Monday, February 28, 2011

My kids are NOT nice and I am pathetic

Zachary is drawing a wonderful picture of our dentist. In one hand is the mirror, the other is the "hooky thing he checks your teeth with."  My jaw clenched. Mallory, my sweet, innocent little pink bunny, keeps thinking she should remind me I should start getting ready for my dentist appointment. Shoulders up to my ears, jaw still clenched. Then comes Dylan. "Oh yea, you have a dentist appointment today!" 50 times. Still going. If I clench my jaw or tense any other part of me any harder I'm going to compress into a flat slab of human being. Wait, if I'm still a human being then I still have to go to the appointment!! Zachary just drew the nice appointment chair. He's putting lots of detail into it, and OH there's the shelves "where he keeps the flavors of that goo stuff!" Ouch. No nothing happened, I'm just anticipating. Dear Lord, let Dylan have driving privileges just for today so I can take a Valium. Would it fly if I cancelled due to anaphylactic shock cause I'm allergic to the smell of the office?? Just had to smile and tell Zach I love his picture. I think I'll be okay....I think. At least I think I think I'll be okay. Nah, nope-I don't believe that at all no matter how many times I say it, but I'll go anyway.True courage, right????

Bet you want to know what I'm having done, don't ya. Nothing. Literally, nothing. This is me worked up over getting my teeth just looked at to decide what work should be done. Don't think I can't hear the laughter....hmmmm, maybe this is why people don't take my dental recommendations seriously? This is why I'm not mentioning his name in my post, cause that would be almost as not nice as my children are being today.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

On a brighter, lighter note...

This is my latest knitting project. Alexis wants a spiral scarf and I of course insisted I WILL MAKE IT! Oy, the echo keeps playing over and over in my head, and I am cursing my stubbornness. My mom originally gave me the pattern, I tried it but, when only seeing the triangular shapes forming and not a hint of spiral, I pulled it out and started over. And tried again. And pulled it out again. And-you guessed it-tried it again, and pulled it out again. Those stupid triangulated shapes were about to be striangulated! ( I commented that on another person's blog, personally I thought it was so funny it was worth repeating just for you) I did a Google search for spiral scarf knit patterns, and there were TONS! And they only needed like, well some only needed 400 stitches, some 600--A-OH OH-A, areyoukiddingme? I have a hard time keeping up with 50 stitches-oh who'm'I kidding, I have a hard time keeping track of 10 stitches. I found the pattern in my searching (click here to check out her blog), it's the same pattern my Mom originally gave me, with an experienced knitter promising that after about 6 inches it will spiral. Her pictures are beautiful and after reading comments I decided I just had to trust her...I'll keep you updated, cause I know y'all will be on the edge of your seats, breathlessly waiting to hear me shout "IT SPIRALED!!!!"

Use appropriate size needles for the yarn you are using. Follow that? Translation--use whatever size needles you feel like using with whatever type of yarn you are using. I am using size 10 needles with a soft, cashmere-like yarn.

Cast on 20 stitches.
Knit 8.
Turn your work-actually switch needles as if you are done the row and starting the next row--TRUST ME, it's okay, I promise. Okay, hard to take my word for it cause I'm not spiraling yet, but TRUST ME.
Knit those 8 back, only those 8, and no others.  !!!! 
Knit 6.
I won't lecture you this time cause I'm sure you trust me now, turn your work and knit those 6 back.
Knit 4.
Knit 4 back. (see? now you're learning knitting pattern lingo, I'm proud of you!)
Knit 20, go all the way. Don't try to imagine it cause if you're like me, it won't make sense in your mind but it will make sense as you do it.
Just keep repeating this pattern, and I'm pretty certain you'll have a pretty spiral scarf!
So without the commentary,

Cast on 20 stitches.
Repeat from * until scarf is desired length. Oh okay, that is too patterny speak; keep repeating the pattern until the scarf is as long as you want it to be.  :-)


I'm not sure what is more heartbreaking for me: when Zachary is having a (more and more rare) meltdown, or how he recovers from the meltdown. I am so sad for him when he is having a meltdown because I know there is such an intense level of frustration going on and he just can't sort it out anymore. Yes, I know that's the root of anyone's meltdown; with spectrum kids it is just unavoidable once that water boils up and over the pot. At that point the only real solution is letting the boil-over happen. Yes I can remove the pot from the burner, but until enough water evaporates and there's no more boil-over, or the temperature cools enough, it's out of my hands. The tears that Zachary cries after a meltdown are so deep and so real I feel the pain in my own soul, a pain so deep inside him that neither he nor I have yet been able to fully reach. For some reason though, it seems to hurt me even more when he bounces right back and finds something to talk about or do; I know he is compartmentalizing the hurt and frustration and pain, putting it away in his mind, locking it away and forcing the good thoughts and plans to take the forefront. He has to start talking about good and positive things to restore order to the chaos that had taken over. It sounds healthy, I know--and for him, it is. I ache for him though. He has to make himself happy when there is still anger and hurt inside. As he gets older, as we progress in handling different situations, he does occasionally talk about what had him so upset. Cheyenne (our little mutt, as Zachary calls her) is often his coping mechanism, 20 minutes since the meltdown and he is going through his scripted speaking about and to the dog. "She's such a lovey. We love her and will protect her forever, isn't that right Mama? She's so cute, don't you agree? She's always there for us." This will go on for a few more minutes, then he'll feel better. Shortly after that I'll get a huge hug, the kind that feels that he is part of me, and neither of us wants to let go from that hug. Let go I must, and we do......

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Safety and the Autistic Child

I know I've typed before about safety concerns with Zachary, particularly about crossing the street and parking lots. We've worked through that. Not as a parent would work through street and parking lot safety with a "neuro-typical" child--reminders and timeouts just did not work. The solution really was (is) quite simple, Zachary holds my hand or arm. We still practice all the time, I still have him look both ways for both of us when we are crossing (and don't worry, I look too cause otherwise I'd not by typing this right now lol). I was finding myself getting a little bit frustrated and impatient, until the "Aha" moment. I was sitting at a traffic light in town as some school kids began crossing and walking home. A father and son came up to the crosswalk, and I noticed the boy looked to be about Zachary's age; they caught my attention quickly because they were holding hands. You don't see that too often with kids that they crossed the street I knew--the boy had special needs (probably autism) and he was holding onto his Dad more than the other way around. The light bulb that went off over my head was so bright it actually seemed to buzz audibly! (okay, yea I just admitted again to the hearing things in my head, I know) Z just isn't ready and I was trying to push him to a level for which he was not ready. Simple as that, I hold his hand whenever we're in the street or a parking lot. It's not a struggle, there is no fight, as a matter of fact it's usually Zachary reaching for my hand or arm, just as he does in stores or other crowded places. I am his rock, I am his centering place, and I don't have a problem with that. I wish others could understand but I understand that most do not (or will not). I let him go when he is ready to be let go, and I nudge him in those directions when needed-when he finds his way on his terms, the pride and accomplishment he feels and expresses are rewards that no words could ever describe.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

What a lucky Mama I am

I'm thankful. I'm thankful I had all of my kids in synagogue with me tonight. I'm thankful for the sarcasm they throw at me when they are together, because usually that means at least 2 of them are in on it which means they are bonding, lol! I'm thankful for the congregation at our synagogue, a group of people that never ever stop making us (and everyone) feel welcome and part of the TS family. I'm so very thankful to have been privileged enough to watch my youngest read out loud to the congregation, a feat that surprised many--I think especially him! I am blessed, I am loved, and I am truly thankful.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The newest Hands of a Child Semi Annual Freebie is here!

This is a full lapbook project from Hands of a Child, based around the book "The Big Snow," the grade recommendations are K-2.  Go to Hands of A Child online Enjoy!

Monday, February 7, 2011

writing shouldn't be this hard!

Now I bet you thought this was going to be a post about the kids and struggles with getting them to write. Well nope! Its all about me, how 'bout that! I'm challenging myself (yes, the voices in my head are at it again....) to blog much more. I guess if I'm measuring against my more recent track record for blogging I'm not up for too much of a challenge but I'm actually going to set--dare I say it--goals.  

I'm back. Be ready. Be prepared. This is going to be profound. HAHAHAHAHAHA. Hey, ya never know....