Friday, December 31, 2010

The Annual State of the Stimeyland Address

So it's not really annual and it's not really an address, but I did take the opportunity today to go through my archives and revisit the things that Team Stimey has been up to in 2010. It was actually a pretty good year for us. I mean, unless you count the fact that less than five minutes ago, I stubbed my toe so hard I thought I was going to cry. That sucked.

Team Stimey did suffer some losses this year, mostly in terms of frogs. We lost Frog One in February and Frog Two in March. Their deaths made Sam very sad, but also solidified my reputation, started with the Ant Debacle of 2008, as a small animal killer.

No one was optimistic when I decided to try raising ladybugs. It didn't come as much of a shock when I killed them all. It did, however, surprise a few people when they came back to life in the form of zombie ladybugs.

We lost one of our mascot gerbils, even though he wasn't technically my pet. Noki the gerbil died in October. He will be missed.

We made a net gain in pets, however, with the addition of five mice for Quinn's birthday. You may not be aware of these mice, because I haven't mentioned them very often, but after a devastating building collapse in July, the residents of Mouse Town spent the rest of the year flourishing and getting fat.

Let's see, what else did we do? Alex spent several months of this year completely demolishing and then rebuilding a bathroom in our home all by himself. I never gave Alex his full due for doing such an amazing job building a floor, building walls, installing furniture, doing most of the plumbing, and laying all the tile. It is really quite amazing that he did it all. To thank him, I'll post this picture of his beautiful handiwork.

I am going to hell.

Team Stimey did a lot of dumbass things this year. Honestly there is not enough room in this post to list all of them. There was the day I went to a party and rang the doorbell at the wrong house. There was the day that Jack jumped into a water sculpture outside a museum. There was that horrible morning when I threw up in Sam's allergist's office. And who can forget that day that Alex emptied his motorcycle's gas tank into our garage?

At some point I codified my idiocy with a new intermittent feature here in Stimeyland: Dipshit Friday, where I shared the best stories of my dipshittiness with you.

Camp Stimey had its ups and downs this year. We had a very successful Spring Break Sensory and Social Skills Special Session. Our traditional summer session had a couple of good weeks during farm week and simple machines week, but other than that, it kind of dwindled away until we took Camp Stimey on the road for a real live camping expedition. That was a whole adventure in itself, which culminated in our escape to a hotel where Quinn threw up in the swimming pool.

Before all of that, however, I coordinated one of the best things I did all year, which was organize more than 60 bloggers in Team WhyMommy's Virtual Science Fair. All of those bloggers participated in science activities and experiments in honor of Susan/WhyMommy to show her our support in her fight against cancer and also to thank her for the way she inspires us with her passion for science.

I also learned that it might not be a great idea to put the word "ass" on a button that popped up all over the internet when Jack started saying, "Kick its ass!" Sorry if the same thing happened to any of you.

Somewhere in there I went to BlogHer and had the pleasure of speaking on a panel about blogging autism. Meeting and hanging out with so many of you from the autism blogging community—and the greater blogging community, as well—was a high point of my year.

I went to the White House this year. Well, at least the grounds of the White House. Twice! The first time, all of Team Stimey went on a garden tour and the second time, my friend Joeymom took me to the Christmas Tree Lighting.

Also this year, Quinn went off to kindergarten, which meant that all of my kids are in full day school, which is terrific for my mental state, but not so good in terms of blog fodder. I had to start interacting with Alex, mostly via email, and publishing the results.

All of my worry about back to school this year was mostly unfounded as we closed out 2010 with success for all three of our kids in school and their lives. Quinn is in love with kindergarten, Jack discovered a passion for playing hockey, and Sam continues to kick ass and take names at school.

As far as our year in autism, I wrote about that very thing today at my Autism Unexpected column. Jack has come a long way in the past 12 months. His progress is basically summed up in this post I wrote at the beginning of December. This is also the year that I wrote one of my favorite posts ever about autism: The Autism Path.

So, that's about it. I mean, there's a lot more that happened, but frankly these are about all of the practically random tidbits I have the energy to summarize right now.

I hope you have a wonderful start to your 2011. In fact, I hope your whole year is full of love, laughter, family, and amusing small animals.

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