Friday, April 27, 2012

Patriot’s Day 2012

(11 days late … what’s up with that?)  This year was different because we didn’t go over to my friend Katherine’s house for a bar-b-que because 1.)  Brianne ruins everything and 2.) a good friend was running The Marathon and I wanted to scream her name when she ran past me.

Originally we planned on going to DC for spring break but I signed Brianne up for driver’s ed instead.  I wanted her to both enjoy spring break and get driver’s ed over in one week vs. me driving her every Thursday and Friday night to a driver’s ed class for 2 months.  As a special bonus she got to spend her birthday surrounded by her peers listening to a 70 year-old man talk about driving.  It’s like I reached into her brain, found her ideal birthday activity, then paid a lot money to turn it into a reality!  I’m the Best. Mother. Ever.

So, while Brianne enjoyed spending Patriot’s Day in a small, hot room; Lizzy and I hooked up with the Raskell’s on Rt. 135 in Natick.  The Raskells like to show up to activitiesinsanely early and spend the day.  Lizzy and I showed up at 11:30 … long after the wheelchair and elite athletes had run by to watch the pack.
Lizzy and I helped pass out wet paper towels to the runners, then once they ran out sat down in our chairs to yell out runner’s names and the current score of the Red Sox game.  You could usually tell who the Massachusetts’ runners were because once they realized that Don was listening to the game they’d start shouting, “What’s the score?”

I pretended to be a fan (because I’m helpful) would yell out things like, “No score.  Bottom of the third.”  I sometimes like learning new things and I sort of learned a new language – baseball while watching the marathon.  Tiffanie laughed at me for shouting out the score because in 12 years of living here I’ve never even attended a game at the Green Giant oops, Monster (see more sport’s terminology – between my education at the marathon, having the game on in the background and watching Moneyball, I practically have a Masters in Baseball!).

I even saw my friend run.  I got a text when she was at 10k so I started watching for her I got a sweaty hug and ran alongside her for a couple of feet – which is my version of running the marathon.

But I mostly supported the runners by sitting in a chair, eating pizza provided by the Raskells, drinking cold water and by yelling out the runner’s names* because I’m awesome … and supportive.

*Note.  If you run in the Boston Marathon it is easier to read your name if you write it on your shirt rather than on your bent arm, especially if the first few letters are one direction and the letters beneath your elbow are sideways and you’re moving your arm.  But maybe it’s just me.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Book Review Quiet and Bringing up Bebe

Short and Sweet*

Quiet:  The power of introverts in a world that can't stop talking:  very interesting I recommend reading it.

Bringing up Bebe:  I agreed with a lot of what she said.  But of course, not everything.  Surely we could do a better job instilling discipline but I think that it is good for mothers to say home to raise their children if they are able to financially and emotionally.

*Because I just like reading them.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

My prayers have been answered!

I’ve complained to my family multiple times about their ability to ignore a ringing phone laying one inch from their fingers.  Usually if I don’t get it no one does.  Today the phone rang once then stopped.  I walked out to the living room.  “Who was on the phone?”  I asked Jacob.

“Huh?” He responded not even bothering to lift his eyes from the computer.  I walked over to him and picked up the phone lying next to the computer.  I scrolled through caller ID and saw that it was my dad.  I hit redial.  My dad was still on the line. 

“Who answered the phone?” I asked.

“I don’t know but someone was pushing numbers.”  He said.

I told him that was me then said I wondered if William answered the phone.  He had.  He’d left it on the stair banister. 

Great!  There is apparently one other person who lives with me that will answer the phone … the only problem is that he won’t say anything when he does and that he doesn’t take messages.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sunday Morning Reading List

I like to read the Boston Globe Sunday mornings; in the Ideas Section I found an interesting article Nothing to Fear:  What if the world is safer than we think? by Thanassis Cambanis.  
Quote from the article.  “More people have died in America since 9/11 crushed by furniture than from terrorism,” Zenko says in an interview. “But that’s not an interesting story to tell. People have a cognitive bias toward threats they can perceive.”
I also found two interesting books to put on my reading list.

The Cause: The fight for American Liberalism from Franklin Roosevelt to Barack Obama by Eric Alterman and Kevin Mattson
I have to after reading the opening paragraph of the review. "One need not subscribe to all of the Left’s grandiose ideas for remaking America to grant that it has been largely responsible for much of what is actually best about the United States of the 21st Century (civil rights laws, universal suffrage, environmental protection, the 40-hour work week, food safety). And despite the rhetoric one hears too often, this has not been the work of “Kenyan socialists” (who would have thought Kenya would replace France as the great bugaboo of the right!)."
And Dosed:  The Medication Generation Grows Up by Kaitlin Bell Barnett because it looks really interesting.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Will Hates Voting

This is actually two posts, but I never posted the first and now it's not.

Living in a House of Illness for Two Weeks

Doesn’t that make you want to come over for dinner?  Ok, I’ll plan on Thursday then.

It started about three weeks ago.  I went in Lizzy’s room to wake her up.  She informed me that she wasn’t going to school because she threw up during the night.  The poor girl stayed home until Friday.  On Saturday Will threw up once.  I thought he was better so I sent him to school on Monday.  I felt bad when his school called and said he had a temperature of 100’.  I picked him up.  On Tuesday, Lizzy’s flute teacher got sick and threw up in the middle of Lizzy’s lesson at our house so I drove her teacher home and picked up the flute teacher’s husband from the train station.  On Wednesday Will went back to school.  But Bri stayed home.  And Jacob stayed home on Thursday.  Friday was a school holiday – which was just as well.

William hates Voting -- Probably Because He’s Unpatriotic

The Tuesday that Will was home because he had a fever on Monday I took him on my errands to get him out of the house.  We first went to the local library (That’s what they say on PBS so that’s what Will says.)  I made Will go upstairs with me first so I could look for a book before we went downstairs to the important Dr. Suess containing part.  I wasted his compliant time looking for a movie to watch and he was impatient during my “look for a book time.”  There was some pinching and yelling.  But since the library does not specifically ban yelling but rather focuses on whispering I figure that it was fine.

Will was in a delightful mood by the time we arrived at the elementary school to vote.  I got my ballot and walked over to the booth to mark it.  I glanced at Will in the next booth who was busily marking up the example ballot directions hanging on the wall of the booth.  (He also may or may not have written his name) I tried to stop him but he really wanted to fill in the empty ovals.  I was a little flustered and finished as quickly as I could.  I had Will in one hand and my ballot in the other and stopped at the desk to have me marked down as having voted.  

Will was completely done by this point and started to pinch me.  I used my modified Karate Kid Wax Off move to block him, paired with a “Quiet Hands” instruction.  Something I’ve frequently done in the past but this time it went horribly wrong!  Probably because I was still looking at the people sitting at the desk.  When I twisted my arm away from Will’s talons and brought my elbow around and down, my hand followed and my thumb hit Will forehead.  Usually that would not be a problem … however, this particular day happened to be one of the approximately 17 days per year that I haven’t ripped off my fingernails thus I had something resembling girl fingernails; and my thumb nailed Will in the forehead.  And there was a little blood and there was some crying and there was some apologizing and there was some more pinching.  And I had just told the people at the desk my name and address.  I slunk out of the elementary school pulling my crying 12 year-old behind me and waited for DCF to appear at my door.

But they never came.  I can only assume that someone recognized the Karate Kid Wax Off move as a purely defensive maneuver.  

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Easter Sunday (Subtitled: Another reason to be sad that you don’t sit behind us at church)

During the sacrament Will crumpled a piece a paper.  He handed it to me with the instruction, “Trash.”  I took the paper from him and put it on the other side of me planning on throwing it away after the meeting.  Will reached around me grabbed the paper, stood up, walked down the aisle, bumped two deacons out his way and ran out of the chapel.  Since I knew where he was going I stayed in my seat.  Two minutes later he returned, bumped the same two deacons out his way made his way back to the pew and sat down beside me.

Later in the meeting, during a beautiful musical number,Will leaned over my lap and started chanting, "I'm cursed, I'm cursed!"  The people in the pew behind us started giggling.  I put my fingers over Will's mouth and tried to shush him.  He just peeled them off and started saying it again.  I looked down at the rest of my family.  Their shoulders were convulsing with laugher which was tremendously helpful because then Will realized he was sooo funny!

Well played Autism, well played!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A Daddy Daughter Date

My husband went to his friend’s surprise birthday party Friday night.  Sadly the party wasn’t until Saturday night.*   So, I assume it is still a surprise that my husband showed up.  But there they (Lizzy was his plus 1) were -- at a bowling alley with a disappointed Lizzy.  Needless to say, being who they are and with Lizzy’s first choice of activities unavailable.  (Naturally that would be going to a garage sale because, and I quote, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”  And “I like garage sales because I can afford to buy stuff there.”) They went with the second choice of going to a Dollar Store as that is also an affordable option for Lizzy and she can usually get her dad to buy her anything she wants. (Why yes, we are big spenders.  How did you know?)  Lizzy bought me a present of two orange hot pads because she’s thoughtful.  It also continues our tradition of Lizzy picking out presents for me which I then proceed to pay for.  Then they picked up Thai food for dinner.

Lizzy told me that she found to coolest thing at the Dollar Store.  “Mom, they had a dust pan.  And not just any dust pan!**  It was a dust pan with a pole so you don’t have to bend over to sweep it up.”

The following night they returned to the bowling alley where Lizzy proceeded to wipe the floor with everyone in the group.  Here in Massachusetts we play a curious type of bowling called candlepin.  I have no understanding of the rules, why it has rubber pads on either side instead of gutters or why the balls are significantly smaller than the bowling balls you see on TV.  The one time I went bowling here I simply helped Will roll the ball and cursed autism for the difficulty involved.***   My husband reported that Lizzy rolled the only strike he saw the whole night and she rolled many spares.  I am happy to see a future for Lizzy in the Non-Existent Professional Candlepin Bowling League (N-EPCBL) as her lack of interest in reading and learning basic math facts may hinder her ability to do something professionally that requires either addition or an interest in reading.

(* I’m not sure if that was my fault as I might have told him it was on Friday or if it was his fault after all I forwarded him the evite.)

(** I promise I am telling the truth!  She actually said “And not just any dustpan!”  I seriously considered buying her the dust pan just because she said that!  And yes, she's ten ... just unique.)

(***Positive update:  Will has gone bowling a couple times since then, naturally I paid someone else to take him because the first time was sooo much fun, and it is reported**** that he participates and likes it.)

(**** That could be a lie … but I doubt it.)

Monday, April 9, 2012

Taking some personal days (Let’s just pretend I posted this in March when I actually wrote it)

One of the hardest things about being a stay at home mother besides the dismal pay and the things you have to clean up is the lack of sick and personal days.  Well, I stuck it to THE MAN*  last week!  I took some personal days in spite of him.  The lack of complaining from THE MAN and the suggestion of leaving for two extra days could have made my act of “sticking it to THE MAN” less satisfying but somehow it wasn’t.  (Ha! Take that THE MAN!  I still win!)

I went to visit my family in Utah sans kids.  Heaven, I tell you.  Although strangely enough I missed THE MAN and texted him so perhaps I am a glutton for punishment.

It was a very different vacation than I am used to for example:  1.  I was not pinched once while on an airplane.  2.  No one asked me to repeat their words back to them over and over again.  3.  I didn’t write one social story the whole time I was gone.  4.  I didn’t take anyone else to the bathroom … ever.

And I did adult things.  I went out to eat with my siblings and their spouses and we went to a play.

(*THE MAN in this case being my husband.)
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