Still a Mom

Yes my husband is a stay-home Dad. He's a great dad. He does a lot around the house. But I'm still the mom, primary cook, finance director and often errand runner. And with two boys on the Autism spectrum, things can get a little crazy around our house. I've finally decided to spare my friends the burden of my constant ramblings and start a blog.

And nearly two months later . . .

Wow. I have so missed writing  I wish I could somehow record my thoughts while driving and have them magically appear. I just haven't been able to fit writing time into my days. So an update . . .

Cal is still doing really well in school. His first grading period found him on grade level with modifications for all subjects. I spent about two minutes focused on the "with modifications" part and then received the mental kick in the pants to realize that the "on grade level" part was far more important. Cal's primary teacher is on maternity leave (a baby boy!!) but the sub has been really good. I will admit I'm very much looking forward to having his regular teacher back after the first of the year though. I just have so much confidence in her. We've also scheduled a conference with Cal's inclusion (mainstream first grade) teacher for some feedback directly from her on Cal's strengths and weaknesses and what we might do at home to help more.

Cal was Speedracer for Halloween and we was really into the holiday. We talked about it a lot in advance and he was very excited. He was not at all shy about going to the doors, only tried to walk into homes twice (an improvement!) and was great about saying trick or treat please and then thank you. We love our little neighborhood but there are not a lot of children here and the few who are seem to go elsewhere for Halloween. The result is that a lot of people in the community don't plan for trick or treaters. It didn't bother Cal and was still a nice chance to talk to the neighbors.

Cal's vocabulary is expanding my leaps and bounds these days and his ability to communicate is as well. He had a little tummy bug about a week ago and he was able to communicate "so sick," "help me" and "no school." Later he told Scott "sick all gone" to communicate that he was feeling better. He's started telling his version of a joke - basically saying something in the cadence of a joke and laughing but it is still an incredible breakthrough for him. And he is organizing and sequencing his plans. He is allowed to take one car to school each day. Tuesday he told me that it was Tuesday Woody go to school. Tomorrow is Wednesday for Hamm and then Thursday for Mike.

We had a cool snap about 2-3 weeks ago in which I confirmed my suspicions that Cal has grown three inches. He did have two pair of sweat pants luckily. I have yet to get him stocked but it is back to 85 degrees so I have a while.

Charlie is doing well too. We had an appointment with his neurologist this week. One of the things we realized in preparing for the appointment was how much we are responding to Charlie's communication to us. It has developed naturally that we'll respond to Charlie with the words "you're welcome" or "I love you too" because he's clearly initiated the conversation - not in words but in action or expression. He is definitely spending more time engaging in "our world" and less time inside himself.

We've also been heavily involved in PECS training with Charlie. Basically PECS is a Picture Exchange Communication System. Charlie is in the first phase with it using single item pictures to communicate desires. He is doing SO well with it. They are really awesome at school with the consistency - and we are doing much better at home. It is difficult and awkward and first, especially since dinner is one of the best times to use it, but we are learning. Our neurologist is not terribly optimistic that Charlie will develop spoken language so if this is a system that he can use, then so be it. Plus PECS is geared at working toward spoken language so we certainly aren't giving up on that.

Charlie is sleeping better. He still wakes at least once a night but he is usually down again in about an hour - and he's rarely upset when he is awake. We'd still like to actually sleep THROUGH the night. Hopefully soon.

Scott is doing fine. He's a political junkie on an average year so this year was a major activity. While I never blogged about it, Scott and I were/are big Obama supporters. We're very pleased to see our country decide to try something different.

Scott's also been building and selling (yeah!) a lot of models. It is amazing how much easier it is to work while the boys are in school. He's also been learning to cook some and taking on more of the errand running for the household - things that definitely help me.

As for me . . .I've been working a lot. I manage an accounting department with approximately 135 companies. Nearly 130 of them have fiscal year budgets. In the past, I've been involved in about half the budgets. This year? More than 100. Add to that one member of my department had a two-week vacation, worked two weeks and was out three weeks for surgery. She's back half days now. Another employee had a week vacation - scheduled before the afore-mentioned surgery. Add to THAT the fact that the economy sucks and everyone is trying to cut budgets, looking at comparisons, looking for three versions of their budgets, etc. I've been slammed working day and night.

So here it is November 13. Yikes. My grandmother has a birthday the 19th. Thanksgiving is the 27th (I think - don't quote me). The in-laws arrive December 5 and we're celebrating Christmas with them December 7. I'm supposed to have the house ready for Christmas and a week-long guest stay by December 5th. Seriously? Well, we'll see.




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