Sunday, July 31, 2011

Summer Blog Social--What Will be the Future of My Blog?

As if going to the BlogHer 11 Conference later this week wasn't already enough, I'm participating in the Summer Blog Social hosted by Jessica at Four Plus an Angel and Liz from a belle, and bean, and a chicago dog. Check out this virtual conference! It's a really cool idea where you can address one of three tracks: Advice for Others, Advice for Me, or Waxing Philosophical and Other Stuff. So far, the track that's being used the least is the third one on waxing philosophical. Of course, that's the track I most want to follow. After a year and a half of blogging, I still don't feel like I have any worthy advice to give to other bloggers. While I could certainly use some advice, I liked the writing prompts under the waxing philosophical category.

I'm going to address the first prompt, which is: Where do you see your blog in 6 months? A year from now?

I'm actually planning on changing my blog up a bit. In the past, I focused on writing a blog about parenting a smart girl with high-functioning autism/Asperger's. I wanted the blog to celebrate her quirks and help educate people on Asperger's. For the most part, I think I've been pretty successful in doing this. However, my blog hasn't always been as humorous as I would like and some of my more popular posts have been downright serious.

I feel like I've gone as far with this topic as I can. Also. my daughter is getting older and I'd like to take the autism out of my blog, so to speak. When I started this blog, I saw it as a potential entry into something bigger that could earn me an income--a book deal or becoming a speaker. This hasn't happened, and it's doubtful it ever will.

I've recently gone back into the work force, so I have less of a need to use my blog as a way to earn money.

It seems that the writing is on the wall to change the focus of my blog. I think I'm going to keep the quirky in--not just about my daughter but about me too (although I suspect I always included myself in the quirky category). So my blog will change focus into being about a quirky mother and daughter finding their way in uber-cool Los Angeles.

As part of this change, I plan on doing the occasional product review. I had shunned these in the past because I thought they detracted from the message and educational part of my blog. Now, screw that--if I get a chance to review something I think is cool, I'm going to do it!

I'm really hoping my time at the BlogHer 11 conference will give me some ideas and inspire the new direction of my blog.

If you have anything to suggest, please do so!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Sometimes I Forget

Sometimes I forget.

I watch my daughter play with her friends, laughing and sharing.

Sometimes I forget.

My daughter runs over and gives me the biggest hugs ever. She says she loves me.

Sometimes I forget.

She makes amazingly insightful comments about the world. Her intelligence amazes me!

Sometimes I forget.

She'll dive into her piggy bank to bring a few dollars' worth of coins to donate in the charity box at the grocery store because she wants to help out those less fortunate.

Sometimes I forget.

My daughter cares about justice and what's right in the world.

Sometimes I forget.

She has a great sense of humor and can make me laugh even when I think I'm too tired to.

Sometimes I forget.

She'll tell me long stories about the counselors' antics at camp.

Sometimes I forget.

But there are days that I remember.

Those days, I find I have a hard time getting my daughter to answer my questions.

I watch her dig in the sand by herself instead of playing with the other kids.

She will throw a huge fit over any little thing that doesn't go her way.

My daughter will not easily transition from one activity to the next.

Those days I remember. I remember that my daughter has autism.

The realization hits me instantaneously, and I find myself feeling depressed.

But it's on those days that I have to remember that I have the luxury of being able to forget sometimes. Many moms out there are not given these vacations. They're constantly reminded. They never forget.

I'm very thankful that sometimes I forget.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Overnighter at Camp!

It's that time of the week again! Time to link up to Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday! The letter this week is the letter "O." O is for overnighter at camp.

My 7 year-old daughter has been going to a summer day camp and having a blast! The camp hosts three overnight camp-outs during the summer. My daughter has been dying to go on one! We had concerns, however. She's never slept-over at anyone's house and camping outside seemed like such a huge leap. We weren't sure she was ready.

We initially said no, but she was very persuasive in arguing her case in a logical, mature manner. We really had a hard time defending our decision based on her age when she handled herself so well. So, we grilled the camp officials on issues such as supervision, nurse coverage (if there's an accident), ages of kids who typically go, etc. The camp addressed all of our concerns. So, last Friday, my daughter had her first overnight camping trip away from home.

I was a nervous wreck! However, my husband and I managed to go out on a date night. We went to see the new Harry Potter movie. Wow! It's great seeing a movie on a big theater screen instead of renting it at home! We both had our cell phones ready, just in case! But the camp never called us to pick our daughter up.

She had a great time! She did have a little problem with another camper, however. When she was setting up camp, another girl started to move her stuff away and said that she didn't like my daughter (editing note: bitch). My daughter told me she got up and moved to another area because she didn't want to be near the mean girl. In doing so, she came across another girl who invited my daughter to share her tent with her. They ended up having a great time together and became friends!

I'm floored that my daughter handled herself so well! I don't think I would have handled myself as well under those circumstances! Yay!

There's one more overnight camp-out coming up. We're allowing our daughter to go on it. Her initial response was that she didn't want to. We were surprised, since she had so much fun! She told us that she had a great time, but didn't want us to feel lonely without her. We asked if she didn't want to go because she was the one missing us. She gave us a confused look and said that wasn't the case at all! We told her that we did fine and even went out and enjoyed a date night. Once she was sure we were fine without her, she readily agreed to another camping trip!

Do I have the sweetest kid or what?

Monday, July 25, 2011

I'm Hanging Out at JDaniel4's Mom's Place Today!

Deirdre, from JDaniel4's Mom asked me to guest post over at her blog today! I was beyond flattered that she would ask me! If you've never met Deirdre, she's one of the most supportive bloggers out there! I first noticed her about a year ago. It seemed that any blog I visited, there would be a friendly, supportive comment from her on the blog! I was impressed with how many blogs she followed, read, and contributed to! It made me instantly want to get to know her!

She's doing a special series on Tuesdays about finding time for ourselves. As moms, you know how hard that can be! I'm honestly not sure if I'm the right person to address that topic, but I'd love for you to read my post and check out Deirdre's wonderful blog!

Tell her I sent you over!

Doing Time at Traffic School

My weekend was a bit ruined because I had to spend all day Saturday at traffic school for the rolling stop I made a couple of months ago. I signed up for a school called something like Great Comedians and Pizza for You! That didn't sound too awful. They advertised that they had the funniest comedians!

When I went to the class, I assumed that the place would be full of fellow moms like me, and we could commiserate together. Unfortunately, the class consisted of people either way younger than me or way older! I immediately gave up trying to become friends with anyone and just started tweeting things like, "Woman here at traffic school that's a germ phobe. She's keeping a scarf over her mouth. #psycho" and "Woman next to me got her ticket on drive to Vegas. Assumed we all got our tickets the same way. #psycho" and "A lot of people in class thought you can drive 85 mph in a 65 mph maximum limit zone as long as it's w/ the flow of traffic #yikes."

The teacher didn't let me tweet during the class, so that ended my fun. He also wasn't very funny. He was actually a cop and not a comedian. The comedy part came from him playing a 10 minute "humor" video in the morning which consisted of old Candid Camera bits that were car related. In the afternoon, we watched a Goofy cartoon, that actually turned out to be very funny. I remember watching that video as a kid. Now as an adult it takes on much more resonance.

Here is the video for your enjoyment:

The teacher opened up the class with informing us that we were not allowed to drink alcohol or take drugs either during the class or during the breaks. Even taking medical marijuana wasn't allowed! Nobody told me the class would be that strict!

The teacher continued to confuse us by telling us that the maximum speed limit of 65 on the freeway cannot be broken--even if the flow of traffic was 75! The majority of the class was actually shocked by this.

The teacher had to spend a good amount of time waking up the 90-year-old woman in the front row. Really? You couldn't just let her have her nap? I'm not sure I wanted to be driving near her when it was time to leave class, and she hadn't had her nap. She later complained that the teacher wasn't funny, and she expected more comedy (didn't we all!).

I did learn some things myself. I learned that while the freeway and highway speed limits were maximums, street speed limits could be surpassed a bit if the flow of traffic was going faster and the weather conditions were good (who knew?). I also learned that the reduced speed by schools when children were present meant the time when kids were at school--not just the time before and after school when children were actually out and about. I had no idea about that one!

Was traffic school worthwhile? Yes, I think it is good to brush up on the driving laws. You also learn some nifty ways to potentially get out of future tickets. But I don't know how much information people retain. At the very end of class, the woman sitting next to me was looking over the list of questions about the areas covered in the class. She turned to me and asked how fast you can drive on a freeway if the posted maximum speed lime is 65, but the flow of traffic was 75. She then said, "I guess it's 75!"


Friday, July 22, 2011

Her First Night Away from Us

The BlogHer 11 conference is just 2 weeks away! I'm so excited about going. It was going to be my first time away from my daughter, and I was really looking forward to the vacation.

Only, now, it won't be my first time away from my daughter. She's managing to get away from me first! Tonight, she's going on a camp-out at her day camp, which puts on a few of these over the summer. She's been wanting to go, and presented a sound argument why she should go. My husband had concerns, though, but after talking about the camp-out with the camp officials felt better about it.

However, we made our daughter show that she was grown-up enough to go. We used the camp-out as a reward to motivate her enough to stop some problem behaviors she was having this summer. It worked like a charm! Our daughter's behavior improved a million times over! This was something she really wanted, and she worked really hard to be sure she was going!

She's excited, but my husband and I are nervous wrecks. The house is going to seem so weird without her around tonight!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Natural Form of Treatment for Asperger's?

It's that time of the week--time to link up to Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday. The letter this week in the letter "N." N is for natural.

I have often blogged about how my daughter can go through weeks where she doesn't appear to be on the spectrum at all, while other weeks, she seems to be placed firmly on the spectrum. I haven't been able to figure out why she has these good days and bad days (or good weeks and bad weeks).

Yesterday was an interesting day. My daughter had a chance to have a play date with a couple of sisters that she's never met. My husband and his coworker arranged the play date since they realized our kids were close in age. Because of the play date, I had to cancel a speech class that works on my daughter's conversational skills. I didn't cancel her social skills class since that was pretty late in the day.

The play date lasted about 6 hours. During this time, she played extremely interactively with the other kids and had a "normie" kind of day. She handled transitions beautifully, was able to use her words appropriately, and listened to the other kids when there was a disagreement. The other kids were patient with her and did a great job working through the different situations with her.

It was a very successful play date! I think the fact that the kids all liked each other and were all well-behaved really helped.

After we left the play date, my daughter had to go to her social skills class. After the class was over, the behaviorist pulled me aside to tell me that my daughter had the most amazing session ever! She read her peers' body language and facial expressions to see if they were listening to her. When she determined they weren't, she was able to calmly get their attention! She's never done this unprompted before during the class! There was another time that she became frustrated and almost started to cry. She stopped herself and reminded herself that she can use her words, which she did. The behaviorist was floored.

So, the question is...Was her great behavior in the social skills class occurring because she was having an awesome day in general? Or did the awesome play date help her exercise these skills that she was then able to generalize to her social skills class?

I used to think that it was the former, but I'm wondering if it can be more of the latter. By using the skills and having them work can be the best positive reinforcer of all. I think that choosing the play date over the speech class was a great decision. There is nothing like a natural form of behavior therapy to make huge strides!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Coming Up with a Camp Name

At my daughter's camp, all the counselors pick aliases so that the kids (or the parents) can't google them and stalk them. Most of the names are pretty funny. The camp nurse is Pepto. My daughter's counselors go by Buggy, Bandit, Tofu, and Krispy. We always have fun laughing about the different names.

Today, the camp had name tags out for the new campers. Many of the veteran campers, however, like to use the name tags to come up with their own camp names. My daughter was one of them this morning. It was taking her awhile to come up with something, however, and other kids were waiting to use her pen. I tried to rush her along.

Finally, she set her pen to the name tag and started writing. I couldn't wait to see what she would come up with.

She wrote Buffet on her name tag.

I thought that was a hilarious alias, but I was confused how she came up with it. I was also impressed that she spelled the word correctly. After I asked her, she pointed to a sign that said Buffet on it. It's a fun sign showing the location where the hot lunches are handed out.

It suits her.

Do I have a future counselor on my hands?

Monday, July 18, 2011

Birthday Recap and a Virtual Trip to Hawaii

I had a nice, quiet birthday. Carmageddon turned out to be a nonevent. Nevertheless, my husband had to work on Saturday, so we really didn't celebrate my birthday until Sunday night when we had dinner at Roy's.

Roy's is an interesting chain restaurant. We first discovered it when we went on a trip to Hawaii. I had just found out I was pregnant two days before the trip, so I wasn't able to drink alcohol or eat too much fish. I didn't care. I had a blast! My husband and I thought the food was fantastic.

After we returned to L.A., we were bummed to learn that there weren't any Roy's remotely near us. That changed a couple of years later, when one opened 10 minutes away from our house!

This was my daughter's first trip to Roy's! She had a blast. She learned a bunch of Hawaiian words and did her version of the hula! The kids' menu is pretty funny. It's a fixed price 3-course dinner which costs $13. For $13, your child can get pasta with butter and parmesan cheese (what a rip-off) or get short-ribs (what a bargain!). My daughter ordered the short-ribs and loved them!

We had a good time!

The favorite thing about my birthday? It was getting a homemade card from my daughter containing her own unique poetry. This is what the card said:


I love you lots.

You walk, but a dog runs.

Mice aren't very nice,

But you are,

And that is better than it is to be age 47 (crossed out and replaced with a 46, my actual age).



That gave me the biggest laugh of the weekend!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Carmageddon is F'ing Up My Birthday!

Today is my birthday! I cannot believe how fast the time is flying by! I also cannot believe how old I'm getting. I think I'm older then what the average life expectancy was in 1870. Thank goodness I wasn't born then!

I don't look that hideously old! However, when I look at my daughter, the passage of time sure shows on her. I still think of her as my baby, yet she's getting taller by the day. Her features are maturing, and she's not only looking like a bigger girl, but I'm already getting a fleeting glimpse of what she might look like as a woman.

I guess the fact that she's adding to my wrinkles is to be expected.

Did I mention that I was getting old?

I have no special plans this weekend. Los Angeles is celebrating my birthday by throwing Carmageddon. The city is closing 10 miles of a major freeway corridor beginning tonight and going through early Monday morning. Many L.A. residents are fleeing the city. Those stupid enough to stay behind (that's me!) are barricading ourselves in our homes, stockpiling our arsenals for the impending zombie attack.

For those adventurous enough to face the zombies, Jet Blue is trying to help the situation by offering $4 plane tickets to fly from Long Beach airport to Burbank airport. Those sold out in .0000045 seconds. Another helicopter company is offering to shuttle people from one side of town to another. I have no clue what they are charging.

My family is taking me out for a birthday dinner on Sunday night! Which will be nice, if we can manage to make it to the restaurant that's 3 miles from our house. Wish us luck!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Spiders! Why Does it Always Have to Be Spiders?

Every house I've lived in Los Angeles seems to have spider issues. They're ugly. They're yucky, and they leave their sticky, disgusting cobwebs everywhere.

The house that I live in now sits up on a hillside, surrounded by trees. The spider problem here seems particularly bad. My husband had spotted 3 spiders yesterday including one that was REALLY big and scary-looking! Great!

This is just to give you some background information. Last night, I woke up to the sound of my daughter screaming. I can sleep through 4.8 earthquakes that are epicentered just about under my house, so the fact that her screams woke me up was quite amazing!

After I ran into her room, she told me that she had awakened to find a spider was on her! She said it was really large, but when I started to ask her questions, like where was it on her, she couldn't answer. I turned on her light and started shaking out all her bed linen, looking for the ugly eight-legged bug blood-sucker.

I couldn't find the spider, but thought her screams and movements could have easily scared the spider, causing it to take off. Then, my daughter started to question if it really happened or if she dreamed the whole thing. I was pretty sure it really happened since my husband was having a lot of spider sightings.

But then my daughter pointed out that there wasn't a big dirt mound on her bed. I was relieved to here this, but didn't get why she thought there should be. She explained that's where she saw the spider go--into the big dirt mound that was on her bed. Realizing that she had dreamed the spider attack, she happily went back into her bed to go to sleep.

I was still a bit dubious. I couldn't help but think it could have been a combination of dream and reality. But since I couldn't find the spider, and she seems convinced it was a dream, I didn't argue with her.

My husband did call the exterminator the next morning. We're not taking any chances!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Mumbling--What? I Can't Hear You!

It's that time of the week! Time to link-up to Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday! The letter of the week is the letter "M." M is for mumbling.

Many kids on the spectrum have problems with speaking in an appropriate manner. Many kids speak WAY too loud--ear-shattering loud. Others may speak with a monotone. My daughter? She speaks very quietly. Oftentimes, she just ends up mumbling. It can be really hard to hear what she says.

We've been trying to get her to increase her speaking volume for years without much success. I find myself constantly saying, "What? I can't hear you!" Okay, part of the problem is that I'm going pretty deaf, but it's not just me. Everyone has a hard time hearing her.

While my daughter was playing on the computer today, she came across an ad for a new toy called Fijit Friends. Apparently, these toys dance and can talk somewhat interactively. They respond to certain words or phrases that they hear, then respond to them.

While we were looking at the Fijit website, my daughter spotted the following instruction:

--Wait for her belly to be lit, then speak clearly and speak up! Please don't hurt her feelings by yelling at her or mumbling.

My daughter realized that she'll hurt the toy's feelings by mumbling! This has given her the impetus to practice speaking up. She's hoping that by practicing she'll speak at the right level by the time she gets the toy!

I'm wondering why it's suddenly important for her to not mumble for a damn toy when we've been telling her to speak up for years now! I guess our feelings aren't as important as a toy's feelings.

Nevertheless, I hope this is an incentive to get her to speak up! It might offend me on a certain level, but I guess the ends justify the means. Right?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

I'm Beginning to Feel Understood!

Yesterday, my husband had a rare week day off. Actually, he has to work this Saturday, so he had yesterday off to make up for the lack of weekend next weekend.

Because he had the day off, I asked him to pick our daughter up from camp for me. I have a long commute to work, and unfortunately, my daughter's camp is an extra 25 minutes drive in the opposite direction. This commute has been absolutely killing me.

My husband had the severe misfortune of having to deal with a tantrum of hers when he went to pick her up from camp. Luckily, this has become a more unusual occurrence compared to how bad it was when she was younger. Nevertheless, it's not fun to deal with when it happens.

Last night, my husband commented that he had a new appreciation for what I do. I really liked hearing that. He said that he admired my patience and how I let things like tantrums roll off me.

It's not easy, and I'm not sure I really do let them roll off me. I have gotten better over the years about dealing with them, however.

But his compliment did mean the world to me. I sometimes feel unappreciated. I don't think this feeling is unusual for moms of kids with special needs. I'm sure every mom feels this way.

It's amazing how getting a little appreciation can make the load seem lighter! I feel more understood!

Monday, July 11, 2011

I'm Looking Forward to BlogHer '11!

I had another in-real-life encounter with a fellow blogger. Jenn from Anybody Want a Peanut? was down in the Los Angeles area to go to a wedding! We met up for brunch and had a blast. I'm always amazed how making friends blogging on the internet seems to actually translate to real friendship in the real world! We laughed, traded war stories about raising kids on the spectrum, discussed blogging, and ate great food!

We also spent some time talking about the upcoming blogging conference we're both attending--BlogHer '11 that is a month away. In fact, we're going to be roommates at the conference. My husband joked about whether it would be a good idea to meet up with Jenn before the conference. The hotel room is in her name. If she didn't like me, I could be out a room.

Luckily, that wasn't a problem. I hope.

The brunch has upped my excitement about attending the blogging conference, as if that were even possible. Many bloggers have been posting their tips about attending BlogHer '11. Apparently, it's a big-time conference that attracts 3,000 bloggers (almost entirely women). I've been looking forward to going for almost a year now!

Ironically, I'm really out of it in terms of the actual program. In addition to the official schedule and official parties (I believe there are 3 official parties each night starting at 8 and ending at about 1 in the morning), there are all sorts of private functions that take place. Part of the excitement right now involves trying to land some of these private invitations. In addition, I just found out that there is a mini-conference for special needs bloggers. This consists of a separate luncheon followed by a break-out session. How awesome is that?

My attitude is that I'm just going to meet some old bloggy buddies, make some new bloggy buddies, and have fun. I'm not going to care if I don't get invited to any A-list parties (because let's face it, I'm not an A-list blogger). I'm not going to annoy Heather Armstrong (she's a huge blogger for those who've never heard of Dooce) to force her to take my bloggy business card.

I am going to enjoy my first weekend away since I've had my beautiful daughter, who's now 7.5 years old. I'm going to enjoy this time, revel in the swag, and hang out with other cool women who love to write. I might even pick up one or two great blogging tips.

If the brunch with Jenn is any indication, I'm going to have an awesome time!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Camping and Maturity

We've been having our hands full here! My daughter has been regressing a bit and having a hard time coping with transitions or when things do not go her way. She's been having the occasional tantrum and crying over little things. It's been a pretty rough couple of weeks.

But then something weird happened over the last couple of days. She seems to have taken some kind of developmental leap. She all of a sudden seems much more mature in the way she's handling situations! I don't know if this is just a temporary deviation or if we're going to be seeing more of this behavior. It's very weird!

For example, my husband was reading her Little House on the Prairie last night. There was a section where Laura stated that children are to be quiet at the table--seen but not heard. My husband teasingly stopped reading to show his approval of that sentiment. Our daughter responded with, "Silly Daddy, that was there and then. This is here and now."

Even more amazingly was that her day camp is having 3 camp-outs this summer on various Friday nights. They cost $75 to do. My daughter has been dying to go to one. Last summer she expressed interest, but we told her she was too young. This summer, the first one is tomorrow night. My daughter asked to go and I told her that she was still too young. I didn't feel quite right being the sole bad-guy, so I told her we'd have a family meeting to discuss it. But I warned her that I thought her daddy would feel the same way that I did.

When I picked her up from camp today, she was insistent that I call her daddy ASAP to talk about the camp-out because the spaces were almost full for the next night. I called him on my iPhone's speaker setting so we could all participate in the meeting. My daughter then began to calmly lay out her argument for why she should go. She discussed the price and offered to pay for half of it. She talked about how many kids from her group are going, so there will be kids her age there. She was beyond mature and laid out a great argument for why she should go.

My husband and I were floored! We were initially saying no, she was too young, but her maturity made it really hard to do. We decided that the camp-out for the next night wasn't doable, but that we'd research our concerns (such as counselor to camper ratio, whether the camp nurse would be there, etc.) with the camp officials to consider it for the next one in a couple of weeks. We warned her that we could still decide to say no if we didn't like what we heard.

My daughter took all this in and decided that the camp-out tomorrow night really wasn't doable. She seemed pleased that we would consider letting her go to the next one. She didn't cry or anything!

She did decide to have her own camp-out in her room tomorrow night. She's moving her play tent to her room and sleeping in her sleeping bag. I'm going to surprise her with us making smores. She's going to have fun pretending to camp-out. I'm going to be celebrating what I'm hoping is a developmental leap!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Little Bit Lazy

It's that time of the week again! It's time for Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday. We really seem to be zipping through the alphabet! I can't believe we're already on the letter L. Wow! My L topic is about being a little bit lazy!

I'd be the first person to admit I'm lazy. There's nothing more I'd like to do than to take a late afternoon catnap, followed by sleeping in late the next morning. Remember those days?

Motherhood leaves less time to indulge in laziness! But is my laziness gone completely? I'd like to say it is!

Only, it's not. I'm still pretty lazy. Whenever I get a free moment, I like to indulge in some internet time instead of cleaning the house. Good thing my husband likes to indulge in laziness too!

Only, he doesn't. He's the most industrious person on the planet! He's the type of person who hates himself for spending 15 minutes reading facebook updates.

So, how does my husband put up with me? I haven't the slightest idea. He seems to get that staying at home, raising a child on the spectrum can be trying and that I need my time to decompress.

I'm not really staying at home anymore either. Sure, I am the one who takes care of my daughter after school or camp. I'm the one who is primarily responsible for administering the positive reinforcements of her behavior therapy. But my free time is now spent working at a part-time job. This definitely leaves less time for my laziness!

On the weekends, when I hope to have some laziness time, my husband reminds me that we had a child, so we have to keep her entertained. This involves taking her to the pool, for example! That g_d for my hot flashes! They do give me incentives to get into the pool, for a change.

This mothering business is so much work! It's hard to fit in lazy time.

How do you fit in your lazy time?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A Fun Vacation! Kind of...

Other than the BlogHer 11 Conference for me, we're not going on vacation this summer. I must admit feeling a tinge jealous when I hear about fun trips other people are taking!

Anyway, a friend of mine was going on vacation for this week (lucky duck) and asked if I could check in on her cat once a day to make sure he has water and food and to clean his litter box. She lives in a large condo complex that has a ton of amenities. I don't really have a ton of free time to cat sit, but I used to have a cat and I know how hard it can be to find people to pop in and take care of your cat! I felt that since I've been on the receiving end so many times, it was my turn to help out.

It's turned out to be a lot of fun--not the taking care of the cat part, but the enjoying her condo's amenities part! I'd love to pet her cat, but he's been hidden from me each time I've come over. We've used the pool twice. It's really gorgeous and very kid-friendly! Last night, we took advantage of the condo's parking spot because the complex is located 3 blocks from a great fireworks show! People walk from huge distances to see this show while we had primo parking!

Speaking of seeing the fireworks show: this was actually a big deal! My daughter doesn't have major sensory issues, but she is sensitive to loud noises. It used to be pretty bad, but it seems to be getting better as she's getting older. Public toilet flushes used to be too loud for her, but not anymore! Anyway, she wanted to go to see fireworks this year. We just had to take advantage of the great parking--it was fate!

I was a little nervous that the fireworks would be too loud, but they weren't! My daughter loved the show!

This cat-sitting gig turned out to be awesome! I felt like I was on vacation this weekend!

I hope everyone had a great Fourth of July holiday!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Hip Hop Party from Hell

I hope everyone is having a good Fourth of July weekend! Ours has been pretty quiet so far. One thing we did was go to a hip hop party on Saturday late afternoon. It was a birthday party for a classmate of my daughter and his twin sister. My daughter knew both of the kids. Each twin had only two classmates each at the party. I don't know if they didn't invite too many kids or because of the holiday weekend, so few kids from the school showed up.

However, there were a lot of kids there who were children of the mom's friends. Because of this, I didn't know too many of the other moms there. Actually, I only knew one other mom there.

It was about 103 degrees and the party was completely outside. There was no hint of a breeze in the yard. Flies swarmed on the food table and everywhere else, for that matter. The hip hop deejay did a great job keeping the kids entertained, but the music was really loud. In fact, my husband heard the music pretty clearly while he was inside our house comfortably playing on the computer enjoying his free time (he owes me big!).

There was chilled wine, so I had to indulge a bit, right? It was the only way I could cool myself off. I never realized that guzzling a glass of wine in 103 degree heat on a relatively empty stomach can get you blitzed pretty fast! Luckily, the party was pretty close to my house so we could resort to actually walking home if we needed to, but I sobered up pretty quickly. I guess I sweated the wine out pretty fast.

My daughter had fun overall. The loud music didn't bother her at all. It bothered me a lot. I guess I have more sensory issues than she does! She did not want to leave the dance floor to eat anything, however. Not that I blame her considering all the flies. But the hunger, tiredness, and heat didn't bode well for her handling things that didn't go her way! Fun!

I spent some time at the party, trying to pretend I was at a tropical Club Med somewhere. I had the oppressive heat, the flies, the alcohol, the loud party music! It actually is the closest I've come to a vacation in a long time!

The mom who hosted the party has won some Latin American Grammys for song writing. She has written songs for Ricky Martin and Josh Groban. The last class birthday party my daughter went to was thrown by last year's Mrs. California! I must have been the most boring mom in that class. Now that my daughter is changing schools, I'm hoping the other moms will be as uninteresting as me!

Here's to boring!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Sex and the Lizard

I'm trying to be better about taking my daughter to the library to check out books. She has a large collection of books at home, but I think it's still good to use the public library to read books you wouldn't necessarily want to own.

My daughter wanted to check out a book on amphibians, because she wants to see if any would make a good pet. We asked for the librarian's assistance. First, she took us over to the kids' section, but didn't see any books that were what my daughter wanted. So, she showed us where the books were in the adult section.

After my daughter started looking through the books to see if there was anything she wanted to read, I noticed something pretty funny. Check out the picture:

Yup, the information on animals happens to be smack dab next to the information on sex. What in the hell were the librarians thinking--putting sex manuals next to books on lizards! Really? Did they think an adult obsessed with lizards would need to check out some books on sex? Oh, never mind!

After I took the picture, I was waiting for my daughter to take notice of the books and start asking questions that I'm just not ready to answer. I might be able to address them in another couple of years. Oh, who am I kidding? I won't be ready for another 20 to 30 years! Luckily, she was too absorbed by the amphibian books to even notice the sex books. Phew!