A family's story

Posts tagged ‘Summer’

Mostly Wordless Wednesday

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We were on vacay. Three days up in the seclusion of Wisconsin. We had a blast. Auntie K and Uncle J stayed with us. Fun was had by all. It was a good break. I think we are all happy to be home now, though.

10 Reasons Why Summer Can Suck It

I’m not the biggest fan of summer. In fact, I can think of several reasons why I am not cheering the glories of summer. Here are 10…I’ll hold onto the others for another time when I’m as grumpy as I am today with our heat index.

10. My children don’t sleep in. Doesn’t happen. I remember that I never was one to really sleep in at my house when I was growing up, however, I gave my mom the courtesy of at least sleeping until at least 8. She woke up at 5 most days, so that was 3 hours of alone time. I get zilch. They come wake ME up each morning.

9. My hair is a permanent frizz-ball. I blame my Eastern European roots. I have a lot of wavy hair that gets bigger and bigger as the dew point goes higher and higher. Remember the show FRIENDS? Remember the episode where they are in the Bahamas and Monica’s hair grows to epic proportions? Yeah. That. I have tried every anti-frizz product on the market. Baloney, I say. I get these obnoxious little curly cues up on my forehead, too. They were cute when I was 7. At 37, not so much.

8. The boys bicker. A lot. More than during the school year. I know it’s the whole being together more thing. But holy moly. I am over it. Wayyyy over it. I kind of want to put them in a room, lock the door and tell them to hug it out. That might not end well, though.

7. I get all hot and sweaty. I don’t glisten. I sweat. There’s no euphemism for it. I dislike never feeling fully dry and sticking to everything. This would be where my sensory avoidance is evident. Very evident. Yuck.

6. My asthma bothers me more. The heavy air, thick with mold spores, attacks my lungs and makes me feel like a 300 pound person is sitting on my chest. I have to slow down. Way down. Exercising outdoors is almost non-existant. Thank goodness for air conditioning and exercise videos. And treadmills. And air conditioning. Did I mention the air conditioning???

5. Everything stinks more. Hubz has said that I have a sense of smell like a bloodhound. That’s great and all, except when the heat and humidity cause garbage and yard waste to decay at an exponentially faster rate. Just taking our garbage out makes me gag. Also? I am at armpit level of most people. Yeah. Double gag.

4. My children don’t respond very well to the phrase, “we’re just hanging out”. Part of it is our always-scheduled lifestyles. Part of it is that they crave structure. My childhood summers of improvisation and creative pretend play where we left at 9:00 in the morning and didn’t really come home until it was dinnertime at 6:00 are long gone. Even if we don’t have plans, I have to come up with something (admittedly, that is usually watching TV) as our “plan” for the next hour or two or five.

3. It’s hot and humid. Did I mention this already? I really don’t like the heat and humidity. The Midwest is great and all because we get the seasons..but really, I could do without the extremes. 96 and a heat index of 104 is not exactly fabulous. Especially when one opens the door and the air hits like a ton of bricks (on the chest…remember the asthma). It’s so not cool feeling like the oven is blasting when I step outside to get the morning paper at 7:00 in the morning.

2. The way my children react to heat and humidity. Mostly I’m talking about Tate. It causes his system to go haywire. He is constantly sensory-seeking. He’s upside down, sideways, and backwards. He becomes very oral and ornery. Like the rest of us, he slows down, including his processing speed, which is already somewhat slower than the average bear’s. I try to respect that and wait for him, but oh my…it is hard…especially when I’m hot and tired and pushed to my limits because of the heat, humidity, my aching lungs, my sticky arms and legs, and general frustration with the kids’ bickering. Jake and Cole have shorter tempers and less tolerance for each other and Tate, as well. It’s awesome. And when I say awesome, I mean not.

1. The mosquitoes! Oh dear God in heaven above, the mosquitoes. Right now they are the size of hummingbirds, and they are relentless. I stepped out on the front porch, and one dive-bombed my head. I smashed it and ended up with blood all over my hands. Gross. And they attacked Tate last week. He is allergic, so he swelled. Poor kid got a bite on his eyelid. He couldn’t open his eye on Friday. It was that bad. And we’re all itchy on top of being sweaty and hot and short-tempered and bored and sleep-deprived and asthmatic. Darn mosquitoes.

Photo Friday

A few pictures of our week…

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Tate enjoys the bike wash Hubz built

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Jake and Cole enjoy splashing in the water

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Got about 7 1/2 inches chopped off my hair. Hate to admit how long it had been since a haircut.

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Jake at dinner on Wednesday.

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Tate at dinner on Wednesday.

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Cole waiting to go to day camp.

Mostly Wordless Wednesday

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Cole and Tate enjoy our tiny pool…loads of water fun yesterday!

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Tate enjoys the outdoors with he latest Doc and Lambie. (This one sings and talks. I am regretting this purchase already.)

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Cole and Tate play outside while Hubz mows the lawn.

Summer vacation has arrived! The boys are enjoying there increased free time outdoors. Of course, notice who is conspicuously absent from all of these photos. A certain 9 year old who thinks his summer vacay is all about TV and video games. He’s mistaken. While these photos were shot, he was sulking in the shadows because Hubz or I pulled the plug on electronics. Meanest parents ever. Just so you know.

Summer- Phase III

The boys and I have almost made it through our 12-week long summer. Phases I and II went quite well. Phase III has been rough. The boys are tired of each other. They are tired of the seeming lack of routine. They are tired of me constantly “pestering” them to stop watching tv and use their imaginations. I’m tired of the yelling, screaming, wrestling, and clutter.

One of the reasons that Phase III has been brutal is that it was “do or die” time for Cole to be potty trained. I got his preschool packet in the mail on August 3. At that point, he was not intent upon going on the potty, and I wasn’t totally forcing the issue. That packet was my wake-up call. I HAD to have him ready for preschool in a month. Those are 5 glorious hours that I’ve never had to myself each week. I refuse to give them up because a certain head-strong 3 year old has decided not to expel waste into a toilet. The first week was awful. Puddles everywhere. Soiled underpants. Tears…mostly mine. At one point, he smacked me because he didn’t want to go on the potty and I was sitting in the bathroom with him. I told him that he could choose not to go on the potty, and preschool could choose not to let him participate. He is so excited about preschool that this thought sent ripples through him. Suddenly, he was much more enthusiastic about going on the potty.

Last week, we had mostly mastered toileting for urination. The other one…not so much. That is, until Jake took Cole into the bathroom and laid down the law that big kids don’t poop in their pants. He helped Cole get onto the potty, then gave him a big bear hug as Cole tried. I’ll be a monkey’s uncle, but that worked. Cole got over his discomfort with the sensation. He has gone on the potty every day since, and has eliminated his waste  IN THE TOILET!!!! We had one accident, but that was minor. OH-MY-GOSH-I-THINK-HE’S-GOT-IT!!!!

Today we were cleaning up Cole’s room. As I was rifling through the books, determining which to keep and which to give away, Cole came in and shouted about going poop. I didn’t look up, but groaned. I just figured he meant that he wasn’t paying attention and had an accident. We had JUST been in the bathroom, but he refused to try to go.

Ohhh-kaaay…I’ll come change you. 

No Mommy….in the potty. Look!

There it was. Yessss!!!!!! I know that we are by no means “home free”…but this process has been relatively quick, compared to others. It’s amazing what the right motivation will do!

Another reason that Phase III has been rough is that Jake is trying to absorb as much “down time” as possible in the 2 and a half weeks between day camp and school. He fights playing outside. He fights doing math or reading exercises. He fights playing with his toys. He acted as if I was going to torture him when I asked if he wanted to try to ride his bike outside. So, yeah, I’m exhausted by his refusals to do anything but watch tv.

Phase III has been a bit of a bummer for all of us. It’s the winding down of the summer. It’s the realization that so very soon we will be on a tight schedule, running from school to therapy to extra-curriculars. I have to pack lunches at night, get outfits ready for the next day, and wake up when my alarm clock blares at me each morning at 6 am. The kids are bummed out that they aren’t allowed to sleep in the basement any more, aren’t allowed to sit in pj’s, and are being asked to help choose which clothes to keep for the new school year. I think we are mostly ready for the next Phase–School Year 2012-13!

10 Things Thursday

Editor’s Note: Today is the second straight day that we have a forecast of more than 100 degrees Farenheit. I’m feeling sluggish and scattered, so, here are 10 things I’m thinking about today, in no particular order. Stay cool.

10. I can’t believe that we are 5 weeks in to summer break already!! Tate’s day camp is over after tomorrow’s session. Jake is done with summer school tomorrow. Time is flying, and I’m not even having that much fun!! I will take it, though. This means I only have 7 more weeks of summer break where all 3 boys are home most of the time.

9. I need to get Cole on the potty-training train. He starts preschool in September. They don’t do diapers. He was all excited to go on the potty like his brothers about a month and a half ago. Now, not so much. I asked if he wanted to wear big-boy underwear yesterday. He said, “No, I wear my elephant diapers!!” (We buy our diapers from Costco, and the size he wears has a cutesy elephant on the front of the diaper.) Little stubborn stinker!! This may be a looonggg couple of months!

8. Target was putting out their school supplies on Monday morning when I was doing a little shopping. I. Love. School. Supplies. I am such a mega-dork, and I don’t care. I don’t even buy them sometimes…I just love to go and browse. I get downright giddy as I see what characters and pictures adorn the current versions of notebooks, folders, pencil pouches, and such. I love pens, too. I like to check out the lunch boxes, and water bottles, and the newness of it all. There is definitely a spark of excitement that courses through my veins when we approach this time of year. Our district allows us to buy the box o’ supplies in the spring, but I abstain. I actually enjoy buying the supplies for my boys.

7. I’m hot. The thought of cooking or planning a meal for my family is repulsive, quite honestly. I’m glad we have leftovers from our bar-b-que so I don’t have to worry about tonight. As for the rest of the week, I hope some veggies and chips suffice as a meal. I’ll throw a piece of cheese on their plates and call it a day.

6. Jake is becoming more independent! I have been encouraging him to do more for himself, and thankfully, he seems to be taking it on without an issue. He’s getting his own water and juice, asking for, and retrieving his own snacks, he’s operating the tv remote (I thought that was ingrained in the male brain…but no, we had to teach him how to use the universal remote), he’s picking out his own clothes, he’s putting his laundry away, he’s showering on his own, and is handling his personal hygiene without me having to breathe down his neck all of the time. I could get used to this!

5. It’s just not fair that kids with sensory disorder get colds. Tate is fighting a summer cold. Both of the others had it, sniffled a bit, had a little cough, and were good to go. Poor Tate is struggling. He gets mega head colds, and his system is over-done when he gets a cough. The cough started yesterday. It’s heart-wrenching to watch him fight with his own body to stifle the cough because he cannot stand the sensation. That throws him into sensory disaster, too. At least he was able to find some calm while playing with the hose yesterday…it took his mind off of his runny nose and cough.

4. Scheduling play dates is rough! Part of Tate’s current program schedule for therapy includes peer play. I have to schedule play dates with some kids we know so that the therapists can facilitate appropriate play. I know that so many people lament the over-scheduling of today’s youth..and I am seeing that up close and in person! I have sent out emails, and so far, everyone I have hit up for a play date is busy when we’re free, and free when we’re busy. I’m going mad!! On top of it, the director of Tate’s ABA therapy gave me a strict talking to about the importance of play dates. Well, hel-lo, I know that. I’m trying…I really am. I think she should have to schedule these,then. Yeesh!

3. Our geriatric dog is not doing so well. I know the extreme heat bothers all creatures, but she’s a mess. She turned 12 in early June, and she’s not eating much, she sleeps most of the day, and she’s really, really hobbling about now. Hubz and I know that the dreaded vet visit is coming…sooner than later…and it’s so hard to make that final call. She was our first foray into caring for something else other than ourselves. In so many ways she prepared us for the plunge into parenthood. It breaks my heart that she’s suffering so right now…and it makes me tear up when I think about losing her.

2. I got a couple of emails recently from the NFL network about fantasy football. Training camp isn’t that far away!! I am soooo excited about the prospect of football season starting in a couple of months. I think that is getting me through the doldrums of summer. I love a good game of football..both collegiate and professional. My collegiate team has been meh, and we have a new coach this year. I’m not too sure what to expect. I think I’ll go in with moderate expectations and see what happens from there. Even though I’m not from there, I am a huge Green Bay fan. I’m getting excited for our season this year!

1. I got a copy of Kate Winslet’s Golden Hat Project book from the library. It was an interesting read. I was amazed by the back-story of the book. I was even more amazed by the number of celebrities who donned the hat for a good cause. I enjoyed reading their statements. While there are some celebrities who are ignorant and use Autism as a derogatory word or reference, it is reassuring to see that so many more people who are in a position of influence support the Autistic community, recognizing that they should be treated with respect and dignity, and not as some punchline.*

*I read this book of my own volition. I wasn’t asked to read it or comment on it…just was intrigued, and checked out a copy from my local library. If you haven’t had a chance to read it, I would recommend it. And so-called celebrities that continue to use “autistic” as a derogatory word can go fly a kite. Different, not less, people. That is all. Carry on.

It’s a Heat Wave….

From the Weather Channel app on my Droid 4: Heat advisory remains in effect until 9 pm CDT Wednesday. Temperatures today will climb to around 100 degrees..with highs 100 to 104 on Wednesday. Heat indices will peak between 100 and 107 degrees. If current forecasts hold, then additional heat advisories and warnings will likely be issued for Thursday into Friday. A heat advisory means that a period of hot weather is expected. High temperatures and high humidity will combine to create a situation in which heat illnesses are possible. Drink plenty of fluids..stay in air conditioned rooms. Stay out of the sun. Check in on relatives and neighbors…..

My totally unprofessional take on all of this: It’s effing hot out there!!!!  Heck yes, I’m going to be drinking lots of water and staying in my air-conditioned house. Bears may hibernate in the winter months, but good golly, I’m ready to hibernate in my basement until mid-September right about now. I really despise this hot and humid weather. The beauty of where we live is that we get to experience 4 seasons. The downside?? We get to experience the extremes of all 4 seasons, too. Right now we’re dealing with the extremes that summer in the Midwest has to offer. Extremely hot. Very humid. Severe drought. Plentiful sun.

I don’t like being hot. It makes me feel tight in my own skin. I hate it when I sweat just because I’m sitting in a chair drinking a glass of water. That’s just not right. I’m not earning that sweat…it’s being sucked out of me just because I’m living and breathing. I don’t like my clothes clinging to my body because I’m just a little bit moist from the sweat. I don’t glisten. No. I sweat buckets. My hair gets big…and frizzy. I am forced to pull it back into a pony tail most days to keep it from taking over the world. I get puffy, and crabby, and have the patience of a gnat. My asthma can act up, so I have to gasp for air,and live most of my days in air conditioned safe havens. Yep, I’m a real peach in this weather. (Hubz is one lucky guy!)

Then there’s Tate. Tate has never, ever tolerated heat well. He gets clammy slimy and sweaty. He gets really flushed, and because of his inability to process extreme heat or cold, he doesn’t realize that he’s overheating. We have to watch him like a hawk. He refuses to drink when he’s overheated, too…which is probably the worst thing ever because he dehydrates more quickly. And he vomits. One of these days I know we’ll end up in the ER. Yesterday, his camp group was outside playing. His therapist said he was playing in the sand, and all of the sudden just sat down. The color drained from his face, and yep, he got sick. He was kind of off all day after that.

Tate’s undesired behaviors tend to spike a bit when he’s struggling with the heat. He stims more. He fidgets with his clothes, especially his underwear waistband in the back. He reverts to echolalia. He whines. Oh, the whining….He can’t listen to direction. He’s fighting so hard to stay upright and function that he can barely attend and participate in conversation and play. All he seems to be comfortable doing is sitting in the basement playing Mario. My heart breaks for him.

Unfortunately, it looks like we’re going to have to deal with this for a while. The forecast is showing 90’s and 100’s until at least early next week. We only have “slight chances” of rain and storms at night on a few of the days.  We’ve had nine consecutive months of above average temperatures and below average precipitation. So everything is shriveling and wilting…everything and everyone.

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