Saturday, May 21, 2011


I drafted a Mother's Day post that I never finished, but I just want to say that my husband and family made it a really wonderful, relaxing day. The kids' behavior started out a little rocky (it's a Mother's Day tradition!), but they were really sweet the rest of the day, and Elliott's social skills are just blossoming at a crazy rate. Thank you to Ryan for making it such a happy day.

It's almost the end of the school year for all of us. We have made the decision to take Elliott out of preschool until he starts up his new preschool program with the school district in August. We are going to put him in social skills classes and an autism speech and fun day camp and possibly music or tumbling classes. He'll also still have speech therapy, occupational therapy, and ABA. We are going to work hard to keep up a routine for him, but we also want time together as a family to do family crap like going to museums and the beach, etc. Elliott's social and speech skills have been on fast forward this week. He's asking kids to play with him at school, talking in crazy long sentences, articulating like a madman. It's amazing how quickly he develops skills once he gets the hang of them.

Speaking of family crap, etc., I have to volunteer at the PTA carnival at Ben's school tonight (at the exact time the Rapture is supposed to strike). I fully expect to be pressured to join the PTA for that hour when I am hosting a booth. When the PTA gets you in their clutches, they never let you go. Don't get me wrong; I'm happy to volunteer in Ben's class and contribute and all of that, and I do, but I simply do not have the time or inclination to join the PTA. Ben's also going to be in "Billy Goat's Gruff" the play at the end of the year. His teacher asked him to try out for the lead--the troll--but he would rather be one of the 12 rabbits. That's just how Ben rolls. He has no desire to be the center of attention. I can't wait to see this play.

I'm so grateful I have a job that is so flexible and has allowed us to keep up with Elliott's insane therapy/dr. appt. schedule while working full time. I'm so grateful that I get to be off for 8 weeks this summer to rest and enjoy my family. I'm also planning to write this summer--I have 3 feasible projects in mind, and I'm going to be making a schedule for myself so I can stay on track.

My plan is to wait until the Rapture doesn't strike, and then I'll grade those stacks and stacks of papers. And then...summer! Holla!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


I sat in the back seat of my car with Elliott this morning as he finished his waffle before school. Although he eats a lot, sometimes he gets silly and nibbles on his food like a tiny mouse, taking long stretches of time to eat a small amount of food. Since I consume entire meals in a matter of minutes, and generally do everything as quickly as I can, it kind of drives me crazy to watch someone eat so slowly. Plus, I didn't want him to miss circle time. So we sat together in the back and he smiled at me because he thought it was funny that I was sitting in the back seat rather than the front like usual. I rubbed his head and he asked me to see "wormy," his imaginary friend (basically, our index fingers). Yesterday and last Friday, he had to get a bunch of blood taken for routine medical exams related to his autism and his low weight. It seems like he is always obligated to do something: speech therapy (at two different locations), occupational therapy, behavioral therapy, assessments, doctor's appointments (psychological, medical, biomedical). He also has school and swim class. He's part of a research study up in Sacramento which requires even more testing. He has to get more blood, urine, and stool taken and examined than any other kid I know. I want him to get better, but I don't want him to feel like he can't simply enjoy his life. Sometimes, it's a tough thing to balance. When he was first diagnosed with autism, when things were really bad, when he was still just barely a toddler, I used to ask him, "Elliott, are you going to be okay?" before I put him down to bed. I never got an an answer of course. He's just begun to learn how to the names of emotions and how to recognize and imitate them. Sitting in the back seat with him, I asked, "Elliott, are you happy?" He said yes, and he smiled to demonstrate that he was happy. I asked, "Are you sad." "No," he replied, shoving a big bite of waffle (finally!) into his mouth. So, for now, I guess I'll do my best and take his word for it.

Friday, May 06, 2011


I go to this site called The Daily What, usually to distract myself and watch dumb videos about cats or Japanese inventions or whatever. Alongside these videos, there are interesting political stories and gossip about celebrities. It's a nice mix of inane and intriguing. In any case, I came across a link to this man Derek's final blog. He wrote it before he died after a long battle with cancer, to be posted upon his death. He left behind two daughters and a wife.

If you can, take a minute to read it. It is beautiful. Elliott walked in when I was reading this, and he looked at me and I was crying. He laughed because he has never seen me crying, and because he doesn't fully understand what sad means yet. I just hugged him and he squirmed away. A lot of the time, I am too closed off from people. I'm able to get a lot of stuff done, and I'm able to survive some of the crappy stuff I've been through, but it comes at a cost. I admire Derick's eloquence and openness. I will return to his blog and make my way through his posts because it affected me on such a deep level, especially his final lines to his wife:

"I don't know what we'd have been like without each other, but I think the world would be a poorer place. I loved you deeply, I loved you, I loved you, I loved you."

Here's the link to the full post:

Sunday, May 01, 2011