Saturday, July 28, 2007


You've just got to love unplanned/unposed/unexpectedly beautiful photos. No photoshopping necessary.


Two more pages selected for publication!! (Well, three really, since one of them is a 2-page spread). These newest ones will be in the Dec/Jan issue of Digital Scrapbooking Magazine. Did I ever report here that I have a couple of magnets being published in the spring 2008 issue of Creative Techniques Magazine? My scrapbook resume (off to the right there if you want to check it out) is looking better and better. It amazes me that this little hobby of mine, that I started on a whim, has turned into such a satisfying and exciting part of my life. I love that my family's memories are being recorded and what a thrill to see them in magazines and books!

So cool.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Holy cow, I'm tired!

Whew! Yesterday was tons of fun, but I'm wiped! Here's a few photos to show the fun: The Blur

The Cake

The Candles

The Animal-like Eating of the Cake

Hooray for CAKE!!!

(In case you couldn't tell, the cake was a hit. It was also breakfast this morning!)

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Last day of his 3rd year

And he has finally overcome his aversion to stickers! George is extremely tactile sensitive. He's long acted like all those friendly cashiers in grocery stores who try to give him stickers are, in fact, the monsters that live in his nightmares who want nothing more than to stick their evil poisons on him.

Okay, maybe I made that up. I have no idea what he experienced when peeling happy faced stickers off his clothing, but I do know that he panicked at the very sight of them.

But apparently, that is no longer the case! This morning, he calmly went into Emma's room, helped himself to a sheet of butterfly stickers, and proceeded to peel off every single one of them and affix them to his shirt. Then later, onto his pants. Then later, onto my magazine. Then later, a select few ended up on his cheeks and neck. Strange child.

Emma was great about sharing her precious stickers. (As soon as I promised we'd go buy some new ones!) She seems to understand why we get excited over silly little changes in George's behavior. She cheered him on as he covered himself in pink, green, and blue butterflies. What a great kid she can be!

I met with George's teacher yesterday, for a six month review. It amazes me how much he's advanced. Really, he was diagnosed with Autism only nine months ago; but in that time, with the help of many incredible teachers and therapists, he's come so far. His vocabulary expands daily, with several short phrases now finding their way into conversation. He is an active participant in his class, even at the circle time that used to be so difficult for him. (Over 30 minutes of sitting in a group, paying attention to teachers and students doing show and tell.) His violent outbursts (hitting & hair pulling) have completely disappeared at school (still working on that at home), and he plays with his friends actively, instead of parallel play off to the side.

Earlier this week, I was rereading what I had written the day he was diagnosed, and feeling those emotions anew. Overwhelmed, sad, angry, name it, I felt it. But then, going through our photos and the memories we've recorded since, I feel so differently. I'm proud, happy, still frustrated sometimes, but hopeful and excited, too.

Love you, buddy! These three years have flown by, and I can't wait to see what the next three bring!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Oh boy...

George had cupcakes today at school. Remember that whole Gluten Free diet we are trying, and it's wonderful results? Cupcakes aren't gluten free. George had to take a shower after his nap time.....while I ran a load of laundry.....and scrubbed the carpet in his room and multiple puzzle pieces, toys, and furniture. yuck. And we're going into a weekend with not one, but two birthdays; and not two, but three birthday celebrations that include cake or cupcakes. Oh boy.

On a more positive, and less icky, note: We're still here! The vultures were gone by morning. We figure they either finished their meal or followed it elsewhere. Can't say I'm sorry to see them go. Did you know that turkey vultures have a 6 foot wingspan? Yikes!

It's been a good week. Despite the rain, we've gone swimming everyday. Emma LOVES her current class and it's amazing to see her propel herself through the water with such confidence. No meltdowns since the Blueberry escapade, and she's stayed in her room quietly after bedtime every day this week. As my friend, Sharon, pointed out, and my mom has often said, just when you think you've got kids and their needs figured out, they come up with something new. Now that we seem to have Emma in a good place, I fear for the next upheaval!

George and I generally just play while Emma's in swim class. He's fallen in love with the slide at our local pool. Here's a pic from their site:
I don't know if you can really appreciate it's hight, twists, and speed from the picture. But it's really fun! The only negative is waiting in line on the staircase leading up to the top. BRRRR! We usually brave it about 6 or 7 times before we head back to the regular pool or off to get changed into dry clothes!
Stinky boy is fussing, so I have to go now. I suppose I ought to wrap a few of the many Thomas products currently hiding in my closet. I'll be back with pictures sometime this weekend!
Oh, and Jason got the first of his presents last weekend. He finally saw in concert a band that he's loved since.....well, forever. They've been around since the 70's, I believe. As have we. Social Distortion isn't one of the bands we enjoy together. But I had to laugh as he dug out some of their CD's over the past week. I have many a compilation tape, stuck somewhere among the boxes of our history, containing Social D songs that a young Jason felt conveyed emotions he needed to share with me! Remember compilation TAPES???? Ah, glory days.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The vultures are circling

There are three of these ugly guys in our trees this evening, and a forth that's either their female counterpart or a hawk. So basically, we're surrounded by birds of prey.

If you don't hear from me within the next couple of days, you may want to come check for bones in our field.

Summer Boy

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Farm day

We've been having some trouble lately with Emma throwing tantrums late at night (long after bedtime) and just in general having a difficult attitude. So we've taken some privileges away. And it's my job, as stay-at-home-mommy, to keep her gainfully occupied. Lucky me! I figure she must be getting bored with summer, I certainly remember getting to that point during school vacations, when the novelty has worn off and the lack of schedule means there's nothing specific to look forward to. (Sorry Dave, I know that sentence structure was horrific!) So, I'm trying to think of fun, active things to do on the weekends, when there is no school for George and we don't go to the pool because it's packed.

Today we went to the farm. Many of George's newest words focus on animals, their noises, and farming (thanks to a reemerging interest in Baby Einstein videos and books). We have a farm here, just outside of town, that has WONDERFUL produce, plus the family-friendly incentives of many hungry goats and a super playground. We had a great time, George did really well with all the transitions between activities (usually leaving a playground is incredibly difficult, but he was totally intrigued by all the other things to see), and we brought home some yummy cherries and raspberries.

Unfortunately, the trip home will now be known as the "Blueberry Meltdown", as Emma did an amazingly accurate rendition of the poor child in The Exorcist over my failure to purchase blueberries. Even Georgie looked at her like she was insane. Isn't he supposed to be my difficult child? Not sure what's going on with her lately, but we'll continue to try new adventures in the hopes of wearing them out, if nothing else!

Friday, July 13, 2007


I know, I know, two posts in one day after a long dry spell. But I had to share.

George just said, "Mommy". Not entirely unprompted, but really, I didn't expect him to say it. He has a lot of trouble with M's in general and M's in the middle of words especially. Emma has been "Ebba" for months, Thomas is usually pronounced "Tho-as", and I haven't had a name at all.

But tonight, when I said "I love you", he said, "I love you". And when I said, "I love you, Mommy?" He said, "I love you, Mommy."

Off to go cry now.

Update time!

First off, I'm going to apologize for not apologizing. What? I haven't blogged in a while. Because I've been lazy. Not busy, just lazy. Just about every day this summer, I have read a book. An entire book almost every day. Granted, I read really quickly, but still, that's a lot of time sitting on the porch with a book, laying on the couch with a book, going to bed early to read a book.... And I do not apologize for it! Most of those books haven't been worth mentioning (I choose my books at the library based on their cover art work, that's all the time I'm allotted by my oh-so-patient children), but it has felt so good to just relax that I really haven't cared. So, I'm not on the computer much and therefore the three of you that check in here from time to time have probably deserted me completely! Oh well, before I go choose my next trashy novel, here are updates on and cute pics of the kids!

George went back to school last Tuesday for a month-long summer session. I was worried that he would resist, but nope! I brought his backpack out of hiding on Monday and he promptly put it on and started dragging me to the door, saying "school" and "teachers". Then when he discovered that we'll still go swimming every day, after we pick him up, well, life just doesn't get any better.

He is completely loving anything that has to do with water these days. Thus, his new best friend, Gracie:

I'm not sure how these pictures look to you. My monitor died on me last week and I'm using the old CRT monitor from Emma's computer. Which apparently has a dying bulb because it's on full brightness and contrast and still everything looks grey and washed out. Just waiting on a check from one of my magazine publications and off to Circuit City I'll go!

I'm not the only one doing a lot of reading this summer. Miss Emma has fallen in love with it! YAY!!! She now reads to ME every night at bedtime. And this is one of my favorite sites these days:Green Eggs & Ham was her first book that she really read by herself. Now we go to the Early Readers section of the library and she goes crazy! She also loves to write stories and letters. (Some of them are cranky, angst-filled notes that start, "Mom and Dad, I'm upset today...." Love those.) So, if you need a pen-pal, let me know! I'm thinking of setting up an email account for her, and of course "real" mail is even better.

So, there we are. Swimming, reading, and lazing about. Hope your summer is equally relaxing!

Sunday, July 01, 2007