Tuesday, August 20, 2013

How People Fall In Love

Well, we've survived the first two weeks of school and are rounding nicely into week 3.  It hasn't been perfect, and the kids exasperate me several times a day, but I feel that everything is continuing to go well.  They're learning, and I haven't completely lost my marbles.  Success in my book.  I'll share more on the ups and downs of school later, when I have more time.

Anyways, I just thought I'd pop in and share a cute little conversation Connor had with Jodie the other day.  I love to listen to Connor and his thought process.  Jodie was cooking dinner and Connor came up to him and, out of the blue, said, "Daddy, I'm going to tell you how people fall in love.  First, they see each other and they think, "Wow, that person is really beautiful." Then they decide to start dating because they think each other is beautiful, and they're just in love.  And that's how it happens."

Jodie asked if Connor wanted to hear how we fell in love.  Connor was captivated as Jodie told him how we were friends for two years before we started dating, and he moved away during that time.  Connor asked, "So, did you guys forget about each other?"  Jodie said, no, we didn't, and then he came back home and we saw each other again, and then decided to start dating.  Connor said, "And, then, you decided you either had to get married or not date anymore."  We laughed at that.  I don't know where he got that from, but he can be pretty perceptive sometimes.  Jodie explained it wasn't exactly that we would stop dating, it's just that, after dating for awhile, we wanted to marry each other.  Connor said, "Yeah...AND you thought Mommy was beautiful."  Lucky for Jodie he said, "Of course."  ; )

I love these kiddos so much, and we often have conversations like this, where they just bring up whatever somehow got into their heads.  Never a dull moment.  I also love that they feel comfortable talking to us.  I hope it lasts!  The teenage years aren't as far away as I'd like!


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Ants In My Pans

Have you ever just had one of those mornings where the unexpected derails your whole schedule?  Today was one of those days for me.  Generally, I wake up, get the boys breakfast, and we get right into school.  I have a lot to teach, they have a lot of work to do, so it's best if we just get cracking.  Alas, today did not work out that way.

I stumbled into the kitchen in my usual morning stupor, looking to snag my morning Diet Pepsi in an effort to wake up and get going.  It took me a minute to realize that something wasn't quite right with the way the kitchen looked.  I kind of rubbed my eyes and looked again.  "Crap!," I said.  There were ants ALL OVER the counter.  Everywhere.  We used to have an ant problem in our bathroom, but never in our kitchen!  I was so grossed out.  I hate insects.  Hate them.  And I hate them even more when they are in my house!

Usually we're good about doing the dishes each night.  Last night, however, we were both dead tired and just rinsed them off.  Not well enough, apparently.  Sooo...instead of starting school on time, I attacked the ants with a vengeance.  I emptied the dishwasher, scrubbed every dish left in the sink, and mercilessly washed ants down the drain.  I may have laughed evilly as I watched them go down.   No ant will survive in my kitchen!  Finally, I took a wet washrag and squished the rest, rinsing them down the drain with the rest.  And the little suckers had the nerve to bite me!  Too bad for them, because I got them all.  Ha!

Then...I walked away and got the computer set up for school.  I came back in to tell the boys it was time to start, and glanced over at the counter where hundreds of tiny ants had just met their doom.  Then I really freaked out because the counter was covered AGAIN.  What. the. HECK?!  Where on earth did those guys come from?!  I sighed and decided it was time to bring out the big guns.  RAID.  I cleared everything off the counter and sprayed like crazy.  At last, AT LAST, they really were gone.  I popped into the kitchen several times during the day to confirm.  All was well.  Although all day long I kept feeling like things were crawling all over me.  Eeek!

As Jodie got home from work, I was sharing this story with him.  He was thanking me for getting rid of them, when I looked down at the floor and saw a ton of ants crawling all over the place.  I just about hit the roof.  How do they do that?!  All I know is I now had the joy of spraying everywhere and then getting fast food.  Nobody was cooking in that kitchen after all that.  I seem to have defeated the ants for now.  We will see what the morning brings...

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Connor's Baptism

So, I know I said I wasn't going to go back and document everything that happened on my blogging hiatus, and I'm not.  But there are just some things that are too important to skip over.  One of them is the fact that Connor chose to be baptized in March.  At Mason's baptism we were able to choose people to speak.  With Connor, however, there were so many kids being baptized that they just had two youth speakers talk to them.  We did get to be alone in the room when he was actually baptized, and all of Jodie's family was able to be there, with the exception of one brother.  Connor was so excited to be there and to have a lot of his cousins there, too.  After the baptism we had everyone over for lunch.  Unfortunately, I was really sick the week leading up to the baptism, and on the day of.  So the house wasn't looking its best, and the perfectionist in me wanted to crawl into a hole and hide.  Even so, what ended up being most important was that Connor had a great day, and visiting with family was fun.  Everyone came to see Connor, and not my not-so-clean house.  : )  Here are a couple of pictures we got of that day:

 Phone pics, so not the best, but that's OK.  Connor, we are so proud of you for wanting to be baptized, and I can't believe how much you've grown.  Wow, time flies!

Oh, and speaking of going back, Connor wanted everyone to know that this happened around his birthday:


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Jodie and Amy's Parenting Milestones

After recovering from a case of overloaded brain yesterday, things are much clearer today.  I'm keeping to the school schedule, and we're finishing a little earlier each day as we get used to the ebb and flow of each lesson.  We met with Connor's new OT for the first time today, and he totally rocks.  Mason is becoming more independent in his schooling.  It's all starting to fit...at least today!  Tomorrow I might be a drooling, glassy-eyed mess after getting through school, but, hey, it's all part of the joys of being a homeschooling parent.

Speaking of being a parent, as I continue to feel that blogging spark again, I can't help but recall all the things that have happened in my one year blogging hiatus.  I definitely won't be going back and blogging about all the things that have happened, but there are some things I can't resist sharing.  (With all one of you who are reading this.  ; ) ) So, today, I present to you:

Jodie and Amy's Parenting Milestones

Our boys have been doing a lot of growing up this past year, which means Jodie and I have had to go through a lot of new territory in this parenting gig.  Some easy, some...interesting.  And I've had to learn to let go a little bit.  I've always been overprotective, and the boys having Asperger's has only added to that.  So it's been a big year of growth for the boys AND the parents.  Here are few things we've conquered:

1.  The Talk
     Yeah, THE talk.  The birds and the bees and all that jazz.  Previously I did a post on being a little nervous of how Mason would react to the subject, but I need not have feared.  He approached it as he does everything:  with a practical mind.  He's very matter of fact about life, and that did not change when discussing sex.  I gotta say, though, it felt weird telling him all the facts.  I mean, don't get me wrong, I think kids need to learn about it, but it always seemed like a far away thing we would do some day.  Yet, there we were.  Even more surprising, we brought Connor in on the discussion.  Two birds with one stone.  That, and we knew Mason would end up telling him, anyways.  They have no idea how to keep a secret.  It all started when a sister-in-law told us she was pregnant.  We'd heard the announcement many times before, but, for whatever reason, this time it struck Mason to ask, "Hey, I know how babies get out of a woman's body, but how do they get in?"  So we went for it, and, with a few giggles, got through it.  I was honest, presented the facts, and they got it.  Since then, they've asked a question once in awhile, and we talk about it.  No big deal.  

2.  No More Santa (Sob!)
     This one was all mine.  It's still a sore spot with Jodie, though he has (mostly) forgiven me.  It all happened one afternoon...sometime last year.  I really don't remember.  Anyways, Mason straight up asked me if Santa was real.  I asked him what he thought, in an effort to stall answering, but he brought out the big guns.  His exact words were, "Mom, I am your son and you have to tell me the truth."  Um, seriously?  So I told him what I call "The Secret of Christmas."  He wasn't upset at all...I mean, he'd pretty much figured it out.  He was kind of excited to be in on "the secret."  You know who wasn't excited about it?  Jodie.  He claims I am the Grinch and ruined the fun of Christmas.  To that I say, "Bah, humbug!"  In all seriousness, I love the whole Santa thing.  But when my kid asked me straight up to tell him the truth, I figured it was time to fess up.  I realize I probably should have consulted with Jodie, a fact I will never live down.  Oh, and Connor knew by that night.  I told you they couldn't keep a secret.  Soon after the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy were figured out, too.  So we still leave the gifts...they just know it's us.  

3.  They Played At The Park...Without Me
    Now this one was a big deal for me.  I practically had a panic attack over it.  I allowed them to go with a friend, who is a year older than Mason, to play at the park around the corner from our house.  As they biked away you could hear the apron strings snapping apart.  I know that, as they grow older, a certain amount of freedom is needed.  I just get so nervous because they lack certain social skills and I'm afraid of them getting bullied or pushed around.  Having the older friend, who understands them, helped a little.  They survived and enjoyed themselves.  I may have chewed my nails down to nothing.  Since then, they've played a couple of more times at the park with friends...until the heat made outside play impossible.  I'm still cautious, and I preach stranger danger like nobody's business, but I think we both benefited from giving them a little freedom.

4.  Mason Went To Cub Scouts Alone
   This milestone was not hard for me at all.  I was practically jumping up and down with joy the day he decided he could handle it.  Sitting in a Cub Scouts meeting was so not my favorite thing to do.  Mason, however, needs a feeling a security and requested that I stay until he "felt ready" for me to leave.  One day, out of the blue, he told me I could leave.  You didn't have to ask me twice!  We agreed that he could call me and I would immediately come get him if he needed me to.  He's used that a couple of times, when things were extra noisy and he felt overwhelmed.  But, for the most part, he goes in and does his thing.  Old hat, now.  I guess, technically, that was a milestone for Mason.  Since we all worked to get him to the point where he feels comfortable on his own, however, I think it definitely counts as a parenting milestone, too. 

Sooo...there you have it.  It's been a big year in parenting.  And, yet, the learning curve continues.  It's never over.  Scary thought, isn't it?


Monday, August 12, 2013

My Brain Hurts

While I do feel that doing online schooling with the boys has been a great choice for us, there are times when I finish the day of school and my brain is about to explode.  Today is one of those days.  It's no easy task to take two boys who have Asperger's and a huge dislike for school, and somehow give them the academic skills they need to succeed.  Not only that, but I still have all the evaluations and IEP meetings to deal with.  This school has certainly been much better than our district school was, but an IEP is an IEP and I still have to fight for what my boys need, and also understand all the lingo and what is being said in the meetings. 

This is our second week of school, and I've slowly been getting acclimated to the new schedule and figuring out how to balance doing both 3rd and 5th grade.  Both boys are starting a new remedial language arts program this year, and both boys have to work their way to taking the state standardized tests.  Mason even has to do writing on the test this year...which is something he dreads more than anything.  Standardized tests are NOT our friend.  You might even say I hate them.  I am, however, excited about the remedial language arts.  The boys both struggle in that area more than anything, and I am excited to get the extra help.  I need it!

Despite all that, I am very pleased with how the school year is starting, and still feel that online schooling is the best choice for both boys.  I'm sure this year the blog will be full of posts about how online school is treating us, and what methods I'm using to keep us going strong.  So, if that sort of thing interests you, check us out once in awhile.  : )  It's been said, both to me personally and in articles I've read, that maybe online schooling isn't the best thing for children who have Asperger's.  I've blogged about it before.  If you want to know why I think that opinion is wrong (at least in the case of my boys), you can go back to this post.  In the meantime, I've got to go watch TV or do something that doesn't require much thinking. I've crammed so much info into my head that, like the title of the post says, my brain hurts!



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