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Everything posted by BooksandBoys

  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 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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).
  5. I love this. Your husband is a keeper. You are so strong. And you are gorgeous inside and out.
  6. 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)
  7. 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.
  8. 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. 🙂
  9. 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...
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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 feelings...it was an accident. I do miss my pretty Motley, though.
  13. 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).
  14. Sending strength, efficiency, and patience, and peace your direction.
  15. Good morning all! Today is a quiet day. I have not a single thing on the calendar!!! morning people care - DONE school with oldest school with littles (it feels like I need to separate the oldest from youngers for my own sanity. They really are two different to-dos) make the little boys play outside this morning before it gets hot. Fold the three loads of laundry I washed yesterday (someday, I’ll get my laundry system back on track) pay a medical bill call the dentist to schedule for me grocery store - thankfully, we only need a few things Coaching work Cross stitch (that I feel guilty planning to rest and stitch is something I’m working hard on. I NEED rest) walk, jog a bit make dinner, clean up Quick tidy of the house because we’ll be gone all day tomorrow, so I’ll get to enjoy it when I return home. read aloud (this needs to be a priority again. It’s slipped with the chaos of summer)
  16. This is where I’m heading. I’m tired of looking at “old me” and missing her. It hurts. I’m mostly ok with who I am today (I think I’m a pretty great survivor a lot of the time, but other times, I’m ashamed of my emotional scars). I look at old me, who had energy and dreams and optimism galore and I miss her. I’m still crazy optimistic...you have to be, I think, to be able to navigate special needs and wake up every morning hoping that today will be better, but it’s with a level of realism that feels draining. Yes, I hope it will be better, but it’s often like I’m hoping my abuser (the autism meltdowns, I mean) won’t hurt me today. That’s not so much optimism as insanity, maybe. 😂 Anyway, I want to be ok with saying goodbye to old me even though I miss her. I liked her. She was interesting and fun. But current me isn’t so bad either.
  17. If I didn’t have my extra freezer/fridge, I would hate/resent that I’m responsible for all things food even more than I do now. But I do a little of both. In general, I cook twice as much food as we need for any given meal so that we have leftovers for lunch and leftover night. So, I cook chicken on one night, tacos the next, then we eat leftovers, then burgers the fourth night, some kind of pasta the fifth, leftovers the sixth, and an adult/oldest child favorite (read fish, usually) the seventh (I do not cook extra of this meal). Each night I cook, I cook double the meat and double the sides (veggies and starch). In addition to that, I use my freezer to let me shop the meat sales/prep meat for easier cooking. So I’ll buy 20 pounds and cut it up into gallon bags with different marinades, freezing these flat for easy defrost and grilling later (I grill almost year round). I buy a pile of ground beef and make a bunch of meatballs for pasta night (food allergy house, so I can’t buy things like that). I make piles of carnitas all at once, then freeze several servings for later. I buy a bunch of pork chips and freeze them in the right size packages for dinner later. I buy enough ingredients for 4 chicken soups (veggies plus chicken) and make up 3 freezer bags of ingredients the night I cook soup (and I cook double, so the bags are also double amounts). And I use my extra fridge and freezer space so I can stay out of the stores as much as possible. I can buy produce once a week or less if I pay attention to the order we eat the produce (apples and Brussels sprouts can wait. Eat the bananas and berries and salad greens first). Bags of broccoli and carrots and cauliflower, other veggies are always in my freezer. I can buy extra milk because I have the room. I’m so grateful for my extra fridge/freezer (I didn’t have the extra refrigerator until last year).
  18. Sturgis was earlier this month, which is lucky because I didn’t even think about that!
  19. Hi all! We’re taking the kids to Mt Rushmore in mid September, but I know nothing about the area and would love some suggestions to make our trip great. We don’t spent money on tours in general because with our kids, it’s usually an exercise in torture. We’ve made hotel reservations for three nights in Keystone, so we have two full days and a bit extra on each end. We also plan to go see the Badlands and the Petrified Forest. I’m struggling to get a lay on the area online, though I’m aware that these attractions are pretty far apart. Audiobooks for the win! 🙂 Are there any good hikes you recommend? We are Colorado residents who regularly hike 4-6 miles at altitude, so we can handle longer ones. Any place we shouldn’t miss or should definitely avoid?
  20. I’m with you! It’s week 4 of school here. I’m loving the return of a good routine, but my house needs to be rescued. And I want some me time. 🙂 DS1 is taking a high school level Spanish course at his homeschool charter and I’m panicking that I made the wrong decision putting my dysgraphic child in this course. He can handle the verbal, but the writing? Yikes. And he’s a bit shocked that he’s spending about 5 hours a week on it. 🙂
  21. Is it Tuesday? It feels like a Wednesday. Morning people care is done. DS2 stayed up until 2am playing on the iPad. He’s a poor sleeper anyway (always has been), and I forgot to change the password back after I changed it to one he knew so he could have some (very rare) free play yesterday. I’m not sure when he actually sneaked out of his room to go look for it, but I’m thinking it lives on a high shelf in my room from now on, with all appropriate passwords on it. So, he’s exhausted and having meltdowns. Send strength. School - DONE vacuum fold all the laundry - DONE listen to a webinar this afternoon - well, I was in the middle of dealing with behaviors, so nope. grocery store - ugh - also shelved due to rough day for everyone ABA for DS1 and DS2 - DONE VA work - DONE email to change DS3’s psych appointment - crap, I forgot, doing that right now - DONE Martial arts tonight for the boys - DONE Make dinner and clean up - DONE walk, take kids with me - see above
  22. Wow, that quilt! DS2 woke up stable and calm after yesterday’s debacle. Hooray it that! Morning people care - DONE Pack lunches for first day of co-op type school - DONE Take kids to school, sit through the parent meetings - DONE enjoy my 1.5 hours to myself call to check in on my friend - DONE call to check in on another friend Update Show and Sell sign ups Finish reading The River Pick up kids Take DS2 to the grandparents (remember his bike!) Find a place for DS3 to play this afternoon 3 loads of laundry fold those loads of laundry pick up DS1 from robotics practice, take him to have his stitches taken out Pick up the other two kids. Fit dinner in there somewhere. Dinner clean up. Quick tidy of the house.
  23. My good friend is 6’1” and has size 11.5 feet. I have another very tall friend who is 6 foot and wears a size 11. So, it’s still possible that she’s almost finished growing despite the foot sizes. If memory serves, the teenage growth spurt is from the outside in, so feet and hands stop growing before the rest of the body.
  24. Once again, I wrote out my post this morning but didn’t actually submit it hah! Morning people care - done Go to charter to swap curriculum - Done Go to Target to pick up school supplies - Done School - Done Meet a friend to get info about Camporee - Done sign up for Scout popcorn sales - Done virtual assistant work - Done freeze the flank steaks ABA for DS2 - Done Quiet time - Done read for 30 minutes cross stitch make meatballs make dinner, clean up - Done clean the bathroom Spent most of the afternoon through early bedtime dealing with an autism meltdown, so my productivity took a nosedive. Ah well. He’s asleep and I’m in bed reading. Everything else can wait.
  25. Every time I get desperate and start dreaming of sending my kids to school, I remind myself that I’ll still have to do the homework battles with them every night and I might as well homeschool. And we’d lose so much (like ABA...the waiting lists here for after school hours are years long).
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