Wedding Day

Well, today is the day.  Today I marry The Man (does that make me “The Woman”?), in a short, simple, civil ceremony under a gazebo, in a park across the street from where his great-grandmother (and grandmother, and mother) lived.  Today I become a wife again, and cease to be a single mom.  Today, we become  family.  Today, it all becomes official.

There was a time when I never thought this would happen again, indeed there was a time I never wanted it to happen again.  But this isn’t “again”.  This is the first and only time with the right man.

We didn’t hire a photographer, so as soon as people at this shindig start sending me pics, I will share.  Until then, it might be a few days.

I’ll get back to you real soon. ❤

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Impatience and Executive Functioning

The Boy has been impatient lately.  I don’t know if this is a new thing,or if this has coincided with puberty, but I’ve only recently begun to be annoyed by it notice it.  Sometimes, when I wonder if something is a tween thing or an ASD thing, I go to Wrongplanet.net to see what they say.  Wrongplanet is a discussion forum for those with autism and Asperger’s, and since they are the experts, it’s an excellent resource for those of us who can’t simply ask our own children on the spectrum WHAT IS UP WITH YOU??

Unknown watch by Allo002

Unknown watch by Allo002

Most of the respondents to “Is Impatience an AS trait?” thought that maybe yes, there could be a correlation.  Some cited problems with executive function as a possible cause.  That means those individuals on the spectrum who have issues with planning would have difficulty with vague estimations of time.  For example, “When will we go to dinner?” and a vague response of “Soon” would agitate someone with executive function problems, which would look like impatience to we neurotypical types.

If I can remember to be as specific as possible when giving time estimations to The Boy, I think his “impatience” will be reduced.  I know it won’t go away completely, because waiting can be very difficult for those on the spectrum.  But specificity and help with planning for something that is anticipated can go a long way.

Lost in the Shuffle

A lineup The Boy had me capture at camp

A lineup The Boy had me capture at camp

The Man and I are both feeling like The Boy is suffering from a lack of attention, lately.  We’re trying to compensate, but if you think about it, we needed him rather out-of-the-way for the move and the unpacking, and now the wedding is upon us.  The Boy has rolled with everything relatively well, although his summer day camp turned out to be more different than his previous ESY program than he thought was manageable — we’re still working on it.  Upset by the startling lack of computers at the camp, he was mollified a bit by the introduction of his own netbook at home on which he can make PowerPoints.

And of course, Grammy and Poppy have been amazingly accommodating, letting The Boy hang out at their place, and keeping an eye on him while I run errands as we get the house unpacked and ready for guests this weekend.

But both The Man and I feel as if we’ve made some promises on which we haven’t yet followed through, and we’re feeling a little guilty.  We talked about a new bike when we donated his old one (which was way too small), as well as a new boogie board, and a new “wrestling” mat.  He’s even supposed to get a new Captain-style bed, which The Man will make for him (The Boy likes to call it a “Hidey-hole” bed, because it will have a hiding space underneath), but it hasn’t happened yet.

We try to put it in perspective, and he hasn’t been complaining, but…  Those nagging feelings of guilt.  The Man and I are both people to whom a promise is no small thing, and we will follow through.  In the meantime, we have to make sure to spend time with him (even when he just wants to hole up in room with an electronic device).  Luckily, he’s been a great sport, and luckily spending time with him is something we can definitely do right now.

My Own Space

As we unpacked the house, our fourth bedroom became the dumping ground for stuff that couldn’t find a home in any other room, primarily because it was going to be our “office”, and lacked carpet.  This past weekend, we finally laid some carpet down, and to do so, we had to take out all the boxes that had collected there over the previous week.  This left our den (our primary hang-out spot) such a mess that it was a priority to get into that office again and start to unpack and organize.  It was a daunting task, and frankly, I was dreading it.

But it needed to be done, and last night, I started sorting music, and other stuff into piles.  And since I don’t yet have a job, I continued chipping away this morning.  Almost immediately, I realized I needed something to house my piles.  I do have a few desk drawers, but they were no match for my piles of tutoring books, teaching materials, and music.  My mom and I popped over to Lowe’s and picked up a Closetmaid 9-cube storage piece, and when I returned home, put it together and put it up, and continued busting it out.

I’m almost done, and truthfully, I am now pretty excited to have my own little space.  I did have a desk at the old house, but I never used it because it was in the dark, stinky basement.  This one is actually a nice place to hang out, and I like it.

office space

Ready for More Liebster Answers?

Awhile back, I was nominated for the Liebster Award again, this time by Meredith at Looking Up With Down Syndrome.  Here are a few more answers to her 11 Questions:

7.  What is your favorite place and why?

I think this changes for everyone as they go through life, so currently, my favorite place is my new home.  I watched this house be transformed from a not-quite-livable shell into a really nicely appointed home.  I take special pride in it because The Man did all the work himself, and it’s my new favorite place because it’s already a lovely representation of us, all together now.

Gabriel García Márquez, De biografie

Gabriel García Márquez, De biografie (Photo credit: woordenaar (reading))

8.  What is your favorite book?

This question is like “Which is your favorite child?”  I cannot pick just one.  However, I will read anything by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and Isabel Allende, and most Scandinavian crime fiction.  I love mysteries, as well as multi-generational family sagas like Greenlanders and Roots.  If a writer has a knack for writing good characters, I’ll be reading them for sure.

9.  You know that song that get’s stuck in your head even though you hate it – which song is that? Is it stuck in your head now? Hee hee hee.

I am very susceptible to earworms, and The Man teases me by singing the theme song to “Flipper” whenever he wants to annoy me…  Grrr….

Hope you are enjoying your last week of June.  I am enjoying my last week as a single lady! 😀

Moving Tips from the Flip Side

I swear I won’t post too much more about the move, but it is a big event in our lives, obviously.  And since I blog about our lives, it may have a few more appearances.  In case anyone is gearing up for a move, I thought I would post some things that we did, or really wish we had done for the move.

Some things we did:

I did a moving log.  Turns out, I didn’t really need this.  To be fair, it got to be about a week before, and my parents were after the movedoing some of the packing, and at the very end, we resorted to putting things in the nearest box, so it didn’t turn out to be very useful at all.  If you’re going to do something like this, you should start earlier than I did, and be committed to it for it to work, because truthfully, you’re not going to be looking for “books” after the move.  You’re going to be looking for hardware for the bookshelf and your son’s birth certificate.  Ahem.

We went cheap on the truck.  And I’m not sure if I would do it again.  We compared truck prices, and Budget was by far the cheapest and included unlimited miles, which is rather important when you’re moving 14 hours away.  But there are definitely some trade-offs for the price.  Truthfully, I could never have afforded the other companies, but using Budget was kind of a trying experience.  Not terrible, but anxiety-worthy.

You are probably going to end up purchasing at least some boxes and some packing material.  I found Home Depot to have the cheapest bubble wrap and paper, and Walmart to have the cheapest boxes.  If you live close to the store, you can do what I did: buy what you think you need, and then go back again (and again) to replenish.  If not, buy double what you think you need.

Schedule a donation pickup with Vietnam Veterans of America.  They will often come with only 24 hours notice, and are very reliable about coming when they say they will.  Be warned that if you have more than 25 items, you will need to schedule two different pick-up appointments.

For the final clean-out, purchase construction-grade trash bags of at least 3 mil thickness.  These are great for those last minute things that you decide will not be going on the truck, and they are sturdy enough to withstand weather and animals in the days on the curb after you move.

Use Facebook and Craigslist to get a few bucks out of your bigger items that aren’t making the trip.  We did a garage sale and it was rather a waste of time.  I sold most of our bigger items to friends via Facebook and people on Craigslist.  Be smart about it, and you can make some decent cash.  We earned enough for our gas and hotel on the way down!

Some things I wish we had done:

Try to do as much paperwork as you can in advance.  Just about everything is online now, and you can look up what you will need to do to register your kids for school, get a new driver’s license, etc. in advance.  Do this and locate all of the necessary stuff while you know where it is.  Put it in a brightly colored folder that you take with you in your vehicle, and don’t let it out of your sight.  I didn’t do this, and I am stuck until I can find all the documents I need (if I had a nickel for every time I say to myself, “but I saw it just the other day!!”…).

Be ruthless about purging before you pack.  I actually did quite well with this, but there always seems to be more stuff, doesn’t there?  You will most likely have donations and trash before and after you move, but it’s a lot easier if you can get rid of most of it before you have to find new places for all your stuff in your new home.  This is especially important if you are having anyone come to help you pack your stuff.  You may know that the bin of old clothes isn’t intended for the move, but your helpers certainly won’t, and may end up packing it up for you.

Be realistic about space planning in your new home.  Empty rooms seem so much larger than they really are.  Make sure you are being realistic about how much stuff can actually go into a 12×10 room…

Don’t kick yourself if it doesn’t go perfectly.  It won’t.  And you will be just fine.  Be prepared for things to go wrong, and then when they do, you can handle it with aplomb.  Think of it as an adventure rather than a task on your to to-do list, and try to have fun!

I hope these tips help.  Feel free to add more from your own moving experiences in the comments below!

Moving House: The Boy

You are probably wondering how The Boy has done, seeing as autism and any kind of change don’t generally mix well, and moving house is a change in a league all of its own.  The short answer is that he has done amazingly well!

Here’s what I think helped:

Grammy and Poppy were there to help ease the transition.  The Boy loves his grandparents, and they are a constant in his life.  Having them come up to help with the move helped remind him of what he had to look forward to — more time with his grandparents!  They are also a little less threatening than Mom, so Grammy helped him pack up his room, which calmed his fears that we were getting rid of all of his stuff!

Preparation.  We’ve been prepping the Boy for almost a year, first introducing it as an idea, and then gradually replacing the “Wouldn’t it be cool if…?” with “Won’t it be fun when we…?”  We addressed each of his fears as they came up, and made sure not to make light of them.  We also spent a lot of time focusing on the positives.

The Moving Book.  Anytime I heard him start to fret about the move, I made sure to pull out the moving book (or at least made a point to remember to do that at a quiet part of the day).  It really did seem to calm his fears, I think because it worked as a visual cue to address his fears and remind him of the positives, and visual cues really work.

Addressing his biggest fear ASAP.  One of The Boy’s biggest concerns was missing his ESY program.  As quickly as I could, I found a similar program in our new state.  Because of the timing of our move, I didn’t think I’d be able to get him into one provided by his school district, and truth be told, finding one that was going to be the right fit was a bit of a challenge.  But in a totally coincidental way, we (I say we because Grammy helped a bunch on this front) found a summer day camp for kids with autism and their siblings in our new area that was relatively affordable and got him enrolled ASAP so that he would have a replacement for the program he cared so much about.  He went from whimpering about missing ESY to being excited about Camp SMILE.  And because he attends daily, it is a new and immediate routine, and provides him with an opportunity to make new friends (one of his other biggest concerns).

His room is still full of boxes, as most of them are, and he’s been wearing his new Spongebob hoodie just about everyday (he tends toward clothing exclusivity when stressed), but he really has made an excellent transition, and I am so proud and happy for him.

moving!

We’re Back…

Hello, Everyone!

I am so excited to be back!  The Boy starts his summer camp today and is so excited — it is absolutely adorable (if pre-teens can be adorable).  He picked out what he was going to wear a couple of days ago, even in the midst of the chaos of unpacked boxes here at the new house.  I told him this morning that he needed to have his backpack today and he would need to clean it out, so he was on it within seconds!

The moving process itself was not nearly as stressful as it could have been — it really helps to have a fiance who used to have a moving business.  Dealing with the landlord is still giving me a headache, but the end is in sight.  I’m sure I’ll post more on that whole topic later.

Modern Social Security card.

Right now, I am in the midst of a brand new headache — trying to get setup with my new address.  I’m stuck in a never-ending cycle between needing a driver’s license, and needing a social security card, and another form of ID…  Except that I just moved here — AND I’m getting married!  Of course they couldn’t make it too easy, or everyone would move here – right? 😉

Finally, we’re getting details nailed down for the wedding which is NEXT FRIDAY – Can you believe it?  I certainly can’t.  The Man is getting himself used to calling me his wife (introducing me to neighbors and such), and it’s still such a foreign word.  But I like it.  We ordered our rings, changed our venue last minute (from one free city park gazebo to another free city park gazebo), and even checked out a few restaurants downtown, looking at menus and deciding on one which would work best.  All that’s left is to get the license and decide on what we’re going to say…

There are so, so many things on my list of things to do (like get a job!), but I am so glad to be back up and running here.  I hope you’ve all hung in there, because this transition is going to be a bit of a wild ride.  But I am so excited!

More Liebster Answers…

Awhile ago, I was nominated for the Liebster Award and decided to take my time answering the 11 questions, because you’ve all heard plenty about me, and I didn’t want to be all in-your-face, yet again…  So here is another gripping installment of Liebster Answers…

tombstone4.  What would you like written on your tombstone?

When I graduated high school, our principal, who was a rather small, forgettable man in most ways said something that I have never forgotten: “Live your life so that no one has to lie at your funeral”.  I have always remembered this and tried to live up to it.  Along those same lines, I would be proud of a tombstone that quoted my grandma (in a way): “She did her best, and that’s all she could do”.

5.  If someone is reading your blog for the first time… which post do you want to make sure they read?

It really depends on their perspective – are they a single mom, a special needs parent?  Both?  Just looking for crafty ideas?  What I usually do is read the latest post.  If I like the style, I read back a few, and then really dig into the archives.  Some of my personal favorites are this one, this one, and this one.

6. “Hypothetically speaking, If my kids have allergies but they are not really affecting them right now, is it still okay to give them Benedryl so I can take a nap?”

Ummm.  I’m not a doctor, but in your situation, I would make absolutely sure their allergies were not affecting them…

Hope you are all well, and looking forward to summer!