Saturday, March 27, 2010

Winding up Spring Break

Diana is already back at her place for college. She had a friend coming in from California & the dorms weren't going to be ready yet - so she offered her sleeping bag & a spot on her floor :) It was a better Spring Break for Diana this time - she got to go on a date, and hang out with friends. She did some drawing and a lot of sleeping in, plus the camping earlier in the week :) Of course, anything would have been better than last time - she had oral surgery last year!

Trevor apparently struggled last term at college - he needs to go in and talk to his counselor about his options. Something isn't lining up on his grade report and he needs to figure out what's going on with that. I think Lee will go in with him to make sure he understands everything properly. Sometimes things don't process right with Trevor's Asperger's.

Connor had a great Spring Break. He got to do all the stuff he wanted to do, down to making chocolate chip cookies today. He went on an Easter Egg hunt this morning that was put on by our local Respite Care folks. It was for anyone with special needs. I even saw a former student from my old job :) They had plastic eggs with candy, as well as real eggs :) I think Connor had a good time.

I got a lot of stuff organized & cleaned up. There's always more to do, but it's a good start :)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Spring Break Camping

According to the Facebook site, you should be able to look at the whole album by just clicking the underlined "Facebook" link above.

It was a good little trip. Next time, maybe we'll try for two nights instead of just one. This was kind of a trial trip - the yurt was only available Monday night anyway, plus Lee has work on Wednesdays. Thing is, you pack close to the same amount of gear whether you're going for one day or five! It's just the amount of food & underclothes that changes!

In any case, we got all loaded up and drove all of 15 minutes to get to the campground. They only have two yurts, but lots of regular camping spaces. We were up on the hillside, and very close to the 'nice' bathrooms with flush toilets & hot showers :)

The actual camp site was great. Besides the convenience of the yurt, there was a water fountain for drinking, as well as a spigot for cooking & washing water, right next to the large picnic table. The fire ring had a 4-level barbeque grate. There was also our own trash can at the site. Between the two yurts was the dump station for water with stuff in it (soap, food bits, etc.). They even left us some big chunks of wood :)

I had to be a good Girl Scout & pick up all the little trash bits I found around the site from the prior visitors. However, Diana & I did NOT do our other regular Girl Scout things - we didn't use the buddy system for the restrooms (okay - she's considered an adult now anyway). We didn't back the truck in so we could leave quickly in an emergency. I had too many coals under the dutch oven so the chocolate cherry cake wound up a little burnt-tasting (Cool Whip covered that up though). I didn't put my polar fleece blanket inside the sleeping bag with me, so I got too cold during the night (everyone else had them inside & they were fine - my mummy bag is apparently no longer good till 0 degrees - maybe from washing it?). We didn't divvy up the chores & we didn't have GORP. We DID have s'mores.

As soon as we'd unpacked everything - Connor was ready to go exploring on his bike. Lee took his bike & the two of them went all through the campground & the park. While they were off doing that, Diana & I went to hunt for a geocache. I was happy there were two listed in the park. We had a bit of a steep hike up a hill behind the yurt, but it didn't take us too long to find the cache. Someone left a dollar bill, so I took that - you're not really supposed to leave money. I left a geocoin behind.

We got back to the yurt about the same time as Lee & Connor. We set up the fire then & started cooking the baked potatoes in the coals. Besides those, we had hot dogs & baked beans as well. And I made the chocolate cherry cake for dessert. Connor just kept riding his bike around the parking lot for the yurts when no one was available to ride further out with him. When it got too dark, he skidded a bit, fell & decided it was time for bed.

That's when I went looking for his melatonin. A lot of kids with autism don't produce enough melatonin on their own, so it really helps to use it as a regular supplement for Connor. If we weren't sure it was effective, we were positive last night. I knew I had put it in a baggie, but I could not find the dang thing for the life of me!! So even though we went to bed a good couple of hours after Connor was in his sleeping bag, he was still talking and singing in his bed. After we were all settled, he was still not able to calm himself and be quiet. We had him come down from his top bunk to snuggle with Diana, because she thought that had worked in the past. Then he just got really upset & was sniffling & crying. We had him go back to his bunk, and I went up to calm him down. He was quiet for a bit, but then started back up again with the singing & talking. It's like he has all this stuff going on in his head, and he just can't rein it in.

Eventually, Lee took Connor & they both just drove home to get him a dose. They were back within 1/2 hour and 10 minutes after he was in his bunk, Connor was asleep. So, yeah. Melatonin works on Connor!

Tuesday morning we got up once it was light out. It was pretty darn cold, so we got the fire going first thing. Then I heated water for hot drinks. Connor had requested pancakes & french toast for breakfast. That was easy enough - they have the same toppings :) When it got warmer, he was back on his bike. We took our time over breakfast & Diana sat next to the fire until the sun started shining, I think :) Lee & I rode bikes with Connor down by the other part of the campground. We also went & found the second geocache - it was a micro, which can be hard to find, but we did!

Then we packed up and swept out the yurt. The truck packed up better this time without all the wood & extra food & such. Fifteen minutes later, we were home again & unloading. I got a good hot shower & that's the end of that adventure!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Liberty ball!

That's what Connor calls Liberty when she's all curled up into a ball to sleep by my bedroom door.

You thought this post was going to be political, didn't you?
Instead you get a cute photo of my son & our dog :)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Things to do on Spring Break

1. Get Diana for the week.

2. Clean, clean, clean.

3. Go camping in a yurt.

4. Figure out some kind of landscape plan for the backyard that we can do in smaller pieces.

5. Clean up flower/veggie/berry beds.

6. Go biking with Connor.

7. Figure out how to drive a back-hoe, rent a back-hoe, carve paths all over the backyard & move a bunch of dirt to level things out and pull out plants we don't want so we can put a patio outside.

Okay - that last one probably isn't happening, but it would be nice!
And don't worry - I'll be sleeping in every day, no matter what's on the 'plan.'

Friday, March 19, 2010

Jury Duty

I have no experience with this. I only ever had to tick off the "not a US citizen" box & send the form back.

This lack of experience bothered me lately with Trevor getting a card in the mail that said he needed to call every evening after 6:00pm to see if his number was called for the next day. I wasn't all that sure that he'd be the best choice for a juror. After all, social stuff is not his forte.

Today was his turn to go in.

This was actually incredibly lucky. He had his last final on Wednesday, and was able to sell his books back on Thursday. His number was in the later 500's, but earlier, it had looked very possible to be called on one of his finals days. We had him email or notify his instructors that he could be called to jury duty & may have to reschedule his finals. But that didn't happen, so everything was good.

He went in this morning, understanding that he couldn't bring any electronic anything. He had his sketch pad to keep himself occupied.

They asked general questions of the jury pool, and selected enough jurors for the trial before Trevor was asked anything specific. Once the jury was chosen, the rest of the people were dismissed and told they didn't need to call in again for the month, unless they needed to start again from #1 (out of 1000 possible jurors).

And that was it for Trevor's jury duty!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

St. Patrick's Day Joke

What's Irish & sits on your lawn all summer?

Paddy O'Furniture.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Connor's new glasses

Poor eyesight for the entire family!!!

He looks very cute though. At least his teeth are straight :P

Sunday, March 14, 2010

My silly dog

And yes, the higher my voice gets, the more excited the dog gets. :P

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Squirt bottle

If a student purposefully and willfully spits in your face, you should be able to squirt them back with water. It's behavior-modification & works great on dogs.

My other option is use a poster or something as a shield. I'm not allowed to smack their face - which is my gut reaction.

The kid is lucky I have such self control!!

Seriously, I gotta convince the therapist that a squirt of water should be allowable.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Shrimp & Caviar

I'm doing this monthly Ladies Bible study thing since, oh, October, I think.

I was invited to be in the group because we're all around the same age, with kids around the same ages... We have the study sessions at different people's homes, after they host dinner. Seems a lot of ladies in this crowd have BIG homes - the one last night was in a gated community. Usually we get a note in the mail as a reminder that the study session is coming up, but this last month, our facilitator had surgery & she didn't get the note out.

So last night, it was just one other lady & myself at the hostess' home. She had gone through a LOT of trouble to make asian food - kimchi, something like a potsticker, spring rolls, sushi. She had even taken the time to make half of it vegetarian. Well, vegetarian meaning "not pork or beef." Everything had shrimp in it, or some other fish/crab (I think the sushi had eel besides the caviar on it).

I felt bad because instead of the 8 to 10 guests she'd cooked for, she only got two, so I went ahead & ate all the 'vegetarian' stuff. I was hungry, and it's only for health reasons that I do it anyway - so I could cave a bit. I do eat tuna & salmon, but dang - I haven't had shellfish in a LONG time.

We didn't get to do much bible studying (maybe a couple of things from the book we're using), but we had a nice conversation over dinner :)

And when it's my turn to host, it's gonna be a baked potato bar - haha.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

The Bike

Big win here. We weren't sure if he would care one way or another, but he's gotten too big to ride the trail-a-bike (the one that hooks on to an adult bike & makes it like a tandem).

So the high school guy who has watched him for us a couple of times will be moving to his dad's in CA after graduation. Turns out he has a couple of bikes that he's not using, so he was fine with giving Connor his old trick bike.

He'd had it painted green - which happens to be Connor's favorite color.

I took it to the sporting goods store & the bike guy happened to be there today & he fixed it up for us. It needed a new tube and some straightening on the wheel frame. He greased up the chain & everything - all for $8.99. Nice, huh? He was impressed with the paint job - he thinks it was done by a car shop or something :) It's a good solid bike.

I'm thinking we'll be out getting Connor to learn to ride this weekend :)
The cake was vanilla, with vanilla frosting. It winds up being a lot sweeter to me than a chocolate cake. Maybe if it would have had a layer of strawberry or something in between? But he wanted it plain like that.
All in all, good birthday for the kiddo :)

Happy 12th Birthday, Connor!

When asked what he'd like for his birthday, the answer was "Presents." *sigh*

So we go for the sure fire things he'll like - mostly food that we don't typically get him.

Lucky Charms is his favorite (he usually eats Chex).

"Green Chips" are his favorite potato chips.

The Mac & Cheese crackers are new & had a good commercial, so he kept wanting to get them. Okay, for his birthday, sure.

The Hershey bars are to make s'mores.

He's been enjoying puzzles lately, so he got one of those.

Trevor got him the movie, Wall-E.

The bicycle comes this afternoon... He doesn't even know about that yet & he's already having a GREAT birthday! There will also be cupcakes at school & we'll bake a cake this afternoon when we're home from school. Dinner is his favorite: Hot dogs (veggie) and baked beans.

Happy Birthday Connor!!

Monday, March 01, 2010

Best of MADE - Biggest Surprises

Hee! Diana made a "Best of" episode!!!

Click the link to see - It's copywrite-protected, so I won't post the actual clip here.

Still - cool beans!