Sunday, February 28, 2010

You Won't Get My Joke If You're Not Following the Saga of Asperger's Being Folded into the Autism Spectrum Disorder Umbrella in the New DSM. Sorry. *

I got some excellent comments on my last post about Jack being described in a developmental pediatrician report as "adorable." It's so nice to have a doctor take the time to drop a really wonderful compliment into a report, especially considering that these reports often mostly chronicle our children's struggles.

What I found in those comments is that several of you have had doctors write similar things in your children's reports and charts. It turns out that many of us have children with an Adorable diagnosis or a Precious diagnosis.

But (and forgive me if you are one of the people to whom I already made this joke to in a response to your comment) I have sad news for those of you with those diagnoses.

It turns out that the Adorable and Precious diagnoses won't make it into the new version of the DSM. Those conditions are now going to be folded into the larger category of "Cuteness Spectrum."

* Somewhat unbelievably, Blogger's title field isn't long enough for me to title this post what I really wanted to title it. I need a class in headline writing apparently.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Well, It's Official.

We got our report in the mail today from the Kennedy Krieger developmental pediatrician that I took Jack to see in December. And it's not like we weren't expecting what she wrote, but it's one thing to think it and quite another to see it in black and white:

"Jackson presented as a slender otherwise adorable youngster."

I think this might be my favorite report I've ever gotten. And, in case you're wondering, I concur.

Adorable. And slender, evidently.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I [Emoticon] You. (LOL)

"There is no emoticon for what I am feeling."
—Comic Book Guy, The Simpsons

I have never been the type of person to use emoticons. I have also never been the type of person to write things like LOL, ROFL, or OMG.

But that is really two (very, very important) issues.

First up: the emoticon. Okay. I sent an email to my supervisor at some point several months back and upon reading his response, realized that my sarcasm did not translate to the written word. Which I think is weird, because when I write, I hear me saying the words in my head, so I wonder why you can't hear them too.

On a side note, please get the hell out of my head.

Anyway, no damage was done by that email to my supervisor, but it did teach me that sometimes a well placed :) makes a big difference. I have to tell you that emoticon usage is not just a slippery slope, but a damn Olympic ski jump. If you have been the fortunate recipient of one of my emails, you are probably aware that they have infiltrated my writing to the point that I can't write a personal missive with out including at least two little emoticon smiley faces. And the occasional frowny face.

Sometimes I'll even try to put an emoticon within a parenthesis, which possibly creates a situation where the clarity I am trying to achieve with the emoticon is wrecked by the additional spacing and punctuation.

(It's tough to have clarity, right? :) )

I'm okay with the :) emoticon and the :( emoticon, but that is as far as I go. Every once in a while, I accidentally miss the shift key and my smiley face turns into a winkey face, like this: ;). That's a problem, and a little too cheeky for me.

Now, for the LOLs of the world. I have absolutely no problem reading these acronyms when other people use them. In fact, I enjoy them. They convey a lot in just a little bit of space. I particularly enjoy them when someone uses one to tell me that I am making them laugh. Or making them roll on the floor laughing. Or! There is the highly coveted ROFLMAO. That's my favorite.

But I have clung steadfastly to my belief that I don't use these shorthands. Until I started to notice that OMG was creeping into my usage. Now, I have to tell you that my favorite way to experience OMG is when someone says it out loud: "Oh-em-gee." But it's all right if you write it down too. Or even type it.

However, I've noticed that I've started using it in my written work (and by "work," I mainly mean "emails") because it's easy. And because then I don't have to worry about the comma (Oh, my God or Oh my God), and I always worry about the capitalization of "God" because if it's a name it should be capitalized, but if it's just my god, then maybe it shouldn't, but oh jeez, then what if I offend someone because "God" should always be capitalized? Or, even worse, what if I offend people just for saying oh my God when I am clearly doing so in vain? Because I do know people who are hurt by that, and I don't really want to hurt anyone over that.

Hmmm. I could pretty much have just said the following instead of all of the above: You may start to see LOL speak and emoticons slipping into my words more often. Sorry.

OMG. :)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

His Life Was Short, But He Accomplished A Lot

I had a whole bunch of photos and an entire page of scrawled notes that I was going to put together into a most excellent and hilarious post on the birth of a frog.

"We Have Frog!" it was going to be triumphantly titled.

It was crazy. One day he had a long tail, and the next day his tail was short and saucy.

Plus, he was breathing air.

He was flaunting his frogness to his tank buddy.

Then he moved into his cave.

Can you spot the frog?

So we fed him.

Now, can you spot the prey? We put fruit flies in too.

But, you guys, I have sad news. There is no easy way to say this. I came downstairs this morning and excitedly looked in the tank to see what our new friend was doing.

He was upside down on the bottom of the tank, arms and legs outstretched. It was horrible. Alex vigorously tapped on the side of the tank as if he were merely sleeping in an odd position. If you want to know how bad I feel about the poor little frog, you should notice that I didn't take a photo. That should tell you something.

I have no idea what happened to him. Did he drown? Did he choke on his cricket? Did the stress from yesterday's tank cleaning/feeding/photo shoot do him in?

Is it my fault?

Sam took it pretty hard. Jack and Quinn were more curious. Alex stepped up big time and used a slotted spoon to carry him to the toilet for his burial ceremony.

Of course, Alex then watched me decide to throw our newly purchased crickets away too, only to say, "Oh, so we're going to escalate it to mass murder, huh?"

And yeah, I feel bad about the crickets too, but it's not like I could release them into the frigid winter air and tell them to be free.

I tell ya', the first half hour of my morning was a pretty serious drag and had a high body count.

R.I.P., little guy.

Friday, February 19, 2010

I Tip My Hat to You

You guys. I'm speechless. I am constantly floored by you, my readers and commenters. You are all so wise and thoughtful. You blew my mind, this time in a good way, with your comments, emails, and tweets after my last post.

THIS is community. (And I know I shouldn't be surprised, but I am constantly amazed by this community.)

THIS is why social media is powerful.

THIS is why social media really matters.

So many of you came out of the woodwork to give me moral support, stories about yourselves and your children, and some good ol' solid practical advice—including ideas for places to find social groups for Jack as well as suggestions for proposals to take to Jack's team at school.

I have heard from special needs parents, special educators, teachers, parents of typical kids, people without kids, and all combinations thereof. I also got comments from many of you who were previously lurking here. Thank you all. You lift me up. Your experience, wisdom, and just plain old kind words are amazing to read.

I am also especially pleased to see that I have readers with autism who like what I write. As a mother of a child with autism who will grow up to be an adult with autism, I am glad you appreciate what I say here. I want so badly to be respectful to Jack and his autism, so to hear from you on the spectrum means a great deal to me. Your presence here, and your words, are valuable and always welcome.

So thank you. There are a lot of reasons for me to write in this little space here, but you guys, all of you, are the biggest reason I keep coming back.


I want to say one more thing. Jack has a good team at his school. They are good to me and to him. Some of them, including at least one who I know reads here, I consider to be personal friends. I know they want what is best for Jack, but sometimes best intentions get lost in the shuffle of everyday life, work, and a busy day at school. I am going to take your ideas and mine to them and we will work something out for Jack. I know we will. We have to, right?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A Revelation

I had my mind blown today, and not in a good way. Because of all the school days that were canceled because of the recent snow here, both Sam and Jack's Valentine's Day parties were held today.

I went to both of them, Quinn and a half gallon of chocolate ice cream in hand. The effect that two separate Valentine's Day parties and their assorted sugary treats had on Quinn is an entirely different post. One that ends with him lying on the rug in the second grade classroom making shrill whistling noises at the top of his lungs. But that's not what this is about.

What it is about is Jack and his near complete isolation at school.

I started to be suspicious when Jack couldn't deliver his valentines based on who was sitting at each desk, but could only do it by looking at the names written on the bags being used to collect the cards. This sick feeling I had was confirmed at home when I tried to use his valentines as a social thinking exercise. For each valentine I tried to get Jack to think about the child who gave it to him. He didn't know any of them.

He could correct my pronunciation of the names, so he knows the names, but he can't connect that information to a person in the class.

I am horrified. Absolutely horrified.

He has been in a classroom with these kids for nearly six months. Many of them he spent a year with in kindergarten. Sam knows the names of kids in Jack's class. Sam knows which name attaches to which kid. But unless it is a child who he knows for another reason—I've set up playdates, they live near him, or maybe, maybe, if they are in a small reading group with him (but even then I'm not convinced he would know them)—Jack doesn't know their names.

He knows his teacher's names and he knows his aide's names. I understand that he isn't seeking out other kids to learn about them, but his classroom environment has to be bigger than just his desk, the aide sitting next to him, and the teacher.

I have a lot more thoughts and feelings about this, but what it all boils down to is a total failure to engage Jack with the class. I don't see how the school can say he has made progress on any of his IEP goals if he hasn't learned the most basic social information about any of the children he spends six hours a day with.

I don't know how they could have missed this for so long. I don't know how I could have missed it for so long.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

My Bad Dog*

I feel like I need to start this post by saying that I love my dog, Cassidy, because she is sweet and beautiful and loyal. I feel like I need to say that first, because I am about to bitch and bitch and bitch about her.

First, there is the barking. She has turned into this animal who barks the second she enters our backyard. She used to just sit out there and look around, but now she stands in the exact center of our yard and barks. She barks at feral cats, she barks at people on the street, she barks at people going about their business inside their nearby houses, and frankly, I think she just barks to remind herself that she's alive, dammit! She's alive!

Every time I let her outside, I end up wanting to kill her.* We're almost at the point where we're going to have to muzzle her before we let her outside to go to the bathroom. I can only imagine the psychological trauma that will cause, but it's either that or rip out her vocal cords in a fit of rage, and I think that the humane society would have some words for me if I did that.

Second, there is the escaping. We had to build a long, tall, multi-thousand dollar fence in order to keep her in our yard. Cassidy is a jumper (although, thank God, not a digger—knock on wood), and instead of funneling all of her jumping energy into earning her people fame and fortune on the dog agility circuit, she's focused on using her mad jumping skillz to remove herself from any yard with a fence that is shorter than six feet tall.

We used to have her tethered to a zip line, which resulted in more than one time when she jumped the fence into another yard, but was still tethered to the line in our yard, creating a situation where Alex or I would have to climb the fence into the other yard and heave her back over.

Now that she has the fence, she only escapes when we are dumb enough to leave a gate open, but when she does, she takes full advantage. She will run full speed up to the park just down the street from our house, which is good because it keeps her off the roads, but is bad, because it gives her lots of space to run around in. We usually only catch her when she stops to harass another dog. A dog escape is always a very stressful thing for us.

Cassidy is a very bad dog.*

We've gotten pretty good about keeping her in the yard though, so I was pretty surprised when I was looking out the kitchen window this morning as I made Sam and Jack's lunches and saw Cassidy trotting down our driveway.

I said some bad words, grabbed my coat, and ran out the door. She saw me coming and took off running down our street, which is plowed all the way down to the pavement. But when she got to the path that leads to the park, she stopped completely short, because that path is just about the opposite of plowed, if there is such a thing. If I may anthropomorphize her for a moment, here is what she was thinking: "WHA—? This white shit is over here too? What the hell?"

And then I grabbed her and marched her home.

But how did she get out? Here's how: Alex shoveled all the snow off our side porch and path to the driveway, which was awesome of him and much appreciated, but he threw it all into a big pile on both sides of the gate leading into the back yard.

I have no idea what that horrible stain is.

Basically, that dumb dog* just had to step over the gate and run off.

Of course, as soon as I got her back to the house, I had to tweet about the incident. 'Cause that's what I do.

And then I Facebooked it, because some outrages
have to be shared with friends from kindergarten too.

After I did that, I took steps to make sure that she wouldn't escape again. This took the form of a post-it note stuck to the back door. Because I would have been way pissed at myself had I come home from dropping my kids off and mindlessly opened the back door only to have to chase her down the street again.

Yeah, I'm aware the dog is out there. I took this photo much later in the day.

Sam astutely noticed that there were no doggy footprints leading to the gate, but after casing the yard, I had to assume that was her point of egress because I couldn't see any other logical place. So once I had dropped everyone off at school, I headed outside with my shovel.

Incidentally, just because a dog can walk on snow without leaving footprints doesn't mean that a grown woman won't repeatedly sink into the snow up to her thighs. Which, in case you're wondering, makes it very difficult to shovel. Thankfully, I only had to shovel that one area, and did not have to dig a trench around the perimeter of my fence.

Being a super detective, I determined that the snow bridge was indeed her point of exit based on the Cassidy-fur stuck on the fence. (Plus, later in the day, the neighbor told me that she'd watched the whole thing from inside her house.)

Try to jump THAT, Cassidy.

I feel a lot of glee when I look at this last photo. Good luck getting out of your prison, you bitch.*

* But I love her.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A Good Day

Today was one of those days in which the sun shone on me. School was finally back in session, albeit with a two-hour delayed start time, which kind of shook up my morning. Two hour delays create a situation where I have to drop Quinn off at preschool for a shortened day, then speed to Sam and Jack's school to drop them off 20 minutes later.

Then, of course, once I got home I had 36 minutes all to myself before I had to go pick Quinn up again, but evidently those 36 minutes were what I've been needing for the past 10 days that my family has been semi-snowbound.

I was refreshed and spent all afternoon being with Quinn—really being with him. When Sam and Jack got home, I spent time really being with them too.

Well, not Sam. His Scholastic book club order came today, so he just wanted to read. But I got to spend some good time with Jack and Quinn.

The high point of my day was, believe it or not, homework. Every day after school, Sam and Jack sit at the dining room table and do their homework. Today was no exception. Fortunately the load was light, and both of them were happy to get it done.

But that's not the homework I'm talking about. I'm talking about Quinn's homework. Halfway through the year, the four-year-old class starts getting weekly homework. It's completely optional, but the teacher gives it out so that the kids can get in the habit of doing it.

Sam liked doing his homework fine when he was in that class. I think Jack did his once. But Quinn? Oh, dear lord, I do believe that child has been sitting around at the dining room table every afternoon for the past couple of years just waiting to get assigned some honest to God homework for himself.

There were four or five worksheets in his homework packet and Quinn did them all. He was especially proud of his coloring page. He ran around the house shoving it in the face of his brothers. He was SO proud.

His excitement doesn't translate to the photo.

It was really fun to see him so excited and just so proud that he almost couldn't contain it. He's a kid who wants to be like his big brothers.

I tell ya', we're living in a topsy turvy world where I feel great about a day where I get absolutely nothing accomplished except for playing with my kids and homework is the best part of my day.

Monday, February 15, 2010

It's Almost Like Redoing a Bathroom Isn't Fun

We (and by "we" I mean "Alex") is redoing one of our bathrooms. I've been strictly forbidden from blogging about the reasons why we are redoing one of our bathrooms, but I am allowed to blog about the remodel. Especially now that it is going well and the floor has been replaced.

That's right. We demo-ed/are demo-ing this bathroom down to the joists. For a while, if you forgot that one of our bathrooms was out of commission, you could haplessly open the door and step into nothingness. Fortunately my mom-paranoia kicked in and we made sure to lock the door.

That's not to say that we never let the munchkins play amongst the insulation and rusty nails.

C'mon! What kind of boring parents do you think we are?

We DO supervise them when they're inside the walls though. I love this next photo (1) because of the semi-annoyed face that Alex is sporting and continues to sport in varying degrees of irritation throughout all of my bathroom redo photos, and (2) because the dog is mugging Quinn.

It's possible that it's consensual though.

Alex has never built a floor before, but ever since four years ago when a neighbor asked me if my husband was handy and I said, "not really," Alex has been trying to prove me wrong. He's been almost entirely successful. Almost.

Anyway, Alex has been using the children as little assistants. They've been his tool carriers, and have given him animate objects to curse at.

Can you find Alex? Like "Where's Waldo?" only surlier.

I've been used as a cursing target too. Especially when he's wedged under a beam and I start taking photos.

As I am wont to do.

But Alex saved most of his cursing for the floor he was laying. At one point, I thought he was going to lose it entirely. It turns out that it's hard to make a floor.

Although Jack makes it look easy.

There are evidently many, many layers to a floor. And they have to fit exactly. And they have to be flat. Really flat. I'm glad I'm not in charge of making a floor.

Honestly, I'm annoyed enough that I had to take part in the great supply-buying trip to Home Depot. Evidently, once you build a floor, you have to purchase things to put on top of it. Today, we bought tile, a vanity, a sink, faucets, assorted supplies, and, on the spur of the moment, a light for our bedroom. It turns out that buying all of that, plus a trip to the Home Depot bathroom, takes a loooong time.

From Twitter

Alex made me go with him so that I could help make decisions on things when I would have much preferred he go by himself and let me criticize his choices later. Preferably after installation.

But wait! If Alex and I both were at the Home Depot, where were our kids?

Yep, that's right. Suffering right along next to us.

Quinn got bored first. Then he got mad after Alex
rammed his legs into a pylon in the kitchen department.

Jack just looks bored here because I took his iPhone to take photos. You know, like normal people do at the Home Depot.

We were getting a little punchy in the sinks department. We were trying to decide between the colors of Rocky Road, Cobblestone, and Ginger. Apparently the people who name sink colors are just as ridiculous as those who name the paint colors. (We ended up with Rocky Road. And not just because it's named after an ice cream.)

Holding a tile up to the samples wasn't helping much. Neither was Alex's suggestion to stand several feet away and "Don't look directly at it—just glance at it. Look at it! Look away!"

I didn't even ask him to make this face. It just naturally occurred. He's INSANE.

Fortunately, I have my shit totally together.

The bathroom is going to be awesome. Eventually.

Friday, February 12, 2010

DCMM: In Defense of DC-Area Snow Wusses

As we residents of the DC Metro area freak out about the snow, the snow!, OMG! THE SNOW!, people who live in more regularly snowy parts of the country laugh and laugh and laugh at us.

"We get that much snow every winter," they say. "We don't cancel school and work every time it snows," they say. "You guys are wusses," they say.

Okay. Fair enough. But I do have a few rebuttals. First of all, you may get this much snow on the ground every year, but does it all fall within five days? Yeah, I didn't think so.

As someone who grew up in a place with snowy winters (Utah), I also think the sheer level of panic that comes before each snowstorm is a little ridiculous. But here's the thing: The DC area is uniquely situated in that we don't get enough snow to justify huge snow-coping budgets, yet we still get enough that it is a problem when it happens. All the snow-removal budgets in the area were already blown after the first big snow in December. We just don't expect to have to worry about snow as much as we have this year.

Also? Just because you are used to feet upon feet of snow each year, we are not. After our last snow, this officially became DC's snowiest winter on record. I think we deserve a little bit of leeway for getting so much more snow than we are used to. Say, two inches of snow is not a big deal, but if you dumped two inches of snow on Puerto Vallarta, they'd freak out too. Because they're not used to it. Cut us some slack.

I will also say that these storms were genuinely a big deal. People were without power for days on end, ending up with 40-something degree houses. Plows were recalled because it was too dangerous for them to be out. Even once the snow stopped, sidewalks are completely impassable and lanes in the roads suddenly peter out due to snowbanks that just can't be contained to the shoulder. Even Mr. Chicagoans-Go-to-School-When-It-Snows-Obama referred to the storm as Snowmageddon.

Oh, there's something else too: people in this area are kind of wusses when it comes to snow. And you know what? That's okay.

Original DC Metro Moms Blog post.

Jean's family did a lot of whining and had a lot of fun throughout Snowmageddon 2010. Check it out at Stimeyland.

Tenacity, Part III


I tried really hard to capture a Tenacity photo of Sam, but he's too tall to look tiny in the snow that he's willing to walk through. And it's not that he's not tenacious, but he takes the smart route. Instead of plowing through waist-high snow, he walks atop the packed mountain of snow next to it. Which makes for a good photo, but none that I can refer to as tenacious, per se.

Also, yes, I know it snows other places in the world. So I'm defending the DC-area wussiness when it comes to snow over at DC Metro Moms Blog today. And I grew up in a place with snowy winters, so it's not like I don't know what I'm saying. But I will freely admit to being a wuss.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Hi everyone. I just changed my URL and feed to Hopefully everything should be working for you and this should be coming through in your feed readers (if you're a subscriber). As I did this myself and I am a little unsure of what I just did, let me know if you're having any problems. Well, let me know if you're having problems specifically related to this site.

There's a Helluva Lot of Snow Out There

There were two things I wanted from this latest snowstorm:

1. I wanted my power to stay on.
2. I didn't want my roof to collapse.

So far we are two for two.

This was the scene at my house yesterday after it stopped snowing. At the time that I took this photo, I was standing in crotch-deep snow in my back yard. I was busy pursuing Jack in his effort to get to the little house in the way back of the yard.

I didn't make it. Jack did.

He's the black and blue dot in the doorway.

I was dumb enough to make some offhand jokey comment about, ha, ha, you guys should clear a path to the little house. Twenty minutes later, Jack was there. He didn't make it until after the neighbors leaned out of their window and shouted, "Are you crazy?" and I had to admit that we were.

It's really crazy out there. It's a little crazy inside too. We've all been trapped home together with little respite since last Friday. Alex works for the federal government, so what with school and his work being canceled all week so far (and tomorrow), we're starting to lose it.

Alex spectacularly lost it when we went out in the snow to play and he went flailing off through the yard with the dog in hot pursuit in an effort to burn off some energy.

This photo is for you, Jen.

Then he fell flat on his face in the snow.

It couldn't be more awesome.

Other members of our family were losing it other ways. For instance, here is Sam beating Jack over the head with a giant icicle.

You know it's bad when Sam tells Jack to stand there
and be beaten with an icicle and Jack agrees.

Really. We've got to get out of this house soon or there WILL be a corpse.

And the dog will likely be feasting on it.

I like that it looks like she's swimming in the snow here.

Seriously, she's freaking out. Although I suppose I would be too if I had to go to the bathroom in three feet of snow.

Weather gods willing, this is the end of it. Hopefully we'll be able to shovel our way out tomorrow, Alex will go back to work...sometime, the munchkins will go back to school...oh holy cow, on Tuesday, and someday the sun, the glorious sun will come out and melt all this crap.

Because I just can't take much more of this.

And neither can the rest of sad, sad Team Stimey.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

DCMM: Kindergarten Ready?

My youngest son, Quinn, is scheduled to go to kindergarten next fall. I am literally counting down the days, tapping my toes impatiently, and drumming my fingernails on the table waiting for the day that all three of my kids will depart the house every morning at 8:30 and not return until after 3.

I'm really excited. So imagine my dismay when Quinn's preschool teacher called me in for a conference and told me, "He seems young. Maybe you should think about keeping him back from kindergarten for a year."

I may have passed out after I heard that. I reawakened to her continuing with, "Think about it. Listen to your instincts." And then I sadly shuffled out of the preschool.

It's not that I don't want to spend time with my kids—I do. It's just that I work part-time from home and because I always have a four-year-old hanging out with me, I have to do my work after everyone else goes to bed. This means that I take care of my family until 8, and then I work until midnight or 1 a.m. So I'm really looking forward to that full-day school in six months. I'll finally be able to work during the day, be with my kids in the afternoon, and not have any obligations at night. I don't think I can make another year and a half.

Here's the thing: If I had to choose between my needs and Quinn's needs, Quinn's needs would win every time. If I really thought—if my instincts said—that Quinn wasn't ready for school, I would hold him back without reservation. I'd be sad, but I'd do it.

But I think he is ready. Honestly, the thought that he isn't has never crossed my mind, not even for a second. That instinct the teacher told me to listen to? It's telling me to send him to school. I think she is wrong.

I know Quinn better than anyone. I have spent more time with him than anyone else. I think he is ready for kindergarten. My husband thinks he's ready for kindergarten. My friends think he's ready for kindergarten. The only one who doesn't seem to think he's ready for kindergarten is this one teacher, who thinks he seems young.

I like this teacher a lot. Frankly, I flat-out love her. I trust her judgment on almost all things. But I just don't think I can do it this time.

The teacher admits that Quinn is cognitively ready. He's really smart. He wants to learn. He's excited about school. He likes other kids. He knows how to play with kids his age. He likes kids his age. He knows probably a dozen kids that will be going into kindergarten at his school next year. He's been going to preschool for three years. I don't think I could possibly set up a better kindergarten situation for him if I tried.

So, I'm going to register Quinn at the elementary school. I will prepare him to head into kindergarten with his friends. I'll keep my eye on him for signs that he's not ready. And I'm going to start hiding from his teacher. But, honestly, I'm going to forgive him for acting young. Because he's four. And four-year-olds are allowed that.

Original DC Metro Moms Blog post.

Jean blogs about all her children at Stimeyland. She also runs an autism events website for Montgomery County, Maryland, at AutMont.

Oh, I Forgot About That Part

You know how there are some doctor visits that you just don't think will bother your kids? Like when you make an appointment to take all three of them to the eye doctor because you just got vision coverage and thought it would be a good idea to just make sure everything's okay? And then you get there after promising them that it will be mellow and easy and nothing will hurt? And then you remember about the stinging eye drops?

Yeah. So, that happened.

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Eye of the Storm

I gotta tell ya', I'm ready to leave my house. There are only so many hours out of the day that we can play in the snow. We're running out of dry clothes. We're running out of hot chocolate. My kitchen floor has had dirty water tracked in on it so many times that I've just given up entirely.

School has been canceled for today and tomorrow. There is no light at the end of the tunnel. It is supposed to snow again on Tuesday and Wednesday, which doesn't leave me a lot of hope for school at all this week. At first I heard that we were supposed to get a couple of inches. But it seems like every time a newscaster mentions the Tuesday Storm, the amount gets bigger. Last I heard, we were supposed to get a foot.

Thankfully we have power and heat, unlike some more unfortunate friends. I would like to follow that statement up with this: KNOCKONWOODKNOCKONWOODKNOCKONWOOD!!!!! Because, seriously, if the power goes out, I don't know what I will do.

My kids are being perfectly pleasant, but they have been crawling all over me, literally, for three days now.

The dog's been a little freaked out too. I think largely because the children have been crawling all over her for three days as well. Not to mention, her legs are far shorter than the snow in the backyard, causing all kinds of problems for her. Day One of KillStorm 2010* left her completely discombobulated. She ran around stealing mittens off of our hands for a while and then she tackled Quinn.

Then she tried to kill the climbing rope on our swingset. I finally had to remove it from her reach.

For those of you who wondered what happened to Quinn after he made it to the swingset, he got snow down his coat, had to be rescued because the snow on the slide platform was too deep, and then took this highly disappointing trip down the slide.

It took him like, five minutes to get to the bottom.

Yesterday we spent our outside time shoveling—and killing the snow bunny.

Twenty-four hours of snowfall had turned the snow bunny into more of a giant snow lump, so it was less sad to see Sam tear its arm off and beat him with it.

Then Quinn stabbed it with a stick and Jack triumphantly stood on his head after ripping out chunks of its snow-flesh with his teeth.

This is what I am afraid will happen to me if the schools don't open soon.

I have about eleventy billion other cute photos of my cute kids doing cute things in the snow because that was my excuse as to why I couldn't shovel. Because I had the camera. Also, because I shoveled the last big snow we had. Thank God.

Doesn't he look happy?

While I won't subject you to all the photos I took, I must show you this one. I think it's possible Alex was working out some aggression here.

Naturally, Jack and Quinn wanted to be thrown over and over.
Also? Don't show this to Sam, because he's too
heavy for us to throw and it would devastate him
that he didn't get to do this.

Good luck to all of my snowed in friends all over the East Coast. May your power come back soon. May your schools open. May your stores of beer and chocolate remain plentiful. And send your good wishes to me that my internet not go out. Also my power and heat.

* Shamelessly stolen from Joeymom. No, that's not true. I have lots of shame.

Saturday, February 6, 2010


Friday, February 5, 2010

Snowmageddon II: Snowmageddon*

I am so entertained by the state of panic into which the DC area has been thrown by the threat of a blizzard. Team Stimey responded by building a Snow Bunny.

It is possibly the greatest bit of snow architecture that Team Stimey (meaning Alex, Jack, and Quinn, in this case) has ever produced.

I do question the fact that they created a snout, a carrot nose, and a raisin smiley face. (The snow bunny looks a little like a giant Pooh Bear.)

The snow bunny was Jack's idea. He loved it. He hugged it. That kid makes me soft and gooshy inside.

So now we have a snow bunny sentry. Complete with bushy little bunny tail.

Happy Snowmageddon!

* Mmmm...that's a bad title.**

** Arrested Development fans might get this.***

*** I wouldn't have. Alex thought it up.