Thursday, February 28, 2013


When I got home tonight the nanny was very excited.  She had taken Middle Son out, and when they got in the car to come home, Middle was having trouble with his seat belt.  He reached from the back seat and tapped her on the shoulder.  She asked if he needed help, and she said he said "hea" and signed yes.  She was startled that he was vocalizing, and asked again.  Again, he said "hea" again.

The first speech-like response Middle has given in a VERY long time.  Hopefully it's the start of a trend.

Not Asleep After All

Last night, about an hour after he went into his room to go to bed, Youngest Son came out.  He was sobbing and saying "come on."  It took me a while to realize what had happened.  I had told him to go to his room and I'd come and read him a story in a few minutes.  I got distracted dealing with Middle Son, and then it had been 15 minutes and he hadn't come out, so I assumed that he had fallen asleep.

I was wrong.  He was awake and waiting.  And waiting.  And waiting.  Once I figured out what had happened, I apologized profusely.  Daddy is very sorry to have kept you waiting--I thought you were asleep.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Middle Son at the Wedding

My Beloved Fiancee and I went today to look at a location we're considering for our wedding and reception.  As we were talking to the event co-ordinator, My Beloved started talking about Middle Son, how he might react, and how we might be able to set up an area for him that would be a little sheltered from the noise and commotion but still allow him to observe the festivities.  I discovered that My Beloved had already talked with the co-ordinator about Middle when she had set up the appointment.

I teared up a little.  I am accustomed to being the only one who is thinking about Middle's wants and needs and taking action, the only one truly tending to his future.  I don't for a moment question MomC's devotion to all of her children, but I rarely,see her engaging with Middle's challenges in the here-and-now, let alone in the future.

And here My Beloved was taking action about something I hadn't even thought about in Middle's future.  She tells me that she's always thinking about my boys and their future and needs, and especially about Middle.  And now I've seen the it in action.

I am in awe of my (and my children's) great fortune to have found such a wonderful woman.  (If you're reading this babe, I love you this <-------------------> big.)

Dinner and Snacks

Youngest Son asked to be excused from dinner tonight with eating much.  I told him he needed to eat some more food.  And he did.  So I excused him from the table.

About 10 minutes later he asked if he could have a snack.  I told him "no, if you are hungry now it is because you didn't eat enough dinner food, and you don't get a snack until bedtime."  He tried a couple more times, but I stuck to my line.

About 8:45 he said he was ready for his snack.  I had him turn the TV off and use the bathroom, and told him that after he ate he would go to bed.  So he ate.  Then he said "maybe I'm not ready to go to sleep yet."

I told him that he had just had his bedtime snack, so now he had to go in his room.  If he wasn't sleepy he didn't have to go to sleep, but he had to stay in his room.  He went in, and didn't come back out.  Apparently he was ready to go to sleep.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Nighttime Feeding

There was lots of motion during the night last night.  Both Oldest Son and Middle Son were up moving around.  I woke around 4:30 to the sound of Middle Son flushing the toilet repeatedly and never got all the way back to sleep.

Oldest slept through his alarm and missed the bus today.

When I woke up Middle, in his bed a found the bag of bagels that I had left on the counter last night.  It had been a brand-new bag with six bagels in it.  Now there were only four.

If he'd eaten his food instead of throwing it at me, I bet he wouldn't have needed to eat two bagels in the middle of the night.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Temper and Food

Middle Son got up from the table in during dinner with his plate in his hand.  That usually means he's planning to dump his food into the trash.  Since he hadn't eaten much, I didn't want him to do that.  So I got up and went to stand in front of the sink, blocking his path.  When he saw me standing there, he flicked his plate so that all the food went flying off, towards me.

Pasta in alfredo sauce, corn, and sliced apples.  Big mess.  I cursed in front of my children for the first time in  a couple of years.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

More Batman

More Batman paraphernalia arrived this weekend.  We have now Batman sheets and a Batman pillowcase.  Still waiting on the Batman comforter.

Friday, February 22, 2013

More on Executive Function

I had a very interesting conversation with a coworker of mine about executive function.

He has shared with me that he has a diagnosis of Asperger's Syndrome, just like Oldest Son.  I was describing the conversation that I had with Oldest about executive function, homework, and future careers.

He said that one of the things that he really struggles with is juggling multiple activities over long time spans.  If he is told in January that there are five projects that he needs to have done by May, he has a really hard time planning out the different tasks and managing them.  It's far easier for him to have only a single project at a time.  He contrasted that with his own manager, who has told him that he gets bored if he has to stick with a single task for too long, and much prefers to move between multiple tasks.

I want to share that with Oldest next week, when he is back at my house.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Going to the Car

My nanny was out today, so Middle Son went to MomC's house after school, and I picked him up after work.  When I got there he wasn't ready--didn't have his socks or shoes on.  While I was waiting for him to do that, I was talking with MomC, and Oldest and Youngest Son's.

We will still talking when Middle was ready, so I told him to go out to the car.  I wasn't sure that he would.  Sometimes he wanders around the yard, or if he has enough time, into someone else's yard.

When I went outside, he was sitting in the car.  He'd done just what I asked him to do.

Executive Function

I was talking with Oldest Son about homework a few days ago.  He has a coach he's working with, and I was asking him what they talk about and what I can do to help.  He said one of the things I could do was remind him why homework is important and how he needs to do it to get into a good college.

Last night I was asking him about his homework, and we started talking about why it matters for him.  I said it isn't just about getting into a good college.  He asked if I meant he needs to do it to graduate from high school?

I said no, I'm talking about something else.  As part of his autism, Oldest has significant challenges with "executive function", the parts of the brain that are involved in planning and organizing.  We talked about how eventually he will be done with whatever level of schooling he's going to achieve and will need to get a job.  At any job you have to do some amount of prioritizing, organizing, and planning.  And the jobs that are interesting and pay well (like what I do) require LOTS of executive function in order to succeed.

Oldest doesn't need to do homework in order to master the school curriculum.  But he needs a lot of practice with executive function.  I told him that I think that is where he (we) should focus our attention and energy for homework.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Batman and Bed

I ordered a bunch of stuff for Youngest Son as part of the preparation for my fiancee and her daughter moving in.  He's getting a new loft bed and Batman bedding--sheets, pillowcase, and comforter.  He's going to be sharing his room, so I wanted him to have some cool new stuff.

The bed frame arrived today.  We spent a while working on the assembly, but didn't finish.  His new Batman raincoat also came.  He LOVES it.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Key-pad Lock

In preparation for my fiancee and her daughter moving in next month, I installed a key-pad block on the door to Youngest Son's room (which will be the daughter's room when she moves in).  It eliminates Middle Son's ability to go into the room and get into things that he shouldn't. Currently the only issue is that the goes in and takes Youngest's shirts and wears them as pants.  Irritating, but not serious.  When the daughter moves in, there will be make-up, nail polish, and other things in the room that are potentially dangerous.

I wasn't sure how Youngest would react.  It turned out that he loved it.  He kept coming to me and telling me how he'd pushed the buttons to lock and unlock his room.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Under Again

I thought Middle Son had gotten out of the house.  I was running around frantically.  One of the doors was unlocked, but I didn't see him in his usual outside spot.  I went to check in his room again.

He was lying naked in between the mattress and the box-spring.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Hide and Seek

Youngest Son announced this evening after dinner that he wanted to play hide and seek.  We played for about 15 minutes.  We even managed to get Oldest Son to play along.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Under the Mattress

Last night, I went in to check on Middle Son a little before bedtime.  He was lying underneath his mattress.  I don't think I've every seen him do that before.  Oldest Son was in his room playing his keyboard.  His keyboard is right on the other side of the wall from Middle's bed.  I thought perhaps Middle was hiding from the noise, so I asked him to turn it down.

I mentioned it to my nanny today.  She said Middle had done the same thing to her this afternoon.

I wonder what this is about.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Superhero Stuff

Youngest Son is currently obsessed with Superheroes.  He has lots of Batman and Spiderman.  Not so much Superman.

We were playing Superheroes tonight.  I was chasing him around the house with the Spiderman Jet.  Tons 'o fun.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Changes Coming

My fiance and I were talking this weekend about her and her daughter moving in soon.  Oldest Son is significantly distressed about it all.

We put a count-down to the move in up on a whiteboard in the kitchen.  We both freaked out a little at realizing the move in date is actually quite close--5 weeks from yesterday.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Trash After Dinner

After dinner tonight, Middle Son was standing by the trash can, looking at me.

I asked if he wanted to take the trash out, and he signed yes.  So we did.  Hopefully this means he won't get up in the middle of the night wanting to do it again.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Not a Trash Can

My nanny texted me a picture this afternoon. It was a sign on the side of a bus.  There was a drawing of a toilet, and the text said "This is not a trash can."  She said that we should get a poster version of it.

Middle Son puts lots of things down the toilet.  I would love to persuade him to stop!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Nothing Much

I don't have anything in particular to say tonight, but I wanted to post because I am trying to post every day.

A favorite quote of mine from Gretchen Rubin:
What you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


Youngest Son and Middle Son were on the couch, watching TV and rough-housing.  Youngest started whining and said Middle had hurt his finger.  I came to check on it.  I told him that Middle doesn't realize how much stronger his is, so Youngest has to be a little more careful when they play.

He responded: "I think my mommy should have picked (Middle) to be her next child."

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

What the Future Holds

My fiancee and I were talking on Sunday about financial goals, saving for the kid's educations, etc.

It got me to thinking about what the future may hold my children.  Middle Son's future is clear--he will never support himself or live independently.  It simply isn't in the cards.  Youngest Son is a typically developing child, so I have typical expectations of him.  He will grow up to a capable, productive citizen and make his way in the world.

For Oldest Son, the picture is much less clear.  He has a capable intellect.  But he struggles tremendously with executive function--planning, follow-through, task management, etc.  He squeaked a passing grade in math this semester.  The problem isn't that he doesn't understand the concepts.  I've watched him working on  his homework, and he does understand the principles.  His problem is executing on the process of homework.  He has tremendous problems remember what he is supposed to do, doing it, keeping track of what he has done, and getting the homework to the teacher so it can be graded.

My hope is that he will be able to surmount the challenges and make his way in the world.  My fear is that he won't.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Good Grade!

The big news for the day is that Oldest Son passed his math class.  It was in doubt.

The week the semester ended, Oldest and I spent an afternoon going through his binder and pulling out every single assignment for all of his classes that hadn't been turned in.  Missing assignments are the major pain point for Oldest's grades.  We sorted them all out and paper clipped them together by class.

The stack of math assignments was the largest one.  Quite a few of them he hadn't turned  in because they weren't finished.  It took some prodding to convince him that it was better to get some points for turning in incomplete work.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Doggie Door

My house has a doggie door that goes from Youngest Son's room out to the garage.  Youngest loves it, and use it most of the time to go from the house to the garage.

The door is 13 1/2 inches tall, and 9 1/1 inches wide.  I assumed that the only member of the household who could fit through the door was Youngest.

Today, I discovered that my assumption was incorrect.  My 98 pound Great Pyrenees can fit through the door.  And Middle Son, who is 5'2" and weighs 125 pounds, can also fit through the door.

I found Willow out in the garage this afternoon, and I find Middle Son there after dinner.  In both instances, the chain was still on the door, so the only way they could have gotten out through the doggie door.

I know what my next household project is.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Happy Dog

I'm getting married this fall, and have been talking with the boys about my fiancee, her daughters, and her pets coming to live with us.

Youngest Son loves dogs.  My fiancee has a dachshund named Jack.

Today, Youngest had a long conversation with Willow, describing how Jack is going to move in and how much fun the three of them are going to have together.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Meyers Briggs

I was reading a blog entry today about how to pick a wife if you want to have kids.  The blogger writes a lot about Meyers Briggs personality types.  She recently did one about how to pick a husband if you want to have kids, and wrote this is a compliment to that piece.

As she was discussing the pitfalls of shared parenting/working responsibilities (as opposed to one working spouse and one stay at home spouse), she started breaking out personality types and how they are likely to respond.

I cracked up when I came to this:
"Women who are most likely to be dissatisfied in life no matter what choices they make: INFP."
MomC is INFP.