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Dino passed out candy this year, "too old" in high school to gad about begging.

Irish was a bomber pilot in vintage gear from his grandpa.

Sparkle was a princess, in velvet and a cloak.

Their Trick-or-Treat mates were a witch and Spider-Man.

I was Irene Adler, unchanged from school.

Best adult costume on our rounds had to be the Imperial Storm Trooper.  He gave Sparkle extra candy for saying "Look!  An Imperial Storm Trooper!" instead of calling him (hisss) a Clone Trooper.  Each time he spoke, his helmet gave a radio crackle, and his voice came through electronically, like they do in the movies.  For the Win!
judifilksign: (Signing)

Tonight, I took Sparkle and Irish to our little townlet's Halloween party for elementary school kids.  It was very well-run, and both kids had a blast.

Super-long! Super fun! Semi-Spooky! )



And it was great family fun.  I have a bit of small guilt for not having helped my neighbor ladies put it on, but we all enjoyed going.  And my darling husband went down and bought baked treats for himself, too, after we came home.


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I have had an upset digestive system for the past few days.  Sparkle has been misbehaving for a good portion of today, resulting in her losing access to the Wii, computers, and all video games.

Sparkle: "If you do not give me MY Wii, I will SPIT on you!"

Me:  "If you spit on me, I will spit up on you. Try me and see. I'm sure you won't like it."

Amazingly, this bit of upmanship appears to have worked.  She backed off from her screams and threats, and is looking at me with frustration. She knows I don't make idle threats, though.

I expect my little tape recorder will remember this line for the future, probably in front of a principal or my boss or something.
judifilksign: (<3 banjo)
So, we went to the band fitting.  Read more... )
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Sparkle, my echolalaic child, can be counted upon for getting the words right to any song.  Today, as she played Lego Star Wars after her bath, she began singing off-script.

To the tune of "Jingle Bells"

"Jengo Fett, Jengo Fett, Jengo all the waaaaay..."

This thrills me on several levels!
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Getting elder son Dino home from band,children fed, and middle son to parent-enroll-your-child-in-band meeting, and monitoring three children's homework tonight has taken over my life.

No bike ride tonight. No bike ride all week! Pout. That's why I'm the grownup, though.
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Dino had to go from a rock band look to a marching band look, in time for the marching band yearbook pictures.

His hair was just barely not long enough to go into a ponytail, so I used the family clippers and cut him short.  G.I. Joe looks pretty even.  (The other haircut I know is Kojack.)
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 I always have my kids do basic language and math worksheets over the summer to keep them in scholastic trim, and gosh, they never tell me that they're bored, or they know MY solution!

Today, Dino was doing subject-verb agreement sentences, with starter sentence prompts to finish.  Bolded words are Dinos.

Each of the buildings has many windows.
Many of them have been abandoned.
Everybody on the block has an anti-zombie rifle.
Most of the decorations are blood from zombie attacks.
Neither of us will leave the other.
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Today was Sparkle's special needs program End of the Year Picnic.  It was well-run, with parachute games, sack races, water play tables and water balloon slingshot activities.  We hit the gym wall with water balloons, and it was a wonderful seige.  Each splash gave another target to aim for, and a sense of accomplishment, seeing the dark stains on the brick.  The first balloon to soar over the seige wall onto the roof caused us all to roar mightily with satisfaction.

Cheese pizza from Bexley Pizza Plus (one of my favorites from when I lived in an apartment with my best bud K after college) was the main meal, and the adults ate salad, too.  My chocolate chip cookies disappeared more thoroughly than the brownies next to them on the table did, so my inner June Cleaver (clutch those pearls!) was satisfied.  I was surprised to see how many of the autistic kids ignored the soda and the Capri Suns in favor of the bottled water, including my daughter.  Well, good for them.

I helped run the parachute games, with all the silly stunts like marching in circles, and calling out colors of shirts to run under, and doing the wave and all.  Finally, all the kids lay down under the parachute, while the teachers and I fanned the parachute up and down.  "How did we manage to be left doing all of the work?" said the director of the program, laughing.

Several people praised Sparkle's older brothers for their good behavior and willingness to help out with games for the little ones.  Sparkle blew a fit about leaving the blow-up yellow inner tube behind, and didn't want to leave much.  The van's  thermometer read 100 degrees Fahrenheit when we left, and only got down to 95 at freeway speeds.  No wonder we all felt tired!

So naturally, once we arrived home, Sparkle reminded me of my intention to go bike riding with her in tow daily.  She's not going to forget that resolution the day after I've made it, hot or not.  I tried to convince her to wait until after supper, but we ended up going out again mid-afternoon.  It was a lurchy ride, with Sparkle still learning to keep her balance on the rear wheel added tandem.  I got home feeling as though I would be sick, but Sparkle was intensely happy.  I lay on our bed in the fan and AC, and quickly felt better, so it was totally worth it.

If I can tire Sparkle out on a daily basis with lots of physical activity, like skating, biking and swimming, then the weight she put on last spring from the anti-psychotics may go away, and she'll be healthier, and will sleep at night better.  In addition, if I keep up with her by biking and swimming and ramming around, I also will be slimmer and closer to my goal of getting off all my diabetic medications. 

We shall see if my lofty intentions are kept despite summer heat.  But for summer vacation, day one, I count it a success!
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 Helicopter Maple Seed Parenting, that is.

On the way to the YMCA this morning, we noted that the van's windshield wipers were simply covered with maple tree seeds, with their wings for being blown places to grow.  I got the children to make predictions of whether or not all of the seeds would make the ten mile trip to the Y.  We laughed, and pretty much agreed that we'd seed the roads with maple trees all the way there, and arrive with a clean windshield.

Much to our surprise, despite curves, railroad tracks and fifty five mph speeds, two seeds stubbornly clung to position.  On the way home, we made predictions again.  Sparkle thought they'd both stay.  Irish thought one would stay, and one would go.  Dino was exceedingly resistant to making a prediction, but finally opined that the smaller seed was more likely to stay because it looked more stuck.  I took that as his prediction, (under protest) and I agreed with Sparkle, since if they'd made it TO the Y, they'd make it home, I reasoned.

It was a bit surprising how intently my family watched those vibrating seeds all the way there, and all the way home.  (Or maybe not, considering how geeky we all are.)

The small seed flew off quickly, but that last seed stuck along that windshield wiper tenaciously the entire way home!  Irish was so pleased to be so lucky today!

It's the small things like this in life that make me absurdly happy!
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 The van, freshly back from the repair shop, is now once again making alarming noises.  I replicated those noises over the phone, and the shop said that they were "bring the van into the shop right away sounds."

Arriving home, Sparkle was alarmed to see a toad sitting in the middle of our porch.  I had to gently nudge it from behind eight times to get it to move over enough where my girly girl was willing to edge past it.  She shrieked with such distress.  Where did she learn this?  So, I guess she's actually acting in a stereotypically girl way...
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 Sparkle was a cranky pants this morning, and wailed throughout her morning routine, her swim lesson, and at home.

So, I decided our annual trip out the Ohio State's Museum of Biological Diversity would not happen this year, because dealing with her in this mood in public was a predictable disaster waiting to happen.  This made me a bit pouty, because I look forward to this visit every year with friends.

Now, the temperature outside is 40 degrees.  The sledding hill, in the shade for most of the day, still had snow packed on it.  So, we packed up the kids and the sleds and had what might be the last sledding opportunity for the season, if we don't get more snow this year.  I figured that it's within a mile of home, so even being a bit sick and a bit cranky, if disaster struck, then we could be home in a jiffy.

Dad supervised and pushed at the top of the hill, and I smiled and waved from the picnic benches off to the side at the bottom.  Sparkle allowed herself to have a bit of fun, then got tired, and resumed cranky pants.  She sat with me on the benches, and I had the boys take a sled up for their father to come down upon.

Dino, yelling downhill would have his voice crack high and low as he went.
Irish has a talent for starting face first,  then finishing backwards.

So, I got a chance to get out of the house, and get the kids tuckered out going up and down and up and down and up and down the high sled hill while I sat and relaxed in the sun.  I call this a win, and makes up a bit for my disappointment. 
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 5:37 A.M. Early.

But not for fun, oh, no.  For Sparkle and Irish to give the gift of their illness earlier this week.  Dino and my Darling Husband have joined the ranks of the tummy troubled.

No one appears interested in Santa's Stockings.

I fear I am next.
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 The holiday tree is up, just in time.  My children are relieved.  No tree = no presents, for presents must go under a tree, you know.  The tree is in a new place this year, at the far end of the library / "formal" living room.  I can watch it blink as I type.  This seems to excite the children.  The window it is in front of means that maybe, we can see it from the street, if you can see through the wall of trees just right.

family musings )
 
 It's funny how we've made family traditions, and I didn't realize it until hearing it through the perspective of my kids.
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 Hanging up ornaments, Dino, who is in the band, hung up Snoopy on his doghouse.

"Haaaaaaang up Snoopy!  Snoopy hang on!"  he sang.
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 I was on my way to deliver Boy Scout Popcorn to my friends who'd bought them from the boys.  Sparkle was in the van, too.  On the highway, in the midst of rush hour traffic, Sparkle suddenly started throwing up in the van.  

Cut for those not into this "mom" topic. )
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 Today, passing by the kitchen sink, the pot in the sink, filled with water had vibration waves from my walking past.  I called Dino over, and stomped, making more vibration waves.

Without missing a beat, Dino started making the T-Rex noises from Jurassic Park, just as I had also thought of.  We giggled, all goofy and happy.
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 Yesterday, Sparkle brought home "first grade work" from school.  It was a math paper, on which she needed to circle the ones place on several rows of multiple digit numbers, and write on the line below "even" or "odd."  Sparkle enjoyed this paper.  It makes me a little nuts that when she chooses her answers, she'll deliberately voice the wrong answer, then ask in her Dora the Explorer voice "Is this the right answer?  No!" and then write the other one.

But, when Sparkle wrote her name at the top of her paper, she announced, "I am odd."

I asked her, "Why are you odd, sweetie?"

She said, "I am seven, so I am odd.  On my birthday, I'll get even!"
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 My darling daughter, after seeing the new Disney movie, got up the next morning, and brushed her hair all by herself.  She told me her hair was "tangled," a new word for her, and somewhat of a tongue twister when said several times in a row.
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 Today at the Y for swimming lessons and my bi weekly consistent exercise/swim program, there was a charity bazaar to benefit the Y.  Among the participants was a lady promoting her manicure business.  She tried to sell me on tips, to make the nail I'd broken match my long ones.  (No.)

Walking past with Sparkle to get her changed for her swim lesson following her brothers', this woman grabbed my daughter's arm and cooed in one of those seriously fake nice voices that wouldn't she just LOVE to have her pretty nails painted?  Sparkle looked at her, pulled back and cried out in a VERY loud voice:

"LET GO of me; you're a strange creepy lady!"

Startled, the lady did let go, and Sparkle dashed forward towards the changing room.  I gave a very cartoon "eh-heh-heh" kind of embarrassed smile to Ms. Nails, (SO many people were LOOKING) and dashed off to catch up to Sparkle.

I find myself actually VERY pleased with this interaction.  It is a great fear of mine that Sparkle, with fewer social skills is at greater risk for creepy people to target her for harm.  By jerking away and yelling, Sparkle DID get the attention of a LOT of people that this was NOT okay.  I reinforced this to Sparkle in the changing room.

The start of her lesson was a bit fussy, because she'd been thrown off, but Sparkle responded to the routine, and got back into her groove.

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