Autism Watch: 2007

Posts Tagged ‘holiday

I was going to say “holy crap,” but I didn’t think that was the most auspicious post title.  And, as we all know, I’m all about being “auspicious.” 😉

It’s been a while now. It’s been not necessarily the easiest “while,” but what the heck, we all have these times.

It’s not been the worst while either. Just busy. Confused yet?

As I’ve mentioned, we’re planning a cross-country move within the next couple of months. We’re planning on dragging everyone and everything (that I don’t throw away) to a small guest house in the Carolinas to live until we decide what to do next. Build our dream house on our land? (Which we already bought.) Buy a pre-existing home and save some time? It’s a lot to ponder. I literally wake up nightly, sometimes several times, wondering if we’re doing the right thing, while knowing that giving my kids time to know my husband’s side of the family, cousins their age, real space, and calmness is the right thing. Real peace. But real peace takes time.

We’re about to hang our realtor sign. BB (Barnacle Boy, for any new readers) is enjoying his Christmas vacation. He’s much less anxious not having to worry about how his daily social events at school will play out, and quite honestly, so am I. He’s loving the holidays — all the gifts, all the days where he can hang out in “softs” (lounge pants) until bedtime, and he doesn’t have to worry about social issues. And so am I! I took almost two weeks off to hang with the family. The older two are coming and going intermittently with their work/social schedules, but we had a fantastic Christmas day — friends stopped by, dinner was good, and Santa pleased everyone. (And our bank account is a-okay. Planning ahead really is key for stress relief.)

With the real estate sign comes a tremendous amount of packing. I don’t think it’ll affect BB too much. He survived the re-painting of his room without a hitch. He also survived me being gone for 9 days as I stayed in the South with the in-laws to help my sister-in-law recuperate from ankle surgery. (I feel guilty almost saying I helped; I did help, but I also enjoyed — the weather, the company, the bonding, and in the end, the relaxation. Dh was home with all four kids by himself. Welcome to my world!) I do wonder how he’ll do when I can’t pack Every. Little. Thing. in the RV, and then the guest house while we make plans on what to do next. Then again, I hope he’ll find a new interest in running around outside — and that he’ll make friends in school so he can hang out with them.

Tomorrow, we’re taking him to the restaurant our kids work at for dinner. He’s looking forward to clam chowder, and I’m looking forward to getting out of the house. We did some quick shopping yesterday (Tar-jay), but otherwise, I haven’t really been out of the house since Dec. 23. And it was a wonderful night, I must say. BB and the rest of us toured a neighborhood full of Christmas lights and music and noise and crowds, and he didn’t flip! In fact, he even posed for a picture…though he did pull the hat over his eyes. Can’t have everything, right?

He did lose laptop priveleges today. We have U-verse, and while we were promised no slowness because “you’ll have your own fiber-optic lines that you don’t share,” we really didn’t st0p to think that those lines all originate in the same place, which is shared by a ton of neighbors. If my neighbors were non-judgmental (aka nice) enough to talk to, I’d ask if they experience the same slowness we do at peak hours of the day, but I can surmise they are if we are. We aren’t big downloaders, so someone out there is a bandwidth hog. Anyway, he was bugged by the slowness and was yelling at his laptop enough to bug me. Laptop privs gone till tomorrow. But, he didn’t throw the laptop, so I’ll call it a success! 😉   Kidding, but it definitely could have been worse. Working on dealing with impatience, not yelling, and chewing with your mouth closed. Always something, eh?

Happy holidays to everyone! For the holidays, I gave myself a break from online visitations, but I miss it. I should be around more often, if anyone misses me. Happy New Year!

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How many of us hear that? (Though maybe I guess the bigger question is: how many of us get that?)

I hear it all the time. While I agree all moms do, especially moms who are blessed with special kids, it’s not all its cracked up to be. Let me tell you.

Yesterday, I was able to attend a training program for my employment. Not counting the long drive due to traffic (we’re talking a 430am alarm) I’m really glad I did it. (And even with traffic, I’m still glad I did it.) Us telecommuters, any drives are a change, but if you throw in 1.5-3 hours one-way, we might go cross-eyed for a second. Anyway, the training program was excellent and I really do think I learned a lot of applicable tips. After training was completed, it was recommended to me by several co-workers who live close by that I hang around in the area for a couple of hours, or I’d just be sitting on the freeway for a couple of hours extra. I chose to hang out. I envisioned myself walking around this beautifully decorated outdoor area, strolling along, having a leisurely dinner…ahhh, sounds nice, eh?

Fast forward to leaving the training. I headed for the Citywalk, with its gorgeous Christmas trees, huge neon sculptures, and loud but perfectly fitting Christmas music. Ahhhh. I wandered through some stores, picked up some souvenirs for the kids, and headed back up the other side to some stores I’d not been in yet. I also was scoping out restaurants for my nice uninterrupted dinner. Then it hit me. Everyone in all those restaurants was either a couple or a family, boisterously enjoying their time together. Couples clanking wine glasses together, kids with sparkles in their eyes (so they were reflections from the Christmas lights everywhere, who cares) and tourists excited about their day. Me, I’m alone. No real shopping bags to speak of, no interest in wine when I’ve got a long drive ahead of me, and <sniff> my little ones at home wishing I was there. Suddenly, having a leisurely dinner really wasn’t as exciting.

So, what do I do? I turn to the next best thing: texting. I’d already called dh earlier, and he told me that bb had an awesome day, with news he wanted to tell me on his own. When he started talking to me, he sounded SO much older than his newly-eight-years age. Sniff. He wanted to tell me that they had their school party today, the prize for those who sold a lot in the fundraiser. He won the grand prize! He also grabbed another $20 in the ‘money blowing around in a phone-booth-type box’ game. It made his day.

I text my oldest dd. That didn’t last long, she had things to do. I text some friends. However, none of it makes up for the fact I’m sitting alone in a Tony Roma’s enjoying a really good salad..alone. Sounds nice, I know, and so did my friends who weren’t as appreciative of my plight. Hmmph. Thirty-five minutes later, because, really, how long can you drag out a salad, and I was on my way to the car. Smooth sailing for all of three minutes, then traffic. Wasn’t this the whole reason for my foray around Citywalk?

In the end, I did get to check out the whole Citywalk and found some amazing things, if it weren’t Christmas and I hadn’t already completed all my shopping and then some. I found some other restaurants I could eat in next time, but I’ll need to bring a book at least. As good as it all was, the best part of my day was the hug when I saw ds that evening….at 8:55pm. Long day, I’m tired, but that hug was the bestest.

If you get time by yourself, take it. Just plan better than me. You need the time, but wasting it feeling lonely or wishing you had more to do detracts from the experience. It’s all in the details.

I’ve been offline most of the week — I took the week off, with my husband, to Christmas shop and get prepped for ds’s birthday/party this weekend — so I’m a bit behind but here’s a few I saw this week.

Lesson in Autism Planned for Police  (News Transcript, New Jersey)

Now I just wish that this was mandatory for all police departments, everywhere.

Report: Fever Improves Autism Symptoms (CBS News)

When my son was hospitalized around Christmas last year for a stomach virus that dehydrated him, a doctor who’d never treated him before couldn’t believe his diagnosis. Autism? This cooperative kid? This “kid,” our son, was so sick, he couldn’t lift his head, much less bite himself or yell at someone. There’s definitely something to this idea that symptoms are better when ill, and I hope they spend more time on this.

Autistic Children Face Holiday Challenges (The Republican, Massachusetts)

This isn’t so much ‘news’ as it is interesting, given the time of year.


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