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About BooksandBoys

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    Hive Mind Queen Bee

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  1. January crafting: I’m halfway finished with one cross stitch pattern (a lacy mandala), and I’d like to finish it this month. I’ll also put some time into a new one that I started on January first. The new one is my first “lady” pattern, and I’m very excited to learn how to bead on her dress. I plan to wind all of my Christmas gift floss onto bobbins. And I’m in a few too many stitch-alongs this year. I’ve never done one before, and I may have gotten a little over-excited. I’m doing one withCarolyn Manning, a free one with Linens and Threads, a floral one with Caterpillar Cross Stitch, and an Easter one with Tempting Tangles. The fact that I’ve managed to stitch for only approximately 4 hours in the last 3 weeks doesn’t bode well for my success. Or my stress level (stitching calms me).
  2. I do all the “official” homeschooling, all the planning, all the curriculum shopping, all the stressing out. I also manage behavioral work, the OT/PT/ABA homework, teaching lawn maintenance and housework. My DH goes in phases when he reads aloud every night to the boys, then nothing for a while. We’re in a nothing phase right now, but that’s ok. He also takes care of teaching woodworking, home repair, and bicycle maintenance. We are a family that enjoys talking about all things educational all day long. DH often makes use of our huge whiteboard in the dining room during dinner to teach random things. It’s fun.
  3. I wanted to pull this bit out. I spent years trying to get my husband to treat me kindly, be a calm, engaged father, a reasonable husband. He made a tiny bit of progress, but the real change came when he realized he was on the spectrum too. I finally understood that my husband wasn’t a complete you-know-what the week after our second son was diagnosed. Turns out, I didn’t think DS2 was spectrum, but I did know that he and DH were A LOT alike. DS2 was diagnosed, no question, hands down autism spectrum, and my brain thought, “Wait a minute. Could? Holy crap. That’s what this is?!” Turns out, when I started applying spectrum-friendly techniques to my husband, things got a tiny bit better, mostly, I’ll be honest, because I finally understood what was happening. But I also started pointing out things out about DS2 that DH knew he (DH) did too. Then, DH started making jokes about all of us being autistic. ☺️ And that it was “getting a little spectrummy in here,” and I wondered. And DH started taking my prompts to scaffold things better fir himself for our family to function. He started taking breaks sometimes when I’d suggest it (because I could see he was losing it). He started learning about how to support the kids instead of being angry all the time. And the day after DS3 was diagnosed on the spectrum, DH told his parents, in front of me, that he’s pretty sure he’s on the spectrum too. I was in shock that the words came out of his mouth (he hadn’t said it to me), but the awareness has been growing for a long time. My marriage is still hard, but realizing what was going on made all the difference. Again, this is my family, not yours, but it’s a thought. There are 4 people in my family on the spectrum, as well as several relatives. Not a one of them is like the other (though DS2 is similar to DH in a lot of ways). I only suspected autism for DS1 (because he has always struggled with eye contact), the other two (three), I had NO idea. I already had a spectrum kid diagnosed and still had NO idea. It’s so hard to see the minor spectrum stuff, but it can make things so much harder. Add in ADHD (which all my kids have) and anxiety (which can look like deliberate naughtiness too), and my family is kind of nutty. But I adore them. I even like my husband these days.
  4. I’ve been very open on here about wishing I had medicated earlier. The day my oldest adhd/autism spectrum son took his first dose, everything changed (all three of mine are on the spectrum plus adhd). Suddenly, for just a few hours, he could follow directions. More importantly, suddenly, we could see how he reverted back to his “disobedient” ways when the meds wore off. He wasn’t cured, no way. He has complex challenges, but for approximately 7 hours a day (he takes an extended release stimulant), he can function, follow directions, remember that we don’t hit people when we are angry (yes, that is about impulse control, which is about attention), remember how to brush his teeth, do his schoolwork, not talk nonstop. We had used high doses of caffeine before medicating and those helped a bit, but he was still in trouble all the time. Meds brought my sweet, wanting to do good boy back. And he likes them. He has never once asked not to take them, and if he forgets, he is upset because he can’t control himself as well without them, and he loves being in control of himself. My husband was completely against meds and I was on the fence. I convinced him to do a one month trial, after many, many months of talking. He was begging me to never take oldest back off meds after only one day. And that was without us even having started ABA for the autism stuff...which, by the way, has been absolutely spectacular too. Edited to add the part that keeps this on topic. Before meds, No One could handle all three of my kids but me. I left them with no one. Even their father (my husband) wouldn’t keep them once we had the third child until after we started meds. They were too overwhelming, bus, distracted, and “disobedient” (lacked impulse control, attention). And now, with all three on appropriate medications, there are only a few people I can trust to handle them. By this last bit I mean to say two things. One, you may have the wrong person. A person with NT kids, even 4 of them, has no idea what she’s up against in a family of 3 asd/adhd boys (I’m speaking of my own family here). And most people with NT kids will blame parenting for problems that have nothing to do with parenting and everything to do with social thinking, attention, and rigidity. You may need a different person, and that’s ok. And two, meds won’t solve everything, but they do help.
  5. Another vote for Spark. I reread it every few years when I need a kickstart on my movement. It’s stellar. I adore The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley. It’s gorgeous. Most of her books are (except the ones that aren’t). Her writing make me feel like I’m wrapped in warm silk. But really, how can I narrow this down? I adored Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver and Prodigal Summer by the same author. Both make me want to go outside and understand the earth better. My comfort reads are the Laura Ingalls Wilder books and the Anne books (but only the first 6).
  6. I love this. Your husband is a keeper. You are so strong. And you are gorgeous inside and out.
  7. Selkie, I’m sorry. Slept a bit late this morning, but that’s ok, as I was tired and planned to do so. Morning people care done, washed my hair, packed up school and took the kids to a friend’s house. Schooled there, built some garden beds with them, helped them turn the earth, at lunch. took youngest to running club. Ended up with no children for a spell because they all parceled themselves off with friends, so I thought I’d take stock and figure out what I have left to do today. Print and read DS2’s aid application Coaching work make the guest bed, pick up any wayward toys in the basement fold the laundry make dinner, clean up, DS1 to Scouts practice piano 15 minute pick-up around the house finish paperwork for re-hire at my seasonal job - DONE maybe watch a tiny bit of the Broncos game tonight (while folding laundry - yeah, that would work)
  8. This is remarkable. I wish we could do multiple reactions. I wanted to like, laugh, and cry all at once. Yikes. What a story this will be in your family history.
  9. This is my first project on linen because I was afraid too. I finally made the jump because my favorite designer loves quarter stitches, and it turns out that quarter stitches are a lot simpler on linen than Aida. After I finished my last cross stitch, another humongous one that took years (and was full of quarters), I decided it was time to try linen or I’d lose my mind. It was hard at first, but i adaptes pretty quickly. I did go with a 28count (which would be an Aida 14) rather than the recommended 32 (18) to save my eyes a bit. And a friend thrifted a magnifying lamp for me! It couldn’t have come at a better time. Would love to see your unfinished projects. 🙂
  10. Yeah. I’m pretty blunt about this being the kind of friendship I love having, so I’ve found a few over the years. But even with my bluntness, it’s usually not there...
  11. Oh no. My heart goes out to you. Moving insurance sucks beyond belief (ours refused to pay for the missing mattresses because the boxes that were supposed to hold the mattresses arrived. They also refused to replace a bike wheel that they removed after the fact. They had labeled the bike but not the wheel, so they said they did their part by delivering the labeled bike. I was too exhausted and overwhelmed to fight anymore, so we replaced our stuff. I send strength and energy to you. And chocolate. And take-out food. You’ll need all of it. You can do this.
  12. This. I’m happy to have visitors with zero notice, drop in anytime, but I’m also going to keep doing what I was doing. If I’m cleaning, I’ll chat with you while I’m cleaning. If I’m schooling, I’ll tell you I’m schooling and offer you a place on the couch with some tea while I school. If we’re leaving, you can come along or leave. I grew up watching my mother drop in on her friends and her friends drop in on us (they all had kids who were our friends). And I watched all of those mothers model working alongside each other. Sure, they’d schedule a visit if it were a canning day and they wanted help, but if it were just a regular day and we went over to visit mom’s/our friends, we were just as likely to play as to help muck out the barn, and my mother was just as likely to sit on the porch with her friend as help organize the garage. We all just jumped in if there was work. I know I’ve found a kindred spirit when I can say, “I’m busy cleaning, but bring the kids and just be here with us,” and they do.
  13. Just wanted to agree with your OP. I have complex kids, gifted, autism spectrum, dysgraphia, dyslexia, adhd, motor delay, mental health stuff (not all of them have all of those), so I know we need to celebrate when my DS1 finally was able to write a 5 word sentence of 3 and 4 letter words with a capital letter and a period. He was 11. He also earned a composite score in the 99th percentile on the Co-Gat that same year. That’s an exam the evaluate giftedness. How many people could I tell about them 99th percentile? Umm...yeah. We won’t even talk about what happens when I need to brainstorm how to help a super high IQ kid who can hardly write or spell be challenged. There’s no one to talk about that with because it looks like bragging. I so very much want a friend who will talk rigorous (but complicated) homeschooling with me. It’s lonely over here where I’m surrounded by relaxed schoolers, unschoolers, and people who seem to have one goal: that their child can do all their schoolwork completely independently.
  14. Ahh, so glad she has a new kitty. That happened to me when I was 17. My mom ran over my precious outdoor kitty as she was pulling into the garage. I happened to be there (outside the car), watching and shouting at her to stop, but she didn’t understand what I was trying to communicate. It was heartbreaking, but we moved on. I harbor no hard was an accident. I do miss my pretty Motley, though.
  15. I cross stitch. It’s the only crafting I can do, much to the embarrassment of my very, very talented mother. 😂 But, I love it and find it to be very soothing. This is my current project. It will eventually be an Chinese dragon surrounded by a lovely border. This is less than 1/4 of it. I guesstimate that it will take me at least 4 years (I started this one last Christmas).
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