Monday, December 28, 2015

#MicroBlog Monday: Holiday? Oh, yeah, Holidays!

To see other MicroBlog Monday posts, go HERE.


The holiday season, starting with Thanksgiving, has been a bit different this year...and thus, I find myself on Monday, December 28th, going...oh, hey, yeah...Christmas happened, didn't it? 


There has been a lot of chaos, disorder and general anxiousness the past four months in our family, and with things not quite "normal", the holidays took on some of that Not Normal-ness...


First, we had a trip to North Carolina for Thanksgiving...when we normally wouldn't travel at all.  Then, December and the whole holidays with Hannukah and Christmas and my birthday--the chaos and the stress, the changes in our household for good and bad...it just all combined in making this holiday season...different.  Not necessarily a bad different, either.  But just--well, certain things we do "every year" did not get done.  Other things were done instead.  We had people over for Christmas (we usually NEVER have people over for Christmas)...we barely played our litany of Christmas music, etc.


The holidays came and went. We celebrated them, we enjoyed them...and now there is the season "finale" of New Years.


I guess one of the good things about things going by so quickly strange--I have not had as much time to be melancholy. (But New Years is usually The One with me where I grow quite sad and melancholy...which is why I LOVE this rendition of Auld Lang Syne, as it is so Joyful!)


So, the holidays are almost over--a new year with new holidays is about to begin...hoping the next year is less chaotic.


Wishing everyone a Happy and Healthy New Year!


P.S. Hoping to write more on my blog again--I got a new Laptop for my birthday...



Sunday, December 13, 2015

Busy busy

Busy weekend started on Friday evening with a play at one of the local high schools...both kids loved the Miracle Worker.   Then Saturday, I had a dentist appointment and Willow had her dance class...and then her friend Kayla came over and hilarity ensued....oye.

Today, we visited my mom at her long term care facility, giving away peanut butter fugde we made yesterday and giving and getting Xmas gifts.

Tonight was the last night of Hannukah, so we made cookies and latkes and exchanged some Hannukah gifts.  John came by and brought Minions on DVD...so we had a fun evening.

Whew!  And now...the week begins again!








Sunday, November 29, 2015

Thanksgiving, North Carolina, Time and the Sunday Post Holiday Trip Blahs

We traveled a round trip of over 1,500 miles this Thanksgiving holiday weekend (because of the amount of travel our "weekend" started Tuesday...)

We visited my dad and his wife for the holidays, as they recently moved to North Carolina for their retirement.  It suits them well and while I am not happy my dad lives so far away, I can see why he likes it.

The trip was long, the kids were awesome about it, the area he lives in reminded us of the Midwest, and there were reminders of the past and future everywhere.

Time and its perception are at play during vacations and trips and holidays.  I missed my homes, both my childhood home and my home here in MA.  I missed my dad and was so happy to see him...and I missed my whole family who are kinda scattered everywhere now...the past and the present intersecting.

The food was good, the company was nice and we all had a good time.  With that said, do I wish there had been more time?  Yes, because of the little things my dad did not get to see...my daughter reading Pippi Longstockings in the hotel room, my son actually opening up to me tonight with a long discussion on Hollywood masks and how they were made...things he could not get to know from the little time we all had this visit.  Time is precious and limited... We did a good job and we all were able to spend time together... And it was still not enough.  But yet, it was something, so that will do.

We finished this weekend up with a movie today...we went to see the new Peanuts movie.  It was very good and made me feel like the people who made it (including family of Charles Schulz) understood the legacy of the characters very well.  After the movie, Chewy said, "You know, your Grandma would have liked that movie.". Which was what I had been thinking too.  I guess there was more time travel to end the weekend.

Now...we are taking baths, packing snacks, getting ready for Monday and school and work.  Sunday Blahs are upon me...wish I had a rewind button...

Friday, November 20, 2015

The Teenager and his room...

Every so often he "cleans up" his room...to move stuff out that I carefully put in boxes and put into his closet.  The books that I lovingly kept in his bookcase that were his childhood books...his lego sets...moving them out of his room...

He has gotten quite a collection started, and he needs room for display...and last night he asked to use my phone to take some pictures...so that he could post them on the online forum he is part of (what that forum is...I don't know...) (asking if he wants to write a blog...is met with a "nah")  (he is on-line, but not really on Facebook....)

A glimpse at my teenager...the first photo is of Michael on Halloween night, looking at his candy...


I got him the small display cabinet...when he started this collection...

Models he has worked on and painted.

Collection of Don Post masks and other horribles...

As a mom, I note the lack of clothes on the hangers...the clothes are usually stuffed in drawers or in the laundry basket...

Also, I did originally get this bookcase for his large collection of books...which are stacked on the floor...sort of neatly...


Hmmm...Freaks is mine...Lost World is mine...I kid, they are his now...

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Monday, November 16, 2015

#MicrogblogMonday - Writing

To see other #MicroblogMonday Posts, please click HERE.

I almost went to bed.  No one else is up (well, the boy might be up, I thought I heard footsteps up there...but it could have been one of the cats--they are noisy at night!)

I have wanted to write this post last week--but did not find the time.  And now, I pushed myself...because it is what #Microblog is all about--trying to get yourself to write something...anything in the space you call your writing home...

Both my kids have shown talent when it comes to writing.

I think for Michael it is a great way for him to express himself.  He doesn't show it too often, but the emotions and the thoughts that he will bring to a ATL essay or a movie review--they are brilliant.  I wish he would tap into that more often...although, just like the footsteps I thought I heard--I think he does this thoughtful writing on the sly...in forums about horror movies and aurora models.  For someone who has a hard time expressing himself socially, the written word is power.  I hope he starts to understand that power as he grows to adulthood.

Willow...the imagination and wonder, her inventiveness and spark of...just Willow-ness...it is just so evident in her writing...

Sentences she came up with for vocabulary words (underlined); misspelling  in Second Grade writings are excused as they are learning the FORM of sentences...as long as they get the vocab words correct...

And this tells you what we were doing the weekend before last--camping at Girl Scout Camp!  (She had fun...I found it...not as fun...)

One of my favorite things in Second Grade so far--they have Friday Journals.  The child writes a journal entry about whatever they want to write about...usually the weeks events.  The "homework" is for the parent to read what they wrote--and write back to them in the journal.  I so wish they had done this when Michael was in elementary school.  I love the fact that I get to see into my daughter's world at school...and I get to write back to her and let her know what I think about her.

One entry a few weeks back was more than just a writing exercise...Willow had a bad day.  She wrote about how bad she felt and basically put on the drama thick ("its the worst day ever!" and "I hate being seven!").  She described an incident in school (she stuck her pencil in the pencil sharpener--because it was too small and the teacher had told everyone not to sharpen too short pencils...).  It was such a mournful, sad paragraph.  So sad, that the teacher wrote back to her...with the sweetest note about how things were solved (the pencil was extricated) and how yes, it can be tough to be seven years old, but hopefully she will begin to like second grade, etc.  It was reassurance and strength that Willow needed...the next day of school...was "the best day!"
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Friday, October 23, 2015

Reconcile

Looking at his yearbook, the one he just got, the one for last year.  The one that is not like a "typical" yearbook.  Entries that include students who barely speak, whose entries state so-and-so has "made progress this year in socialization".  Teachers and therapists and counselors.

I try to reconcile my child with this.  He is not like " them".  But he is not "typical" either.  He is quirky and different, but not so obvious...but yet he can be.  He is not defined by his Aspergers.  Yet, in the last few years, he has been.

It has taken me a long time to even consider myself a "special needs mom".  I cannot see myself as one most of the time, just like it is hard for me to reconcile my son to being a part of this private school community.  A community that he needs, that he is doing so much better with.  That is there for his needs....but...I sometimes look at things like the yearbook...and see the mirror image...the distant image of " typical" and "normal".  I sometimes long for it.

And then...I look at how much this change..this school and its special accommodations have helped him so much in the last year.  How much he was suffering at the " normal" school.  And I stop myself from longing for something that was only an illusion anyway.

We are all on our own paths in life.  My son's path may be harder than most, but is it also being forged well and with care.  It was not the path any of us chose, but it is the path we are on...so we damned well should make it the best way we can.

Monday, October 12, 2015

#MicroBlogMonday: Doing The Time Warp Again...

#MicroblogMonday, anyone?  Click here.

This weekend has been back and forth in time...

A few weekends ago, we cleaned out my mom's apartment.  Amongst her stuff, were two videos we had made for her of Michael. Saturday, I popped one into the only videotape machine in the house...and was reintroduced to my four year old son.  My pre-labeled, pre-tested, pre-teenager son.  My gosh, how damned cute, so different, yet, the same, yet innocent.  Michael watched some of it...and marveled over toys he remembered. It was awesome.  I will have to convert these digitally.

Later, on Sunday...Willow and I had a discussion I was hoping to avoid one more year.  But, it seems that she has reached another milestone... Santa has been revealed.  Now, I have no children to enchant this year.  I was sad at the time, but actually, feel a bit fine with it and hope to make her holidays still fun for her.  (I told her not to tell other kids...and she revealed that she had entreated all children about her previous discovery about the Tooth Fairy, but promised not to do so about Santa...with a why? Question before agreeing...).

The end of Sunday found us listening to the Time Warp as we drove two hours to visit a small, but special little horror movie musuem in Connecticut.  A place Michael discovered, and it was awesome!

Now, I am typing this on my phone in a motel room...tomorrow dawning...a Museum we have visited a few times before in our future.  I think the first time we visited it was when Michael was...four years old.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Small Moments

A few moments recently have made me sigh with happiness...

We started a new routine in the morning with her--she needs to eat her breakfast at the kitchen table before she can watch any cartoons.  As I rush past, I hear them and see her smile.  I have seen him sitting with her in the kitchen as she is eating her breakfast, and they are talking.   She is chipper and he is gentle with her.  This morning I saw him making faces and being silly--actually causing the same issue we had before--she was too mesmerized to eat!  I admonish him just a little.  Because I want this to continue.  This time, the small time, where each is enjoying the company at the table, the eye of the storm of the rush of the morning.   Time with dad.  

Two nights in a row, the teenager has deemed it okay to come down and initiate contact with the adults...playing a board game that he had sent away for an old and battered, monster-related (so a must have for his collection) game.  So far dad has won three games.  We need to play more games, on a school night.  With the boy who smiles.



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Monday, September 21, 2015

#MicroblogMonday - Ch--ch-anges

To see other #MicroblogMonday Posts, click here.

So, the roller coaster of our lives the past few years has continued onto another turn. (does anyone have the theme from the Great Space Coaster floating in their head when I say roller coaster?  just me? )

Chewy has gotten a new job opportunity that starts next week.  Willow started 2nd Grade and I got a raise and it seems more responsibilities...all within the last two weeks!

Meanwhile, Michael (and us for that matter) continue getting used to his new school.

Between juggling these new changes to our routines, we have the inevitable march of time--autumn is coming!

Luckily, Autumn in New England is beautiful, and while the past few years I have been more than a little depressed to find summer has been fleeting, I am starting to get that feeling for fall again.
Starting to look for those changing leaves and cooler mornings and evenings.

So, with a little trepidation to the future and what it can (and cannot) bring...I look towards the new changes. Photobucket

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

#MicroblogMonday (Tuesday): What is it like

To see other #MicroblogMonday Posts, click HERE.

What is it like?  I wonder and hope that I understand him.

I know what it is like to be a teenager

Out of control/In control

Knowing all and being smug

Knowing nothing and being scared

But his mind

I do not know what I think I know

He "doesn't know" either

Last night, frustration over a small thing

Erupts into a small (for him)

Big (for others) Tantrum

How does this work?

This Asperger thing?

Why and how and where

I clean up part of the mess (new carpet!)

He storms downstairs, still not calm

I talk calm but firm

(He will have to clean up the rest of the mess)

The mess that was a cause/consequence of his frustrations

He goes upstairs to his room again

Glaring is something he does well

Later.

Calm and cleaning up

This is my son

I worry about him

I know he will be fine

This smart/sad/frustrated/anxiety-bomb of a teenager

This wonderfully funny/frustrating/child of mine.

What will he be like in five years?

(I don't know)





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Monday, August 24, 2015

#MicroblogMonday: Clinging to Summer...

Not sure what #MicroblogMondays is? Read the inaugural post which explains the idea and how you can participate too.  Check out the current #MicroblogMonday posts HERE.

Well, there is no more denying it...the end of summer is upon us.  I have gotten most of Willow's school supplies and need to go through her clothing for the inevitable back to school updates/additions.

Last week I got Michael's "materials list" -- you become a junior in high school and the school supply list gets a new name!  (Oh, and we got his accommodations letter for PSATs and SATs...sigh...)

But...this weekend, we spent time enjoying summer...because it is still summer yet, damn it!!

We went to Cape Cod for a long weekend and it was so relaxing and fun.  We stayed here.  We were very impressed and hope to stay there again next year.  It was right on top of some of our favorite things, so we enjoyed beach time and pool time and some wonderful food too!

The weather was a bit gray at times, but it was perfect for us and we were able to get our little list of favorite things done in our three day mini-vacation!

Friday evening--time for a well deserved MudSlide!

This was very yummy--curried scallops!
That evening--beach preview.

Michael used his arcade tickets well!

Father and son walk on the beach--dad is carrying rocks that Willow found along the walk...she is in the distance...still gathering rocks and stones.


Some rocks that did not make the cut...
still looking for pretty stones, shells
Mini-golf on Sunday

Lots of lobster was eaten.  With Dignity...always Dignity!




The motel had a nice play set and an outdoor pool!


Not all food we craved was seafood!  Yum!

Until next year!!



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Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Feeling Limbo-ish

Waiting for the other shoe to drop...

Stuck in Limbo...

Not sure the next steps...


I spent the weekend in a funk, especially Sunday.  Monday was 20 years since Chewy's dad passed away unexpectedly.  20 years since my Grammie almost came to visit me in my new life, before she had the first of many strokes.

Twenty years and so much has changed, yet stayed the same.  Sometimes I just feel alone...and the losses make me feel even more alone.  Sometimes I feel like I am so overwhelmed and I wish I had someone to carry the burden...and then I realize that the someone who is carrying the burden for others...is me.

Sometimes we just need to catch a break.  Sometimes we do not.  Sometimes we do and we don't know it.

The roller coaster of life...I sometimes love it.  And sometimes I want to get off of it.

(I wonder if I need to be medicated; then I tell myself I do not)

Maybe its seasonal or generational.  I definitely can tell I am having "feeling old" moments, and yet I am young.

I am out of shape, but I am working on getting back my exercise routine.  I am happy but weary.

Things are good...but not great...things could be getting worse.

We have our health (for now, I think)  

We have each other.

The summer is spinning out of control and most of the things I love to do I have not done yet.  (Really, do I have to have a list, must things always be the same/different?)

Well, you know what...there is always time (until there isn't)...

I want to read more, but there seems to be no time...its almost a year since Robin Williams died...is everything going to be all right...why are there so many Republican candidates...why is Elizabeth Warren not running...maybe she will...where is my license plate that I ordered...I am so sick of packing lunches for summer camp.

You know what--she is back in from playing outside.  Her cheeks are red and she is happy and she makes me forget my fears and worries.  There is just now with my little girl...

and it is enough.


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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Weird Summer

Having vacation right at the start of summer already makes for a strange summer, especially since part of summer is anticipation...but this summer just has been all kinds of weird...

Michael is going to school, as his school is year round.  He has a summer elective and they get 1/2 days on Friday, but it still means that his morning routine is the same.  Which means our routine is the same, really.  He is not the only one eagerly awaiting his two weeks vacation at the end of August!

Willow has been to two different summer camps.

The first one ended last week...it was more of a "Tiger Mom" type camp, where the kids had workshops and classes throughout the day.  Last Friday was Family Day and we got to see what she had been doing for the last 3 weeks.  She had explored science and things that fly...and been part of an actors studio and dance.  For the acting--the kids put on a play.  In the auditorium of the middle school where the camp was held.  On the stage, my bubbly little girl became the shy,stage-frighty girl...she ran crying from the stage.  We comforted her and told her all the actors who have stage-fright, etc.  She ended up going up on stage with the rest of the class and taking her bow.  The bubbly-girl came back in the dance class---she put on her "costume" (they had tie dyed shirts earlier in the class curriculum) and she twisted and twirled and smiled.

For the rest of the summer, Willow will be going to a more "traditional" camp--swimming, field trips, running, jumping, crafts, etc.  Already I can see this is more her speed.  (Monday, her first day, they went on a hike in the woods, ate their lunches and she met a new friend and they found a tree who spoke to them in a tree language that they made up)

Chewy is working from home, which makes it weird too.

Add in our "normal" mix of anxieties from Aspergers/Teen issues, work issues, home and car repair...it just makes for a strange time.

Not to mention, of course, the fact that I cannot wrap my head around the fact that more than 1/2 of this year is over...that my son is almost 16 1/2, my daughter will be in second grade in September...

I need more beach time!  [sigh]


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Sunday, July 05, 2015

Cape Cod 2015

It wasn't perfect (weather was tricky the first couple of days, almost got killed on the highway when my trunk opened unexpectedly, our first hotel room was impossible for us to stay in, teen angst, etc...)...but our vacation on Cape Cod did indeed pick up and there were some wonderful highlights...

as usual, it was over too fast--and on top of it all, add an unusual July 4th and Chewy's birthday today (July 5th) and Chewy's mother leaving to go back to Michigan after her visiting...we are a bit bittersweet feeling today.

But, we have our memories to look back on!



On a beach in Hyannis--waiting for the weather to be better!


Cape Cod National Seashore Visitors Center.

At Red Barn Pizza in Eastham.

Beach time in Eastham!


Looking at art in Provincetown!

Hanging out with Nonnie in Provincetown.

Finding snails, shrimp and hermit crabs in Provincetown.

Singing to a snail.

Highfield Hall in Falmouth had Fairy Houses!

This fairy house in a tree and has little lobster traps!

Willow looking picture perfect.

Willow and Nonnie looking at a fairy house.

Mini-golf!





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Things I haven't done yet...

Things I haven't had the chance of doing yet or been prevented from doing: See my son's presentation on Rabies for his biology ...