Monday, October 31, 2011

Back from the Mysterious Unknown

We are back from our trip to an undisclosed location in central Florida and may I say we had THE BEST time ever.  We have been there (ahem) a few times over recent years and so we were able to relax and just enjoy ourselves without feeling pressure to get it all in before we left.

This was Colin's first air trip in nine years. He has stubbornly refused to get on a plane since he was four years old.   I think I wrote to you that we were all feeling a little nervous about it.  He did a great job coping.  I'm guessing he prefer not to fly, but I think he'd do it again.  He even survived well enough to humor his mother with this photo at the undisclosed location.

Now THAT'S a good sport for a junior high boy, and I salute him.

The friendliest people we encountered the entire trip -- and I have never lied to you -- were the TSA crew at the Minneapolis airport.  Do you remember how I was trying to get D to practice?  Not a  problem with these likable folks ready to high five a guy when he walked through on his own.  I would not brag about TSA in Orlando, but Minneapolis -- yes!  Shout out to them!

So now we're home and we're trying to adjust to having to make our own beds and eat snacks not in the shape of a mouse head.

D would like to know how many days until our next trip.  I wish I knew.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Movie Monday

I thought you would be able to hear the "MOMMY, I NEED YOU RIGHT NOW!!!!" in the background towards the end, but you can't . . .

Friday, October 21, 2011

I'm serious

There are houses where you take your shoes off and houses where you leave your shoes on.  I tend to encourage people to leave their shoes on in my home because I steer away from things like mopping and such, but every now and again I am reminded of another reason to encourage my guests to leave their shoes on.

I am married to machinist.  Sometimes I find things like this on the floor:

Thankfully, no one has ever found this sort of thing wedged in a toe.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

And . . . no.

Science test yesterday did not go well.  Did not go well at all. *heavy sigh*  What are you going to do.  We pick up the ol' 10 pound science text and start again on the new chapter.  Fortunately, his grade is split half homework, half tests so he's balancing out to a very respectable B-.

I am starting to pack for Central Florida.  It's been a long time (well, nine years) since I have flown with children.  I found myself stocking up on magazines and games and snacks and movies only to realize I was buying supplies for a three day car trip, not a three hour plane ride.  I packed most of it away for emergency use over the long, boring winter.

Preschooler D and I have been talking about how to get through security.  We watched the videos from the tsa website.*  Brent and I set up a mock security station in the kitchen.  I had a good time playing obedient passenger walking through security, but D wasn't interested.

Can't you carry me?

No, we have to walk one at a time.  That's the rule.

We could walk together.

No, we have to walk one at a time.  That's the rule.

What if the bell goes off?

The bell only goes off when there's metal.  You won't have any.  It won't go off. I give you my word.

What about that? (Pointing to small ring I am wearing.)

I will put that in my backpack until we are done.


Please, oh, please, don't let the alarm sound!!!


* My favorite line on this page has to do with not leaving your infant in the carrier as it goes through the x-ray machine.  Who would think that was a smart idea?  Someone would/did and that is why they have to say that.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Helplessly Hoping

I am running behind today because I woke up at 5 am worrying about a science test Colin has today.  As though there were anything I could do about it.  I can't.

We spent several hours studying last night, but as we have discussed before, some days it is easier for Colin to retrieve things from his memory. Yesterday was not one of those days.

Testing is never something Colin does very well, and it is just heartbreaking because he puts in the work, but when push comes to shove at test time -- nothing.

I know he's not the only kid who has ever struggled with test paralysis.  Kids without autism sometimes have it too.  How normal of Colin.

Still . . . this is one part I hate.  The sitting around worrying before and during.

As though worrying would change anything . . .

Monday, October 17, 2011

Two bowls, Two crackers

A small lesson on cold sores and a good idea from my cute and smart husband . . .

Friday, October 14, 2011

True Confession Friday

Sometimes when a family member throws a perfectly clean sweater or a pair of jeans only worn for a couple of hours down the laundry chute, I just fold it up and carry it back upstairs in the laundry basket.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Pay What You Owe

When my dad owned the newspapers, I worked nearly every job there was at the place.  My least favorite was bookkeeper.  I would send out the bills and then people would send in random amounts of money.  Some more, some less -- some none at all.  My motto became "Pay what you owe.  No more, no less."

I start with this because we are going on vacation.  No, wait.  It will make sense.  We are going to a resort which required payment in full on our package before we arrive.  I made the down payment and then assumed that when the rest was due it would be placed on my card automatically.

It wasn't, and I didn't notice until I received a phone call today.  I saw by the caller ID it was my resort . . .

Oh, let's quit pretending.  We're going to "Central Florida."  Why do I even try to fool you?

So I saw on the caller ID that it was Central Florida and I got all excited.  Surely it was someone calling to say that they were glad we were coming.  Heck, they probably were calling to offer a magnificent free upgrade.

"Hello, Mary?"  (Mmmm . . . no one calls me Mary.  This wasn't good.)  "This is Storm from (Central Florida) Accounting."

Okay, I got stuck for a minute.  Really? Her name was Storm? I tuned back in just in time to hear her say, "Are you still planning your trip because you have not paid the balance of (your amount) due on (many, many weeks ago).  We will be cancelling your reservation at 5pm tomorrow if not paid in full."

WHAT????  WhatWhatWhatWhat????  NO!!  It was automatic!  Wasn't it automatic?  I thought it was automatic!!!  I've got a 13-year-old who is getting on an airplane for the first time in nine years because his father and I have talked fast and encouragingly and gotten him some pills from the doctor which we are swearing up and down will eliminate any fear he has at the airport which is sort of a bold-face lie, but we are running with it anyway!!!! We are working on "make up work"  which has to be done in advance as we speak from those text books that weigh 10 pounds each!!!!  No! No! No!


I hung up with Storm and called the Central Florida and took care of it.  All was well.  But what a heart attack.

Let's remember to pay what we owe.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A Poem for Tuesday

This poem is in honor of Colin's pre-algebra textbook which is the same size as my college accounting book.


Carl Sandburg

Arithmetic is where numbers fly like pigeons in and out of your
Arithmetic tell you how many you lose or win if you know how
    many you had before you lost or won.
Arithmetic is seven eleven all good children go to heaven -- or five
    six bundle of sticks.
Arithmetic is numbers you squeeze from your head to your hand
    to your pencil to your paper till you get the answer.
Arithmetic is where the answer is right and everything is nice and
    you can look out of the window and see the blue sky -- or the
    answer is wrong and you have to start all over and try again
    and see how it comes out this time.
If you take a number and double it and double it again and then
    double it a few more times, the number gets bigger and bigger
    and goes higher and higher and only arithmetic can tell you
    what the number is when you decide to quit doubling.
Arithmetic is where you have to multiply -- and you carry the
    multiplication table in your head and hope you won't lose it.
If you have two animal crackers, one good and one bad, and you
    eat one and a striped zebra with streaks all over him eats the
    other, how many animal crackers will you have if somebody
    offers you five six seven and you say No no no and you say
    Nay nay nay and you say Nix nix nix?
If you ask your mother for one fried egg for breakfast and she
    gives you two fried eggs and you eat both of them, who is
    better in arithmetic, you or your mother?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Pumpkin Day

It was Pumpkin Patch Day at the preschool.  Imagine yourself on a school bus with 60 some preschoolers excited to see tractors, squirrels, emergency exit signs, houses, farms, trees . . .  We got off the bus and I turned to mommy-friend Emily and said, "Only 13 more years of field trips to go."  She threw her head back and sighed wearily.

They were so stinky cute, though.  It was hard to stay jaded about the trip.

It was interesting to see what pumpkin qualities appealed to the kids.  Some wanted gigantic pumpkins they could not carry.  (I may have sore arms tomorrow.)  Some wanted tiny pumpkins and had to be convinced that carving them would be difficult.

D. was attracted to nice medium sized pumpkins, but he wanted a clean one.  I think that tells us a something as well . . . but I'm not sure what exactly.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A Poem for Tuesday

If you're an RSS reader, you may have gotten a test blog entry today.  Ignore it.  I was checking a different way to produce entries, but in the end I didn't like it.

I'm in a bit of a mood today.  I've just heard gossip about myself that I suspect someone is using to his or her advantage . . . as a ploy to mend a broken relationship . . . in church.  This, I am telling you, is why Christians have a bad reputation.  We talk about each other.  (See Friday's entry from hair salon.)  I am not claiming that I am always innocent.

While I go pull out my freshly dyed hair, you read a poem about a grizzly bear.

Grizzly Bear
Mary Austin

If you ever, ever, ever meet a grizzly bear,
You must never, never, never ask him where
He is going,
Or what he is doing;
For if you ever, ever dare
To stop a grizzly bear,
You will never meet another grizzly bear.