Me and my kiddo

Me and my kiddo

Saturday, June 25, 2011

When I say I have a high energy kiddo...

... I'm not kidding.

This was getting ready for bed.  After it finished there was a half hour of slower play and then reading to himself and then out like a light.  It really does take two hours to "wind down".

Friday, June 24, 2011

Waltz and Tango

We're loving our latest date-mornings!  Learning these ballroom dances with really great teachers and private lessons is so much fun!  We finished our evening with an after-dinner waltz yesterday and is was so calm and elegant and happy :)

Other good things to share:
Fun new novel "North and South" has a definite Austen feel
Finished the Narnia series as my kiddo bounded around the den yelling what he thought would happen next

This week's Objectivist Round Up.
Cute antics:
• responding to the finish of the first the first act of Hamlet with roll-on-the-floor, wild goofiness.  Perhaps trying to convince us that he was mad too?
• referring to himself as a "burp-ee-ologist" after another intentional burping run
• picking up his latest anatomy lesson quite well.  Now, I'm not allowed to tickle his ulna, radius, ischium, femur or carpals and he's still most persistent about not letting me have his kidneys :)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Video Games

Video games have been on my mind this week.   The counselor was very persuasive in sharing her observations that kids on the autism spectrum who play lots of video games wind up getting more and more frustrated with social interactions because they find that rapid, immediate response of the games so much more positive and they want that kind of interaction.  Over the last few days, the video game thing seems to have really changed.  Instead of something that my kiddo would play and take breaks and enjoy as one of many activities, he's been obsessed with this game. One night, my husband found him sneaking down stairs twice around midnight and my kiddo said the game was making his eyes hurt but it was so fun he wanted to keep playing.  We've had lots of discussions all together and just as parents too.  I'm teetering on resetting a limit and concerned... we'll see.

Other things to share:
Watching White Christmas for the first time was a truly delightful experience.  If you've missed it, Netflix or buy or rent... soon!
 Cute antics:
• picking up a timer when he wanted me to be done chatting and setting it with the statement, "You have three minutes! [Dubious look from me.] Indeed so!"
• commenting on his game in a gleeful tone, "I've never had such a good time with bazookas."
• informing me after gulping, burping for twenty minutes intentionally, "I think I have a burping problem.  I think it's the guacamole dinner I had with Chris [over a week ago].  I didn't mean to start this symphony, so remember that when burping symphonies start. I can't help it.  Maybe it's allergies." (Boys?  Perhaps my memory is faulty, but I can't recall such activities among sisters.)
• requesting his chewable multivitamin with, "Even though you are not my servant, I really want my vitamins!"

Friday, June 10, 2011

Messy and Fun

This week's date was a trip to the pottery studio to learn how to throw pots on a wheel.  Fun!

Other things to share:
This week's Objectivist Round Up.
These pics of San Francisco from a blimp... GORGEOUS!
Cute antics:

• sounding like a teenager but with a goofy kid giggle when he drawled "Satisfied?" and explained that he would stop eating all the chocolate and cranberries out of the trail mix by alternating with nuts.

• trying to avoid hiking by stating, "I'm not smug and strong you know."

• sharing his opinion with me on a particular aid, "That girl is boring as a possum... and possums are very boring."   

• responding to our usual breakfast question of "What are you looking forward to today?" with "Eating a muskrat."  (No.  I do not know where he comes up with these things and we do not serve muskrat here... at least, not for lunch or dinner.)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

On the Horizon: Developmental Remediation Center Newsletter

This free, Autism newsletter often prompts me to think about parenting techniques and, as I've noted before (book 3), I frequently find their suggestions are highly applicable to neuro-typical kids too.  So, I wanted to share three links to issues of their newsletter articles that I enjoyed.

One Step Back Three Steps Forward: Dysregulation and Development
Especially for those with younger kids, remembering that, when they're tackling a new developmental mile stone, they may briefly seem to be regressing, can be hugely helpful!  I remember how frustrating this was for me in the moment and I think this perspective would have helped.

To Control or Not Control
This is just a brief one, but it's a good reminder about avoiding unnecessary power struggles.

Finding Peace
This one is a beautiful reminder about ways to enjoy the process of parenting.  I'm usually quite mellow in my parenting, so I found myself nodding a lot as I read.  My challenge would probably be #3:
Stop and take a deep breath
Sometimes when we are facing challenges with our kids, the best thing to do in the troublesome moment is nothing at all. Many parents think that they are supposed to jump up and “do something” when problems arise with their children. Obviously this is the case if a child is going to do something to harm himself or others. However, a lot of the time the problems are not life-or-death, but we act as if they are. Taking a moment to just stop, breath, and think before you rush off to do something allows a sense of peace to prevail in otherwise un-peaceful moments.
I have a particularly hard time not trying to fix any significant situation.  Tantrums never got under my skin, but, when he's feeling hurt by others, my mommy fix-it-lady roars to action and it's time to have a full discussion about all the options and choices and potential results.  While he responds beautifully to that, I need to remember that my kiddo isn't as socially naive as he used to be.  He can tackle these challenges without me (and will need to to become independent).  I've been working very hard recently to give an encouraging "hmmm" or "oh?" when presented with a situation and to let him take the lead.  It's a classic tool from the How to Talk book too and, again, I've never found a better resource than that book for parenting techniques, skills, and tools that keep me improving.  Here's to skilled parenting :)

Our peaceful, family hike at Mt. Rainier a few days ago... although he got our hearts going when he stepped through those bridge railings for a better look!  (There a pounding waterfall 100 ft away and a rushing, glacial river just bellow us.)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Some poems...

... I've been saving.  These were all discovered on posts from my friend Elizabeth Michiels on her Facebook page!  I was scanning through potential posts and I kept coming across these inspirational poems.  So, here's a dose of poetry delight thanks to a dear online friend :)  I really must get out to Texas to visit her in person!

The Man in the Glass
by Dale Wimbrow
When you get what you want in your struggle for pelf,
And the world makes you King for a day,
Then go to the mirror and look at yourself,
And see what that guy has to say.

For it isn't your Father, or Mother, or Wife,
Who judgement upon you must pass.
The feller whose verdict counts most in your life
Is the guy staring back from the glass.

He's the feller to please, never mind all the rest,
For he's with you clear up to the end,
And you've passed your most dangerous, difficult test
If the guy in the glass is your friend.

You may be like Jack Horner and "chisel" a plum,
And think you're a wonderful guy,
But the man in the glass says you're only a bum
If you can't look him straight in the eye.

You can fool the whole world down the pathway of years,
And get pats on the back as you pass,
But your final reward will be heartaches and tears
If you've cheated the guy in the glass.

The Reading Mother by Strickland Gillilan

I had a mother who read to me
...Sagas of pirates who scoured the sea,
Cutlasses clenched in their yellow teeth,
"Blackbirds" stowed in the hold beneath

I had a Mother who read me lays
Of ancient and gallant and golden days;
Stories of Marmion and Ivanhoe,
Which every boy has a right to know.

I had a Mother who read me tales
Of Gelert the hound of the hills of Wales,
True to his trust till his tragic death,
Faithfulness blent with his final breath.

I had a Mother who read me the things
That wholesome life to the boy heart brings-
Stories that stir with an upward touch,
Oh, that each mother of boys were such!

You may have tangible wealth untold;
Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.
Richer than I you can never be-
I had a Mother who read to me.

All To Myself
by Wilbur Dick Nesbit

ALL TO MYSELF, I find the way
Back to each golden yesterday,
Faring in fancy until I stand
Clasping your ready, friendly hand;
The picture seems half true, half dream,
And I keep its color and its gleam
All to myself.

All to myself I hum again
Fragments of some old-time refrain,
Something that comes at fancy's choice,
And I hear the cadence of your voice:
Sometimes 'tis dim, something 'tis clear,
But I keep the music I hear
All to myself.

All to myself I hold and know
All of the days of long ago-
Wonderfull days when you and I
Owned all the sunshine in the sky:
The days come back as the old days will,
And I keep their tingle and their thrill
All to myself.

All to myself! My friend, do you
Count all the memories softly, too?
Summer and Autumn, Winter, Spring,
The hopes we cherish, and everthing?
They course my veins as a draft divine,
And I keep them wholly, solely mine-
All to myself.

All to myself I think of you,
Think of the things we used to do,
Think of the things we used to say,
Think of each happy, bygone day;
Sometimes I sigh and sometimes I smile,
But I keep each olden, golden while
All to myself.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe

Not only did we finish the last Harry Potter book, we also delved into the Narnia series this week.  We even read the first book, The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, all in one day!  You should see the acrobatics this kid does while I'm reading!  He leaps from couch to table to couch and climbs across the couch backs and balances on the arms and bounces back and forth across the cushions.  This doesn't stop the whole time I'm reading and he usually goes at least 30 minutes if not a full hour before taking a break for something else.  We are not buying new furniture until his listening is less active! (Ha, that reminded me this is not the usual meaning of "active listening"!)  I have already sewn pieces of both couches back together.  

Other things to share:
This week's Objectivist Round Up.
Cute antics:

Asking for whiskey at the restaurant and laughing.  He hates the stuff and is developing quite the odd since of humor.

Complaining about bitter berries, "Too many blueberries are grimace-berries."

Declaring, "I'm a songaramus." (Someone who can guess what musical / movie songs come from.)

Informing me when he came to difficult spot in his homework, "It's time for helping sister."

Taking a gasping breath while playing computer games and letting out a long, groaning, "I.... aaaaammmmmmmm.... a goooooood.... boyyyyy!" (Yes, he's an odd duck, but I did mention that I agree.)

Well prepared for the theatre when I came down in the morning... we did convince him to turn the shirt around before going to see "Guys and Dolls".