My Kindle

I bought a Kindle last January with money I received for writing an article. I already had a Kindle with a keyboard but the new one was a Kindle Fire. I was so excited!

So was Peter.

And every time he manages to get his mitts on it, he buys videos or apps. One week he spent nearly fifty dollars! I thought, “I’ll fix this” and I signed him up for Kindle Free Time. Hah! The joke was on me. Now, Peter thinks the Kindle is his–and the Kindle reinforces this concept by putting the user’s name in the upper left-hand corner. Peter is playing with it right now and it says “Peter’s Kindle” in the corner. How helpful is that?

I have an article due in January for the same publication. I think my check will be earmarked for a new Kindle Fire and the article isn’t even finished. 😦


Summer is Coming to a Close

Summer is ending and as with all good things there are some regrets and some things to look forward to.

I started my master’s degree and got an “A” in one class and a “B” in another and learned a great deal over the summer. This was a good thing.

Regret: I wish I had anticipated how much time it would take to get into the swing of things with the different style guides. I need to give myself more time to deal with stylistic differences and creative aspects of writing. I’m used to writing in extremes: I either write in a colloquial style for my blog or a more formal manner for articles for a newspaper. The writing I had to do for my Creative Writing class was completely different and something I had not done for a while.

Good thing: Peter has been talking in complete sentences for a little while now but we’re working on getting him to put two or more sentences together and that’s going to be a continuing challenge. Nathan received a Nintendo DS Lite for his birthday and he has taken to it like a duck to water. He loves it and it makes him feel like a big boy to have his own. He’s been pretending all summer and has a new friend in the neighborhood who is a little younger but has quite the imagination too.

Regret: Peter has been very attached to the computer this summer and it’s been very, very difficult to pull him away from it unless we leave the house.

Good thing: We were able to get some home improvement projects completed–including replacing both toilets.

Peter clogged the one upstairs and we never did get it completely unclogged so we had to replace it. The downstairs toilet was clogged by one of the kids (Peter?) with something other than toilet paper (toy car?) and my husband broke the toilet trying to take the tank off of the seat. So two new toilets were installed (by me).

Good thing: We finally painted my daughter’s room. (My husband did most of the painting). It’s really very pretty and she likes it a lot. The color turned out to be a very pink purple or a very purple pink. Either way, she likes it and it works.

Regret: In cleaning up and putting things away, my husband was in the attic and accidentally put his foot through the ceiling in the hallway upstairs but it all worked out–the hole was right outside a hall closet and one side broke cleanly from the next piece of sheetrock. We put a 1 X 4 between the rafters and placed a new piece of sheetrock over the hole and used drywall screws to put it in place so it’s all good.

[My husband is almost as good as Peter at making messes :)]

Future projects involve my back yard flower bed, replacing the sink and vanity in the downstairs bathroom, painting the stairwell and painting the boys’ room.

We’re running out of summer.

Oh, Boy What a Week!

It seems that just when I think it’s safe to relax, that’s when I discover that relaxing can’t be in my vocabulary for at least another 10 years–if that.

Peter, flooded the downstairs bathroom. This time it was legitimately not his fault– at least I don’t think.

Last week, just before we were to pull out of the driveway to visit my in-laws (a four/five hour trek on a good day), Peter slapped at the television screen for the car DVD player and snapped it right off. I still don’t know how much that is going to cost me. The dealer rep who handles this hasn’t called me back yet.

Peter fell down the stairs while we were at my in-laws but aside from a rug burn on his shoulder he was okay.

On the plus side, my nephew had a stuffed Mickey Mouse that he toted around when he was little and, now that he is eleven, he bequeathed it to Peter who promptly fell in love. So this much loved on Mickey is now Peter’s sleeping buddy along with a smaller Mickey and four or five copies of the Alaskan sled dog. His bed has gotten a little crowded.

My Pinch-Hitter

My husband is off today which is unusual. Normally he works Saturday mornings and because he gets up really early (2:30 a.m.), he’s exhausted by the time he gets home. This means he takes a nap (he falls asleep whether he wants to or not) and I have all three kids by myself for almost the full day with little relief in sight. (When he does wake from his nap, my husband is still tired and grumpy.)

Today, I get a little break. I won’t have to wrestle Peter during naptime by myself. I won’t have to harp at Gabrielle to clean up one of her many notorious messes. (Why is it dads can say something once in that deeper voice and kids jump to obey?) And Nathan will have another person with which to play jungle gym.

Now, if I could convince my husband to let me take a nap. . .

The Need for Openess

Autism can be very isolating for the parents of these special children. My husband and I have to make an effort to be kind and loving to each other. We don’t often get to go out on dates so we have to make the best of the time we have together. Whether it means a movie night while the kids are supposed to be going to sleep or spending a few minutes every day really talking to each other, we have to have that time together so that we don’t feel isolated from each other.

My husband’s job keeps him away nearly all day between work and his commute so I have the kids most of the day by myself. During the school year this isn’t so bad– the day is split up into many different activities. However, come summer, I have to come up with some creative ways of entertaining three kids without breaking the bank or causing a county-wide state of emergency.

Most of all, I have to manage to keep my sense of humor and my sanity most of the summer.

Random Acts of Illness

Friday seemed to start out fine but then I received a phone call from my sister saying that my daughter’s school had been trying to reach me. Gabrielle was sick and my sister was on her way to pick her up.

While this was happening, Nathan was exhibiting signs of a fever but showed no other symptoms. When I checked his temperature later, he had a fever of 103 degrees. Strangely, Peter remained healthy throughout all of this and both Nathan and Gabrielle were sick only for about 24 hours.

Despite these random illnesses, Gabrielle was recovered and well by the time of her Tae Kwon Do belt graduation yesterday. She did very well and received her red belt (decided) which is her last color belt. In eight weeks she will test for her “black belt recommended” (it’s actual color is a red stripe/black stripe) so she can beginning training for her black belt.

Peter is doing well with his potty-training. We still have “oops” moments but that’s the same with every child. I spoke with Gabrielle’s Tae Kwon Do instructor about enrolling Peter in a year. They mainstream the special education students so Peter would have to enroll on a trial basis to see if he is able to follow directions and take instruction. I’m hoping in a year that he will be able to fully participate in such a class (or at least enough). He could certainly use the focus such training would provide. And the self-defense aspect would make me very happy.

My List of Things to Do

I hate forgetting things. I hate forgetting appointments or sippy cups or meetings with teachers. I write things down and still I sometimes forget. I think it’s the craziness, the constant going– meetings, therapy, school– that can overwhelm my memory and the silly thing shuts down. I think that part of my brain gets overloaded.

Today, I confused one of Nathan’s doctor’s appointments with one of mine and switched the times. Of course, I realized what happened about ten minutes into what should have been his appointment. I tried calling and couldn’t get through so we had to drive down there and ended up rescheduling.

I used to be able to remember meetings and appointments with ease. Once upon a time, I could remember things I read, where they could be found and what page they were on– sometimes even a year or more later. Now I’m lucky if I remember to write things down.