asperger's in the same thing.  Now to figure out how and when to talk to him.  Yeah, how.  Is there a parenting manual on this subject?

I suppose while I am at it I should tell him about Santa, the next time he asks that is.  Oh the joys of parenthood!!

Sunday, September 9

Finding Sleep

The other night as I was tossing and turning in bed, trying to find a comfortable position and I got to thinking, when do we loose the ability to sleep in any position?

When I checked on RR last night it became apparent that this sleep any-position ability is still possible at age eight.  RR listens to jazz music on his laptop while he falls asleep, usually Billie Holiday.  And usually the laptop is on his desk or his computer chair while he listens and falls asleep.  I guess last night the laptop never made it off his bed, once he got his music set-up.

So why not add a blanket and make it a lap-top pillow?  I've heard they're all the rage in Japan.

Here's some pictures of the boys sleeping in apparently comfortable sleeping positions, despite how they look.

Tuesday, September 4

End of an Era

Quiet.  Do you hear that sound?  The faint sound of taps.

It is a sad day my friends, an era has come to an end.

On Friday morning I went to work and fired up the old calculator, and it was acting funny.  So I changed the batteries.  The screen came up, but the buttons were non-responsive.  So I pulled the battery cover off and switched the batteries around.  Thinking, hoping, praying this would be "the fix".  Again the screen fired to life, and this time the 4 key worked.  Actually, it was like a bonus because hitting the "4" would result in "464646" coming up.  Neat trick, but pretty useless for work.

After many years of cheating death, the time had finally come to retire my trusty TI-85 calculator.   

You see this calculator has been by my side for nearly 20 years - I guess I got my $110 worth.  It was purchased in high school for use in calculus classes and physics.  At one point I had etched my initials into the back of the body; since back in the day everyone who was anyone in the sciences had this calculator.  I covered it with fuzzy Whinnie the Pooh stickers and Strawberry Shortcake.  Hey, I was unique.

My TI-85 traveled with me to Long Island for college and survived math classes I could only hope to comprehend again (Calc III and Differential Equations anyone??).  I covered the case with stickers from various engineering related groups and activities (Moles outings).

In 2000 my TI-85 moved to my work desk and became my trusty side-kick, able to convert fractional to metric values in the blink of an eye.

Over the years the stickers have worn and faded.  Over the years I have felt a little immature dragging my trusty sticker covered TI-85 into meetings with customers.  Over the years the screen has started to go.  Over the years the keys got a little sticky.  Over the years I learned to rely on my TI-85 being directly to the right of my keyboard.

I ordered and received my replacement TI-85 today, bought used off Amazon for $50 (since this version was discontinued in 1997) but in excellent condition.  Why get another TI-85 and not the newest and latest version?  Because I don't need all of the features the new ones offer, AND the news one don't offer the features I need.

My old TI-85 has become TT's newest toys... TT LOVES buttons.  Sigh, if only it made noise then it would be the perfect toddler gizmo.

Monday, September 3


A few weeks ago RR offered to make me an afternoon snack.  "To help you relax" he said.

He made me a hot chocolate in the Kuerig and dished out a bowl of chocolate peanut butter cup ice cream.  As he was topping the ice cream with brown sugar (gag) I interjected and had him remove as much brown sugar as he could.  He was a little upset about me "spying" on him while he cooked, but he bounced back quickly and ran out to the yard.

A few minutes later he had me close my eyes and he led me into the living-room, where he presented me with my snack complete with flowers in a cup of water and the mouse (so I could chose what I wanted to watch on Netflix).

I know he says he's never going to get married, but if he does he'll make some young lady very happy.

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