Friday, July 27, 2007

Kickin' Back

I'm sitting in my new favorite coffee place (Burlap and Bean - fabulous chai tea latte and FREE internet) chilling out and enjoying my tea. I'm kinda blowing off work today (except for my writing camp this afternoon). I have finished planning my preschool Shabbat program, am 97% finished my plans for Religious School for the year, have planned out all the units and centers for Hebrew School (I'm rewriting the curriculum), and have planned out all the themes for preschool. I'm feeling pretty good!

Today as soon as I get home from camp, my sister and my oldest friend are going away for my first girls' weekend. I'm so psyched! I've gone away for various scrapbooking weekends before, which are sooo great, but the focus of those weekends is scrapbooking (and talking). This weekend will be just for chilling out and catching up. I'll report back later!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Kiddy Funnies

B: Can I have some of that cheese?
Mommy: Sure!
B: Is it cheddar?
M:, I think it's American. Cheddar would have a sharper taste.
B: Oh, I don't want that! It would cut my tongue!!!

Mommy: What did you do at camp today?
A: I don't know.
Mommy: Well, can you try to see it in your head?
J: He can't do that - he has too much hair!
B: And he can't open up his head to look inside!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Confession Time

I have a confession to make.

I hate shopping.

I mean, I'll go grocery shopping every week or so. I love a good deal and know how to hunt for the best unit price like the best of them.

But don't make me buy clothes for myself.

Don't get me wrong - I like WEARING new clothes. I just hate trying stuff on. And picking stuff out. And spending money on myself. And figuring out what my size is.

Now that my size has increased, most of my clothes don't fit anymore. I have given them away. I don't really own too much that looks decent. I've been wearing mostly t-shirts and jeans or shorts, and I know I pretty much look like a slob. I don't like it, but I really haven't had anything else that fit. And now that I'm going to be teaching six days a week, I NEED some professional clothing.

I have the best husband in the world. Knowing how much I hate clothes shopping, DH went with me to Kohl's after we dropped the kids off at camp on Friday. He stayed with me the whole time while we selected tops for me. Even when I started feeling claustrophobic and began pulling at my shirt collar, he made me laugh and stay focused and helped me keep going. When it was time to try them all on DH stayed right outside the dressing room to give me his honest opinion on each and every shirt. He even opened a Kohl's charge card in his name so we could get 15% off of all of the purchases. I came home with eight tops!

Next step . . . bras.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


A has Asperger's.
I saw a t-shirt once that stated: If you've seen one kid with Autism, you've seen one kid with Autism. How true. There's a reason Autism is now called a Spectrum Disorder - everyone is different!

But A still is considered Autistic.
For him that means lots of different things.

It means we can no longer go to the library without having to physically restrain him with a great big hug from behind at least four times to get him to not touch the computers. And that's when no child is already playing on one. If someone starts playing on the computer, he needs a lot more help than that.

It means that an adult has to physically follow him every step of the way when we go to someone else's house to make sure he doesn't reprogram their cell phone or remote control (don't laugh - he's done it before).

It means we have had to lock up our computer to keep him from ordering things off the internet.
It means we have to watch him carefully when he is allowed to play on the computer to make sure he doesn't navigate into inappropriate websites accidentally because he just enters words that he knows into the address bar and sees where they take him.

It means that I just had to pry the phone out of his hand because he wanted to call Kelly (our babysitter) "just for four minutes!"

It means that his temper goes from zero to one hundred in .26 seconds, and saying the wrong word sets him off, but we never know what the wrong word will be for any particular situation.

It means that his hands will cover his ears and his body will freeze up in terror unexpectedly and you always need to be on the lookout to see if and where he has frozen.

It means that due to sensory issues he has FINALLY only recently learned to use the potty, but if he gets involved in something else he loves, he could create a large puddle all around himself without even noticing.

It means if he could he would spin on a merry-go-round or tire swing non-stop instead of interacting with other kids.

It means that he has something in his mouth (or nose) at least 75% of the day.

It means that a change in his routine will cause a melt down.

It means that by late afternoon he has usually held it together as much as he can and goes into his own little world.

It means that anything visually stimulating (flashing lights, repetitive movement, mirrors) will attract him until he is physically removed from the situation.

It means he rarely sustains eye contact.

It means that he'll go up to total strangers to give them a hug and tell them he loves them.

It means that he does not understand or appreciate sarcasm or most humor on his own, but will laugh loudly if anyone else laughs.

It means that he misses all subtle cues.

It means that he can get up and dance as if no one is watching, even if all the kids around him stop what they're doing to gape at him.

It means that he flaps his hands or fingers when nervous or excited.

It means that he craves hugs and physical close contact.

It means that he will attempt to enter any conversation by hearing one word and commenting on it, even if it has nothing to do with the actual conversation.

It means that he learned how to read at a very early age.

It means that he is one of the most cuddly, social, precocious kids I know.

A has Asperger's. It does not define him, but it is an aspect of who he is. We have been working since he was diagnosed last year on helping him learn to live with this. He is very high-functioning, so much so that people will often point out how their own children do one or two of the things that A does, downplaying A's symptoms as if to imply that maybe A is actually just fine and all those doctors just labled him for no reason. That gets frustrating, but I think people mean well and are just trying to point out that he seems "normal", whatever that means.

A has Asperger's. This fact has connected us to so many other families learning to live with various conditions, syndromes, and disabilities. We didn't set out to be part of this world, but being part of us helps us realize how lucky we really are.


J no longer contagious. We sent her back to camp on Friday after getting confirmation Thursday night from the doctor.

My mom does not have Shingles. Turns out it was a really really badly pinched nerve. Still bad, but no guilt involved.

DH had a 24 hour stomach bug and fully recovered by the next day.

And my kids are hillarious:

Driving home from camp yesterday, trying to figure out what they did all morning

Mommy: So, what did you do at camp today?
J: I don't know.
B: I don't know.
A: I don't know.
Mommy: (wanting to bang her head on the steering wheel) Well, did you swim?
B: Of course!
Mommy: What did you do AFTER swimming?
B: Change our clothes.
Mommy: (gritting her teeth) A what did you do after changing your clothes?
A: Hmmm....I can't see it in my head.
B: Of course not - you have too much hair on your head!

Thursday, July 12, 2007


J still has the chicken pox.

DH woke up today with the stomach bug.

I have camp that I have to leave for (they have no subs) in fifteen minutes.

My mom probably has shingles (the adult form of chicken pox). My dad has a compromised immune system.

My sister has a 17-month old at home and can't chance her getting sick. She will, however, pick up the boys from camp and keep them this afternoon.

My neighbor's kids just got the vaccine on Monday and were told not to be around J for a whole week.

My MIL leaves on a trip tomorrow and must finish errands and cleaning today.

I feel so bad for DH. And J.

I hope he doesn't need to throw up again, but he has already done it a few times this morning while I was leading storytime at the library. I know that's rough for him, but probably scary for J to hear.

Cross your fingers. I'm off to make her lunch and go to camp.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Out, Damn Spots!

J must have such cabin fever. I know I do!

J's chicken pox are still contagious since they haven't all scabbed over yet. The poor thing feels okay most of the time, just gets tired a little more often than usual. We can't go anywhere with her, so we've been splitting up time with the kids, usually DH taking the boys out and J and I staying home. DH stayed home with her Friday night while I got together with everyone for Shabbat dinner. It was so sad: we explained to her that she was sick and so she couldn't get together with the rest of the family because she might make them sick. She was hysterical, sobbing, "No, I won't! I won't make them sick!"

Tonight she fell asleep around five on the couch and I carried her upstairs around 6:30. She stayed asleep and is still out right now. Hopefully she stays knocked out all night!

Tomorrow I start working at a Writing and Literature project camp. I really enjoy these two week sessions. It's purely reading and writing enrichment, and I have done it so many times that I only have to revise my plans a little each year. I'll have to leave around 11:30 tomorrow, so I'll really only have a couple hours to work on my planning with the boys at camp, and J will of course still be home here, but hopefully I can get something accomplished.

Thursday, July 05, 2007


Where have I been for the last few weeks? (Still here!)

Why have I not been posting?

Why did I wait until the last minute to begin labeling the 1000 necklaces I bought as a way to advertise my business?

How did DH and I manage to label 700 necklaces with my business info the night before our July 4th parade? We gave up once we hit 1 AM.

How did my sister and I manage to run out of necklaces half way through the parade?

When will the calls/e-mails start pouring in with people dying to hire me for their kid's birthday party?

Why didn't I think of bringing my twenty billion or so business cards with me so we would have something to pass out to everyone who didn't get a necklace and expressed interest in the business during the second half of the parade?

Why did I think it would be a good idea to allow the kids to walk on my back tonight? It was going great until A decided to jump off the couch onto me. OUCH!

Why didn't I think twice about the red dot I found on J's stomach yesterday? It bloomed into twenty spots by this morning, forty by this evening. At least she received the chicken pox vaccine already (as did the boys) so will not get a full-blown case.

Why am I soooo tired every day? I now have an appointment next month with a sleep apnea specialist. We'll see .....

How did the house get so wrecked so quickly this week?

Why did I think the Jewish Flylady yahoo group that I found would be something I could relate to? Looking through the archives tells me this group is really for very observant Orthodox women.

Why can't my kids play as nicely as they are right now all the time? I should have brought them up to bed an hour ago, but they're sitting on the floor all sharing a new coloring book J received as a party favor recently. So sweet!

Why didn't I realize how relaxing life could be when the kids are at camp from 9-2? I have been getting so much accomplished!

How long will it take to get these kids ready for bed tonight? I think I'm going to bed as soon as I put them down, so I better finish cleaning up from dinner before we go upstairs.

How much will I be able to accomplish tomorrow with J home all day, feeling fine but too contagious to take anywhere? Since DH is home for the summer as well, maybe we'll just split the morning with me driving the boys to camp and then going to Borders or Starbucks to work on my Hebrew School plans for the year (my goal is to have that finished by the end of the day tomorrow) until around 11 or so and then DH could go out from about 11:30 until he needs to pick them up. That sounds fair. Of course, we were just talking about how we needed to take advantage of this "grown-up" time we had in the mornings, even if we had work to do, by hanging out together. I was really looking forward to working together out of the house, away from distractions, today and tomorrow. Guess G-d had other plans!