Saturday, April 26, 2014

Back to Normal (HA!) on Monday

1. We are wrapping up Spring Break and go back to our regular schedule tomorrow, really, since we'll have church at the usual time and I have Youth Group tomorrow night. Then back to a 6:10 am alarm Monday morning. We did a few fun things this week, the Garden State Discovery Museum on Tuesday and Johnson's Farm today, but Miranda had a low-grade fever that came and went (Monday and Wednesday) and Alex had a sore throat starting yesterday that we finally figured out was allergy-related, both of which kept us from running out somewhere fun every day. Miranda did get to see her best friend from kindergarten (he goes to a different elementary school now which is probably wise because we think these two are most likely to set the school afire if left alone together, but she misses him because I think he really understands her and accepts her for who she is) twice over break and both kids did 2 egg hunts (anyone want Easter candy? In about a week, I'm going to throw most of it away). Then there was the lovely Easter dinner with family and friends at my folks' place last Sunday where we feasted for hours and nearly rolled home.

I will be glad to be back in a routine where I know what's coming next and I don't have to drag everyone with me to the grocery store. Alex is often irritated when we make more than one stop to or from anywhere else and I am the queen of multiple stops; I don't want to leave the house to only go to one place. But I am going to hate getting up early. The children have been kind this week not to rouse me until 8:30. I'm sure they get up earlier; they just forage for themselves until I'm up. But it will not be a quiet week as my calendar has something for nearly every day.

9 more weeks of school. Then 10 days in San Diego. Then 5 weeks of summer school for Alex (possibly 3 for Miranda; we'll find out at her IEP meeting if she qualifies.) Then 2.5 weeks of more vacation. Then school starts again because it will be September. When I look forward, time seems to move slowly. But when I look back, it seems to have flitted by so quickly, when I wasn't looking.

2. Spring continues to bloom around here. Two years ago, my mother-in-law gave me some grape hyacinth bulbs from her yard and they look gorgeous this year:

Yesterday, Miranda and I planted some sunflower seeds in Chinese food containers to see if they would germinate. She loves sunflowers and if the seeds are good, I'm going to dig her a trench for them on the side of the house where there is both room and sun.

I did other gardening this week. My father helpfully hacked large pieces off of my hosta plants so they won't overshadow the callas when they bloom in June (the hostas and callas are all mixed together in the front bed). And I finally cut back the butterfly bushes, even though leaves had just started to show, so they are only head height at present. I wish the flowers weren't so beautiful but I love them and the kids love the butterflies. So I'll just have to trim them more frequently so my husband doesn't worry about them grabbing him every time he walks out the back door and heads for the garage. I wish I knew how to train them like the ones at Longwood Gardens, where they have a large, thick trunk and branches delicately falling down from that. I have a poor picture from my trip last year to show you what I mean:

Of course, that's like wishing I was a master gardener rather than the ersatz one I am now. I love my garden because it has enough grass (and weeds) for the children to play in and I have some flowers in bloom from February until the ground freezes in November. But it is rather haphazardly kept and nothing I grow is edible. I want flowers; I can buy vegetables.

My biggest job in upcoming weeks will be to disassemble the pallets that have been tied together for a dozen years to hold my compost heap mostly in the same place and install a new system. I'm going to transition to a bottomless container but it will be smaller and look ... tidier. I don't mind the rotting pallets but there have been complaints.

3. I was tired and pollen-oppressed last night so I watched a couple of fun movies requiring little thought to follow, Dredd and Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters. It was my second time for the former which I still like though it was gorier than I remembered and the latter was, well, exactly what the reviews said it was: campy with an almost nonexistent plot. But I still like the actors. If you've never seen it, The Unusuals was an excellent if abbreviated series on ABC from 2009 that completely sold me on Jeremy Renner. Even though the series was created as a vehicle for Amber Tamblyn, Renner stole it from her from the first moment he was on screen. And all of this is available from Amazon Prime streaming video.

4. One of my goals for this year is finishing things, like televisions series. I didn't manage to watch the last 3 episodes of Awake, but I did watch the end of Leverage. It was forgettable, but at least I crossed if off my list, only 1.4 years late. The best episode of the fifth season is "The Gimme a K Street Job" one from August, 2012. If you ever want to show someone, in 43 minutes, how Congress works, this is perfect. Scary and disgusting, but that's only because it's accurate.

5. If you missed it, Thursday was Take You Child to Work day. For the occasion, I took Miranda into the city to have lunch with daddy (it was Qdoba day) and get a tour of his floor and meet some of the people he works with. Something we've been emphasizing with her at home is that everyone has a boss; it's not just Miranda who gets bossed around all day by her bossy parents. So she met Marshall's direct supervisor as well as another man higher up the chain of command so she would have a better understanding of how her father answers to other people.

She was perfectly behaved the whole time. I think she was overawed by the big building and thousands of computers. And a whole new place she never had a picture of before. But it went well.

She chose the outfit: black Hawaiian dress and bright blue leggings with white flowers. I insisted on the pink shirt underneath. More color is always better with her.

6. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is breaking my heart. Everything keeps going from bad to worse to even worse than that. Why did I think this was going to be some fluffy series that I could watch without calculating any emotional impact? It's produced by Joss Whedon. His series are never fluffy. It's like watching Doctor Who or Sherlock. I have to prepare myself for the experience. My favorite Buffy episodes are still "Surprise" and "Innocence" from Season 2; they are absolutely brilliant and still break my heart every time.

I did manage to watch 2 more episodes of Justified last weekend, but I still have 4 more to finish season 5. It's like mainlining adrenaline; it takes me hours to come down afterwards. This is why I never watched The Wire or Breaking Bad or any of their ilk; as excellent as I understand those series to be, I don't need my pulse racing for hours on end.

7. April is almost finished, our Autism Awareness month. I'm not sure if I wrote more about Autism but I did write more about us and about me, and Autism is intricately wound into our daily life. Passing for Normal, that is, behaving appropriately in public no matter the situation, will continue to challenge us, but I am grateful for everyone who is helping us along the way.

Here are some pictures from our trip to Johnson's Farm today:

This last one is my new favorite picture of Alex.

Here's Jen. Her new book, Something Other Than God: How I Passionately Sought Happiness and Accidentally Found It, comes out this week. I think I might have to purchase this one; I don't think the library is likely to buy it for me, like they do many of my other requests.

No comments: