It’s The Illness That Wouldn’t End…

It goes on and on my friends,
Someone started coughing,
Not knowing what it was,
And I’ll keep on coughing for ever just because…

That’s my bastardization of the Lambchop song. I never watched the show, but my cousin used to sing it to annoy me, so I know it.

My cough does not want to go away. It’s not bad enough to go to the doctor, but it’s enough to make me feel yucky and drained. Thank the lord for some Mucinex, which gives me a little relief even though it makes me feel weird for whatever reason. Cold and allergy medicines do me that way.

I’ve been busy because that’s how we roll. (And I’m not contagious, crud just takes its time moving on from me.) I’ve been helping out at the girl’s school, doing project stuff, chauffeuring (a word I will apparently never learn how to spell, because I always get the red squiggle under the word and have to go back to fix it), etc. The usual.

New Year, New Little Man. It has been pretty obvious that he is starting to go through puberty. Tiny little mustache, slightly deeper voice. Plus he’s much moodier than normal and has been rather aggressive. We’ve had The Talk a few times (because no matter how thorough we think we are, more questions come up, so don’t think it’s One and Done, parents of younger kids) and my husband recently asked if he was interested in girls yet, but the boy said he wasn’t and that it was gross. A recent check on his phone revealed otherwise. I was not ready to see “Hot girls” and “girl boobz” in his search history. Where’d my baby go? All these other baby-faced sixth graders, and then there’s LM.

So, yeah, he’s interested. And he feels bad about it because it means he’s growing up, which he doesn’t want to do. Adolescence, such a tough time. I wouldn’t go back there for anything. He said he likes a girl, but won’t tell us who it is because he’s embarrassed. If I were a betting person, I’d bet that it’s the girl who he texts a lot and invited to his birthday party who has literally the exact same interests as him, but I’m not saying anything.

The New Year has brought us a slightly more bizarre version of Baby Girl. More bizarre to me, anyway. She gets obsessed with certain things, and now one of the things is lions and other wild animals from the African savanna. She can tell you a million little factoids, which is neat, but the bizarre part is how she walks around pretending to be an animal. Not surprising, but bizarre nonetheless when a child walks on all fours, growls, pounces on you, and bites you. This is what happens when you have a pet lion cub who is learning how to hunt and you’re an antelope, even if you didn’t realize you were an antelope. I think we’ve moved on from the body organ obsession now. (Never mind, it’s back.)

She also really loves hyenas, namely spotted hyenas. The zoo we went to didn’t have any hyenas, so we’re looking into nearby zoos that have them. Her school is having a masquerade ball, and she wanted me to make a hyena mask, so I did. I imagine it’ll stand out a bit from the other masks!

We met with the girl’s teacher and teacher assistant this week to discuss her progress. Everything is going well for the most part. Her teacher said she’s coming out of her shell and getting more comfortable with her classmates. She said BG seems interested in talking to more kids aside from the couple she bonded with early on, which they’re excited about. Unfortunately, she is talking a lot when she shouldn’t be, so she’s had to put her head down a few times. Her teacher said she doesn’t want to get on her much because she’s happy she’s comfortable and talking so much and doesn’t want her clamming up.

BG is also showing she’s getting more comfortable by being difficult at times. My words, not theirs. When they ask her to pick up her toys at centers or complete her work, she’ll tell them no and that she’s done. Yikes. They aren’t sure yet of her reading level because she shuts down and refuses to do more or answer questions to show she understands what she’s reading. Same with writing, which has improved greatly, but when she’s done, she’s done. Again, they don’t want to push her too much. They can tell she’s close to boiling over. She has liked her teachers from day one, but her letting her guard down is how we know she’s absolutely comfortable with who she’s around. Double-edged sword.

They had a lot of positive stuff to say overall and seem to really enjoy having her there. I’d hate to see how she would’ve done with LM’s kindergarten teacher at his old school. She complained constantly about him talking or squirming in his seat. I can only imagine how many meltdowns BG would’ve had at this point. BG’s class is very laid back and they get a lot of opportunity for moving around, as kids that age should.

After the meeting, I talked to BG about these things. No talking when the teacher is talking or when you’re otherwise not supposed to and when the teacher tells you to do something, listen and try your best. Her response:

“Well, when I grow up, I’ve decided I’m going to be a kindergarten teacher. And in my class, we’ll play all the time, talk when we want, plus I’ll hire someone to come in and clean up messes so the students won’t have to.”

That child.

Here’s some fun news — my husband and I are on for a cruise again. We’re going for a 3-day cruise on Valentine’s Day weekend. That Monday will be a holiday, so the other grandparents will have the day off to help as needed, plus the kids won’t need to be taken to school. If we plan any future trips together, we’ll have to make sure we do the holiday weekend thing, since that makes things easier.

We thought about doing something different. Trip to NYC or Las Vegas. My husband was taken aback by my itinerary, which scheduled practically every waking minute and noped out. Taking a bus from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon and hiking and seeing it for the first time would’ve been awesome, but I’m definitely looking forward to the R&R. Hopefully my crud will be cleared up by then.

What’s new with y’all?

Last Day of the Year Brain Dump

Hello, last day of the decade. (You’re either #TeamDecadeIsEnding or #TeamAnnoyinglyYetPerhapsCorrectInSayingThereIsAnotherYearToGo, and I’m the former.)

As far as 2019 goes, things were pretty good. On a personal level, I made some progress on my weight. Lost 40 pounds, but gained back 10 unfortunately, but I’m ready to keep working on that. That is probably the extent of my personal wins for the year, off the top of my head. I didn’t make much progress on the writing front. I had a short story published, but that wasn’t exactly what I was shooting for in 2019. Oh well.

I’m going to try to minimize distractions in 2020 to help with that. I don’t even care if I publish anything in 2020 so much as whether I actually make progress on some writing projects that I desperately want to finish, but have sucked at sticking with. And in minimizing distractions, hopefully I’ll read and blog more than last year, too. (Writing is writing.) I’ve deactivated a few social media accounts, but am keeping Instagram. I took the Facebook app off my phone, so I’ll only browse on there when I get on my desktop. And by doing that, I’ll reduce the mindless scrolling and seeing all the nasty posts that bug me, huge positive.

My other big goal for the year is to implement strategies from The Explosive Child in my parenting. Baby Girl’s meltdowns aren’t as extreme, but they still happen frequently. Little Man’s behavior is worsening. So what we’re doing now — at least with LM — isn’t working too well. Time to try something new, and I’ve read that the strategies in The Explosive Child work fabulously with oppositional kids. It will take some time and a lot of work on my behalf to change how I react to these stressful situations that come up, but if it helps make any improvement, it’ll be totally worth it. (Here’s a link to some of the strategies used with that method if anyone wants to check it out.)

Improvement is the name of the game in 2020.

In other interesting 2019 things, we got Baby Girl figured out.

As most of y’all know, she was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder back in June. That was (and remains to be a relief), knowing what’s behind some of her behaviors. Ditto with the boy. She also had her tonsils out after being diagnosed with sleep apnea, and while we haven’t seen as much improvement in behavior as we were hoping for (or progress with speech), she is mostly sleeping through the night, so yay!

And I think that about sums up 2019. I thought my last brain dump of the year where I reflect on 2019 would be longer, but it’s not. Not a whole lot about the year really stands out. It was full of answers for the kids, millions of doctor and therapy appointments, and some good times as a family. It was probably the busiest year we’ve ever had in terms of being on the go, so maybe things will slow down a little in 2020. I may do a post reflecting on the decade later, which should be more interesting.

What goals do you have for 2020?

Our Week/Girls Night

So, first things first — my FIL is home and doing well. Yay! He’s going to be on the mend for a few weeks, but he seems to be getting around the house good all things considered.

Second — our Thanksgiving was nice. Since my dad hosted his the Sunday before, my other stepmom held hers later, and my MIL didn’t host, we had our first ever Thanksgiving at home. Let me say, I really hate the circumstances that led to that. But, it was probably my favorite Thanksgiving since my grandmother passed away. It was nice to take our time throughout the day cooking and cleaning and getting everything ready.

My dad fried the turkey we bought, so we only had baking and all the sides to worry about, and we had a ton of stuff. My dad and stepmom joined us, as did my SIL, and dinner couldn’t have gone better. Even BG ate some of what I cooked this year. I don’t know if my husband would go for it, but I’d totally be on board for not leaving the house for Thanksgiving every other year. It was so relaxing. We usually have three places to go on Thanksgiving, and it’s rough, especially for BG, as it leads to lots of meltdowns.

With the kids out of school three days, it was a pretty easy week. BG and I had a Girls Night out on Tuesday. She came up with the plan on Monday night and was so damn excited that she could barely sleep. She woke up early gushing about our Girls Night, talked about it through breakfast, and even told the principal. When I picked her up, she asked if it was time for Girls Night and we headed over to the movie theater for a matinee of Frozen 2.

As excited as she was, I had my suspicions that it might not end well. She was so worked up over it that I thought she might crash, and I was right. We had to leave the movie halfway through. She said it was too loud and she thought it was kinda scary. I tried to get her to stay, but she was getting more and more upset, so we left to go to Target, which was next on her itinerary. The plan was to let her get a small treat. After half an hour of searching in there, the lights were too bright, she didn’t know what she wanted because there was too much stuff, and she was almost in tears again. I was able to get her calmed down and had her choose from a couple of toys I thought she would like, and she did so we left to go eat pizza.

The pizza place had an arcade, and it was noisy as well (and the noise-canceling headphones were nowhere to be found), so she nibbled at a piece of pizza and wanted to leave. She told me she just wanted to go home instead of getting frozen yogurt, which was fine with me since she clearly needed to wind down. We came home and I ran a bubble bath and she played for a while and was able to chill out.

BG later told me that it was the best Girls Night ever. I was surprised since she was on the verge of a meltdown more than once and things didn’t go smoothly anywhere we went, but all she saw was the two of us doing something special together, which is all that mattered in her eyes. ❤

The rest of our weekend should be pretty easy. We’re going to visit a friend tonight and then do stuff for my birthday tomorrow. The house is still clean, amazingly, so we’ll have a chill weekend!

How was your Thanksgiving (or week if you don’t celebrate)? I promise to catch up on my reading soon!

That’s Sick, Yo

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. (Don’t hate me for starting Christmas music already.) It’s also the sickest, and not in the good sense that the word “sick” is being used in these days.

The night before, the girl woke me up around 3AM. Not by kissing my cheek, shoving her knees in my back, or rubbing her feet on my pajamas (something she loves to do, which is so darn odd), but by puking on my back. That poor girl threw up for the following nine hours. We were worried that her reflux was flaring up again, but the vomiting shifted to diarrhea and then back to vomit later in the evening, so we felt like it was safe to assume that she had a stomach bug.

I truly learned what Clothes Mountain is when we went through most of our towels and linens. We had a trash can and vomit bag, but somehow vomit still got everywhere.

She woke up at 4:00 last night and refused to try to go back to sleep. Super cranky. We kept her home today and hopefully she’ll feel all better by tomorrow. Tomorrow will mark her tenth absence this year, so she’s missed 20 percent of the school days at this point. Plus she gets the half day for therapy every week. Ten days is the most they’re supposed to miss, so hopefully we won’t run into any issues if she misses more.

While my husband and LM were out last night, she wanted to lie down on my bed because she was tired. I laid down with her, and she didn’t go to sleep but became Chatty Cathy instead. That is one interesting child. She started talking about Teen Titans and how she noticed that each of the characters has a different way of talking. She told me facts about lions and the planets. (She seemed disappointed when I didn’t know which planets are gas giants.)

And then she abruptly shifted gears and told me she had to start liking Barbie dolls. I asked why and she said it’s what girls are supposed to like and if she likes them too, maybe people will stop staring at her all the time.

“Who’s staring at you?” I asked.

“Everybody. Everywhere I go, people stare at me. I hate it when people look at me. They all think I’m different,” she said and scowled.

I told her that I doubted anyone was staring at her because she didn’t like Barbies and it’s probably because she’s so cute.

“I know I’m cute,” she agreed. “But I have short hair like a boy and wear boy clothes and that’s why people stare at me.” (For the record, while her hair is shorter, it looks nothing like a boyish haircut, and she probably only wears her shirts from the boy’s section half of the time.)

I talked to her for a while about how everyone is different and can like whatever they want to like, as I’ve done in the past. I told BG that I’d be happy to get her a couple of Barbies for Christmas, but that she should want them because she actually wants to play with them, not because of other people.

She shifted gears again. “Sometimes the girls at school cry,” she said. I asked why, and she told me it’s when they fall down or have an accident.

“Do you ever cry?” I asked.

“Only once. On Halloween, in PE, we were playing Duck, Duck, Goose. I cried then.”

“What happened during Duck, Duck, Goose?”

“It was loud. It’s always loud in there. I had to sit in the middle and didn’t know why. Everyone was looking at me, and I started crying.”

“Poor girl. What did the teacher say?”

“She fussed and said stop, so I stopped, but I wanted to cry more. My friend Zoey patted me on the back and tried to make me feel better.” Zoey is the child who told my husband on the field trip that it was her job to protect Baby Girl.

I told BG that I was sorry that happened and that I would talk to her PE teacher about it. I’ll get a pair of noise canceling headphones for her to use in there when it gets too loud for her and let the teacher know to give BG a sensory break when she gets overwhelmed. She retired a few years ago and decided to work again part-time, so hopefully she isn’t one of those teachers who is difficult over this sort of thing. It really bothers me that she couldn’t take a few seconds to ask why she was crying.

I asked BG if any other enrichment classes were too loud for her, and she said music is, so I’ll get some headphones for that class, too. I could just ask her teacher to send around the pair she already has, but I imagine they’d get lost eventually.

“I hate when things are loud. It hurts and makes me sad and mad!” She sounded upset, so I asked BG if she wanted a hug. She hadn’t wanted to be held or cuddled all day. “No. Why do people want to hug all the time?”

“It’s a display of affection, to show someone they care about them.”

“My friends hug me a lot.” I asked if she was okay with that, and she said sometimes it makes her skin feel itchy. I told her she could ask them to give her a high five instead. I decided to take the opportunity to delve into her brain and ask about some of her other autistic traits, like why she doesn’t make eye contact sometimes. This is because it hurts her eyes and makes her feel sad. Rubbing soft things makes her feel happy, but she said she doesn’t do it at school because people will stare. She has a lot of meltdowns because she’s always cranky — everything is too loud. I knew sensory overload was the cause of that. I’m going to look into some less bulky noise canceling headphones for her to wear more frequently.

I hate the kiddo is sick, but I’m glad it gave us the opportunity to lay down and talk like that. I doubt she would’ve been still long enough to talk for so long about things like that otherwise. Hopefully she’ll bounce back today and be back to her normal wound up self.

To The Mountains We Went

I’m one of those people who likes to make plans but doesn’t like to follow through with them. When the time comes to go wherever, I just want to stay home. But, after some back and forth over whether we’d keep our plans to go to the mountains for the weekend, we went, and we had a pretty good time overall.

The trip started out rough due to a meltdown BG had in the car when we picked her up from school. After she screamed for a while, I finally got to the bottom of why she was upset. Her teacher wasn’t at school that day, so things were awful. Nothing in specific, just because the teacher wasn’t there. Thankfully it didn’t last long. After we picked up the boy, we headed out.

Due to some awful traffic, the drive took closer to five hours instead of 3.5, so we got there at 9:00. It’s not like we planned to do anything if we had gotten there earlier, though, other than maybe get some ice cream. That extra hour and a half did mean we got to listen to BG ask “How much longer?” and “Are we almost there?” an extra hundred times. I eventually put my earbuds in for a little quiet.

Rain from the tropical storm moved in early on Saturday, so that killed our outdoor plans. My mother-in-law suggested driving over to Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge and said it would only be a half an hour drive. We trusted her, and two hours later, we arrived. The kids were none too thrilled about a 4-hour round trip drive after the drive the night before. It turned out that my MIL just wanted to go over there, so she fudged the time a little. Sigh, next time we’ll check. We did see a lot of elk on the ride, which was really cool. At one point, we saw a bunch sitting on the ground and BG shouted, “It’s an elk garden!” That is officially my favorite way to refer to a group of anything from now on.

The kids had fun at a trampoline park in Pigeon Forge, and then we got dinner and made the drive back. On Sunday, we had breakfast, did a little shopping, and drove part of the way back on the Blue Ridge Parkway so we could see the fall foliage. That added time made the trip back about six hours total, and I’m pretty sure that no one would complain if we didn’t see the inside of our car for a week. Again, it was worth the added time.

We are usually hesitant to make weekend trips with Baby Girl. She has never done well on vacation for the first couple of days. It has always been Meltdown City. After joining an autism page on Facebook, I saw other people talk about how their kids took a couple of days to adjust to the new environment, and that made sense. She did well for the most part, though, and I think that is due to the “camper” we stayed in, as she called it. I thought we were going to stay in a hotel room, but it turned out that my MIL booked a one-room trailer in a “trailer resort.” Apparently there are lots of resorts in the mountains, and they absolutely are not what you’d expect when you hear the word resort. 😀

The mobile home was neat as a pin, though. BG was thrilled with it when she stepped in because it looked like MIL’s trailer, aside from it only having one bedroom. The main bedroom, the kitchen, the living room, the TV set, the couch, and the kitchen table were all in the same place as MIL’s, so it was a familiar layout. She commented many times over how it looked just like MIL’s house and actually wanted to stay there instead of going anywhere.

The place wasn’t as cramped as I expected it to be, but there was still only one bed. My husband and I tried to sleep on the pullout couch, but got two hours of sleep each. It was miserably uncomfortable, tilted so that you slid down, and the metal bars were in our back. LM couldn’t sleep on the blow-up mattress, either, so the three of us were dragging big time on Saturday. On Sunday, I slept on the couch without pulling it out, my husband slept on couch cushions, and we put extra blankets on LM’s mattress for extra padding, and we all slept a little better. We couldn’t have been happier to be home in our beds last night.

So, I told you that BG did well the two days we were there, but let me tell you about the ride home. We went to a store to buy some souvenirs, and then I wanted to walk over to a fudge shop to see if they had any caramel fudge. It would’ve taken all of five minutes. BG decided she didn’t want to do this and had an absolute fit, kicking and screaming.

I got pissed off and decided I didn’t want fudge anymore, so we left, and my husband took BG’s new toy from her for acting that way. For the next hour and a half, she screamed in the car. She threw her shoes at us and kicked the back of my seat repeatedly. It was miserable, and she didn’t let up on the screaming for the whole 90 minutes. We stopped a few times at overlooks to take pictures and couldn’t get some as a family for a while because of the meltdown. She eventually stopped, and when she did, it was a 180 as usual — she went from screaming to talking in her super sweet voice about the leaves and tunnels. (When asked what her favorite part of going to the mountains was, she said the tunnels.)

When she perked up, we made a few more stops and got some good pictures. We also stopped and walked over to let the kids see an area called Sliding Rock in Pisgah National Forest, which was lovely. During the summer, people slide down the rock into water that doesn’t get above 55 degrees in the summer. It’s fun but so damn cold. We’re going to try to go back next August and stay a little longer and let the kids do the rock.

We got in around 9:00 last night and are absolutely dead today, despite sleeping okay. Too bad the kids have missed too much school to take a day off! I’m glad we decided to go, because it really was pretty. My husband and I talked about doing a weekend trip for just the two of us. When we would go away for the weekend before the kids came along, we would almost always go to the mountains. I prefer the beach now, but I would like to spend more time browsing around and drive up to Grandfather Mountain and do a little hiking.

How was your weekend?

She Forgot She Is A Girl

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I actually wouldn’t mind brewing you a cup today. We had a 3-day cool down, which ends this afternoon, but it was still a crisp 58 degrees this morning. Yesterday the high was 79, and between that and a breeze, it was absolutely glorious. We will return to the high 80s and 90s starting today for lord knows how long, but the reprieve from the heat was much appreciated.

We’ve had a pretty good week. The boy got his progress report on Thursday and had all As and one B. That’s a huge improvement from the three report cards he got in fifth grade (for his school, they only get report cards the last half of fifth grade; the rest of their 5.5 years there, they simply tell us whether they’re meeting expectations or not). Middle school is looking good on him so far.

The girl also got a progress report, and it said she is meeting expectations. We will have a 504 Plan meeting with her school on Tuesday. The VP was supposed to get stuff going on speech and occupational therapy services through the school before the school year started. So we’ll talk about that and other possible accommodations. Her teacher hasn’t had any complaints, so there probably won’t be a lot accommodations wise at this point, aside from stuff like preferential seating and using noise-canceling headphones. (She already takes care of that, but I guess it’d be good to get it in writing.) She manages okay until she gets home, and then she lets all of her pent-up frustrations loose.

I have been getting so cracked up at some of the papers BG brings home. Sometimes — mostly with math — she’ll scratch out the problem and write her own and answer that. “I don’t like their yucky questions,” she said. “I want my own problems.”

Here’s an example of one, although this one is more of a misunderstanding. She thought they messed up by not putting anything on the plate when it told her to count the objects and write the number, so she “fixed it.” ❤

The kids have taken an interest in scooters. LM’s friend sends him videos at the skate park, so LM wanted to try with a scooter he got for Christmas a few years ago. And since LM wanted to do it, so did BG. My husband took the kids to a church to scoot around in their parking lot this morning. When they came back, BG ran in and told me she had her very first scar. I asked where it was, and she yanked down her pants and underwear. 

“Look, it’s on my penis!” she informed me. “My very first scar is on my penis!”

Oh boy.

There was no scar. There definitely wasn’t a penis. I reminded her that she is a girl and girls have vulvas, not penises.

“Ohhhh…I forgot that I was a girl for a little while,” she responded.

That child.

We don’t have any big weekend plans. We’re going to a friend’s birthday party tonight, but that’s it. We’re going to take it easy tomorrow, and then we’ll get started on a busy week that will end with BG’s tonsillectomy.

Weekend Coffee Share: School And Stuff

If we were having coffee, I wouldn’t bitch and moan about the heat today. We’re getting some respite from the heat this weekend, with highs in the upper 70s. It’s accompanied by clouds and rain, so it’s rather dreary, but I’ll take dreary over 90s any day. Our area has had almost 60 days of weather in the 90s (real feel in low 100s typically, thanks to humidity), and that is more than this time last year, which ended up 74 miserable days. So, this break is welcomed with open arms, even if it’s rainy.

That’s not us this weekend, yay!

If you were actually at my house for coffee right now, you’d probably give me a pat on the back for having a reasonably tidy house. I missed the kids while they were off at school this week, but my house is not a disaster zone, and for that I am grateful. Silver linings, amirite? I’ve got a load of clothes going and need to wipe down the table from this morning, but otherwise, it’s all good. I wouldn’t even turn someone away from my doorstep if they came up unexpectedly, and that’s saying something for me. (They’d have to wait while I put on a bra, but that’s it.)

You’d probably ask how the kids’ first week of school ended, so I’d tell you that LM’s ended on a very positive note. He had zero complaints for the week, enjoys all of the teachers he has met, and has made a couple of nerdy friends. The boy also made a 97 on his English quiz and a 95 on a math quiz. As long as he stays on top of his assignments and turns things in this year, he should do just fine. (He had a few Cs and Ds on his progress reports for not turning in stuff last year, so I’m hoping that won’t be an issue!)

Baby Girl, on the other hand, is still trying to adjust as I mentioned in another post. She doesn’t have any specific complaints, and she seems to like her teacher, but she has cried in the mornings and at night a lot and says she doesn’t want to go. Part of it is she’s just not sleeping long enough, despite lying down early. She also wakes up in the night, so she’s understandably very tired. Hopefully when she gets those tonsils out next month, I think she’ll sleep better. Even if she doesn’t fall asleep earlier, she’ll get a better night’s rest at least.

The principal greats her every morning and lets her cuddle his dog, so that usually perks her up before she goes inside. I should probably make a point of asking if she gets upset or has a meltdown if they’ll take her down to cuddle the dog for a bit. We will have a meeting to go over a 504 Plan soon, so I’ll bring it up then. Hopefully the coming week will be easier for her! I know it would take time for any kid to get adjusted, and even more so for one who is having sleep issues and is on the spectrum. It just breaks my heart to see her so upset.

We have no real plans for the weekend. My husband originally wanted to go to the zoo since the weather was supposed to be cooler, but it’s a) rainy and b) the kids are tired and want to hang around the house. We can always do the zoo in the fall. My friend messaged me about going to dinner tonight, so I may do that, but that’s it if anything. I may also have a drink or two or three tonight. Lazy weekends are the best, especially when they come on the heels of an exhausting week!

How was your week?

Weekend Coffee Share is hosted by Eclectic Alli

A Rant And A Recap

Well, this was meant to be posted on Monday, but here we are on Wednesday.

I’m a pretty handy person, but I cannot undo the damage my husband did to our front door. He thought the handle was sticking a little, so he tried to fix it. And his fix means that it is now damn near impossible to get in the front door of our house. You have to press down on the button thingy on the handle with both hands, apply a lot of pressure (more than what our 100-pound son can muster), and if you’re lucky, it’ll open. It usually takes several tries and a handful of curse words to open.

And the back door is bad, too. He thought some air was getting in under the door last winter, so he screwed a strip of wood or something in the door frame. Because maybe he’d save a couple bucks on his power bill. And now, not only does no cold air come in (and I was confused about the air that was getting in last winter, because IT WASN’T COLD), but I also cannot close the door tight enough to lock the deadbolt. My husband is the only person in our home who can lock the back door. He says the door is fine and we’re just not doing it right and insists on keeping it the way it is.

Last week, I noticed that the door was unlocked and my husband was already in bed. Rather than wake him (and likely get no response), I tried to lock the door. I leaned on that door as hard as I could, but nope. I even took a running start and rammed my shoulder against the door in the hope of getting it close enough to do the deadbolt, but also, nope.

I need different doors or locks, people. Or a husband who will leave stuff alone.

Rant over.

We had a pretty good long weekend. We did fireworks on the fourth. We don’t usually do fireworks and the such because we aren’t very patriotic, but BG wanted fireworks, so she got them. She later regretted this when one of the fireworks “attacked us.”

So, my husband lit one of the big fireworks he bought and it started going off, but it was firing sideways. I told him I didn’t think that looked right, but he insisted it was fine, even though it was dangerously close to hitting the neighbors house. And then it shifted somehow and fired where I was standing with the kids. Like, two feet away from my head. I grabbed BG and ran (sorry LM) while fireworks whizzed past us. We did not become an ER statistic that night, thankfully. The girl has complained a lot about how her daddy attacked us with fireworks. Never again.

On Saturday, the kids stayed over with the grandparents while my husband and I went to a cookout at a friend’s house. I was not looking forward to peopling, but they had so much rum. So much. Between the rum, a pool, and a hot tub, I enjoyed myself. I tried to play volleyball and embarrassed myself, but that would’ve happened rum or no rum, because I suck at volleyball. 

We didn’t do much on Sunday, and yesterday, BG had to go to the doctor for her five-year checkup. Just ten minutes after we got there, BG loudly announced that she had been waiting for two and a half hours and she was ready to go. After much shushing, she shifted gears from complaining to filling up my camera roll with her random pictures:

That’s her Forky and heart. I’ll pass on including the ones where you get a good look up my nostrils.

The checkup was all good. BG’s still petite (9th percentile for height and weight) and didn’t grow much from last year. She’ll probably have a growth spurt after we buy and take the tags off of her school uniform stuff 😉 We talked to the doctor about the ASD diagnosis, and she said she was glad that we got a second opinion and that’s what she thought was going on, too. She gave me a list of books to check out that she said she found helpful with her own child, so my stack of books is continuing to grow.

And I’m going to wrap up the post because a) it’s two days late and I can’t remember how I wanted to end it and b) my son wants to have a staring contest for some reason.