Monday, March 31, 2014


1. We had more than 3 inches of rain fall over the weekend. But I'm trying to keep myself in a grateful frame of mind, so I'm telling myself, at least it wasn't snow.

2. Since it wasn't snow but rain, that must mean it's been warmer! Yes, it has. Here's proof:

It's not quite open, but it's closer.

3. From FB on Friday:

As many of you are aware, April is Autism Awareness month. Usually, since we live with it every day, our household doesn't pay much attention to events and such. But this year, I want to be blogging and posting about it more, from the perspective of what it's like to live with 2 children on the spectrum. And I want to start by thanking our many friends and family who love our kids as they are and don't expect them to be anything else. I was just counting in my head and it's too many to tag. That's a lot of people. Thank you. It is a tremendous help to me to know my kids can be themselves when they are with you and I can relax from being Over-Vigilant Parent. You help me rest.

4. Thanks to my wonderful husband, I ran off and saw Veronica Mars on Friday night. It was perfect.  I came home with a smile on my face so big, it lasted all night, in spite of the incessant rain, and I want to binge my way through the first season all over again. I can't even decide which is my favorite episode. Maybe "Clash of the Tritons." I don't actually own the DVD's. Maybe that should change. And did you hear? There's a book that follows directly after the events of the film, called The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line. I can't wait to read it.

5. But, hey, the wonderful roofer came Tuesday and repaired the leaky roof, so there was no water in the house during the 3 days of rain. Very thankful!

6. Friday, I took off my Porcelain nail wraps and put on Queen Anne. They are awesome. And it only took me about an hour to do the application. Definitely getting faster.

They're so pretty. I don't hate my nails anymore.

7. I did get a little stitching done Saturday night while catching up on tennis. Although both finals were kinda boring. It's much more interesting when the battle isn't one-sided. Still, congratulations to Novak and Serena.

Moving forward, slowly but surely.

And here's Jen.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Spring is Here?

1. So Thursday was officially the first day of spring, which is great an all, but there's another storm coming Tuesday night. It will probably only give us a dusting of snow. Probably.

But in happier news, my crocuses are blooming:

2. In other happy news, we got an estimate from a roofer for our roof repair and he expects we don't need a whole new roof but will charge a reasonable amount to fix the leak and might even be able to do it this Tuesday, before the next storm arrives. This is especially helpful since we had to have a bowl catching water in the front room closet during the rain storm last week.

3. On the recommendation of several friends, I saw Dr. Chung of the Chung Institute of Integrative Medicine on Thursday, hoping to find someone to help me with the my escalating stomach issues. He identified 3 possible problems, ordered a bunch of tests, and recommended a gluten-free diet as one part of a solution. So, good-bye chocolate covered pretzels, sour dough bread and any gluten-filled lasagna. Still, I'm consoling myself that I'd rather lose gluten than chocolate. But it will be quite a process of adaptation.

4. I have not yet been able to see the Veronica Mars movie. Somehow, the regular stuff of daily life seems more pressing. But the ladies who clean my house came Tuesday which always cheers me up.

5. My honey seems to have restored our DVR to perfection and cut the cable bill. Talk about my own personal super hero.

6. One of my friends from church shared this great list of 21 Tips to Keep Your S**t Together When You're Depressed. I think she expresses many of my own thoughts perfectly.

7. If you've never seen any of the videos from How It Should Have Ended, boy, are you missing out.

And here's Jen, although she didn't have time to write her own list this week, so this is just the aggregation of all the others.

Monday, March 17, 2014

From the Land of the Hacking Cough

1. We've all had the flu now. I have one more dose of my antibiotic; Marshall went on antibiotics on Friday since a week spent in bed did nothing to bring down his fever. And Alex spiked a fever as soon as we woke him to get ready to fly to Texas last Monday. We think Miranda had a mild version last weekend although she barely ran a fever at all. She mostly stayed in bed watching some videos on YouTube of people playing Minecraft. She doesn't actually play the game, mind you, but just watches someone else playing and narrating.

It was exciting flying from Philadelphia to Orlando to San Antonio to visit dear friends for 5 days with a feverish child. I was praying the whole week that all the germs would stay with us and no one we encountered would get sick. But we'd planned the trip for 15 months previously and the tickets were non-refundable. So we went.

And even though Alex was living from one dose of Children's Advil to the next and sleeping poorly (he and I shared a bed) for the first 3 days, we still had a lovely time.

I can't honestly say he had less anxiety on this trip (a new place, flying on airplanes without daddy, to meet new people who don't have all the right food) because of his fever or not. I've no idea. The sweet doggies certainly helped calm him.

Tiger on the left, Daisy on the right. Alex and I spent many happy moments snuggling with them. I didn't get a picture of Tiger sitting on Miranda's lap, unfortunately.

2. On the way out, in the Orlando airport:

On the way home. Our flight leaving Atlanta for Philadelphia was delayed about 45 minutes.

3. Here's Dawn and I at my wedding, June 21, 1997:

Here's our picture from Saturday morning, right before leaving for the airport. We've aged a bit, 6 kids later.

4. Tirzah is almost 4 and a complete ham.

5. This is Aaron reading Calvin & Hobbes to Miranda before bed, on Friday night. Sorry it's out of focus.

6. Dawn recently joined Jamberry as an Independent Consultant. Here are my efforts to help her out:

I like the blue nails even better than I expected.

7. Other random pictures:

Next week I hope to have a review of the Veronica Mars movie!

And here's Jen.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

I Hate Packing

1. Tomorrow the children and I fly to San Antonio, TX, to visit my best friends from college who conveniently married each other and we haven't seen each other for 8 years. I would have been all prepared to go (house clean, bags packed, etc.) if I hadn't spent the last 11 days in bed with the flu. Marshall finally sent me to the doctor yesterday morning where they gave me antibiotics and real cough syrup. So, today, I'm starting to feel like myself and am spending the whole day packing because that's all the energy I have. Hopefully, tomorrow, I will have enough adrenaline going to keep the children in tow from Philly to Orlando to San Antonio.

2. This is our first trip with just the three of us, leaving Daddy at home. I've been planning it with my college besties for 15 months. But it will be an adventure. Of course, we're flying Southwest Airlines, because they have special "get on first" boarding passes for special needs families and their flight crews are, on the whole, a lot more cheerful. I plan to throw myself on their mercy at every opportunity.

3. I don't have a packing list. I generally just work from the one in my head, which frustrates Marshall to no end because then he doesn't know what to do to help. But it would take too long to write it all down.

4. Alex has no homework for the week (I'm taking both kids out of school for the trip because we're going when San Antonio schools have their spring break) because his teacher understands that going to a new place with people he doesn't remember or has never met before without daddy there to help is plenty to do in one week. You should have seen the grocery list I emailed to my friends just to keep him afloat for the week we're away. Miranda's teacher wasn't quite so understanding and sent home a big packet. I've decided to try to do some everyday and then not worry about it. Our spring break has already been all but eaten up by snow days, anyway.

5. As I was thinking about packing snacks for the plane, I was trying to prepare myself to be calm and insistent with the TSA. I always bring cups of applesauce for the kids to take their meds with and applesauce only comes in 4 oz containers. And I usually bring some of Miranda's vanilla milk drink boxes, which are 8 ounces. I've decided I can buy Alex some juice drink boxes on the other side of security, but these things I need to take with me. Hopefully, they won't go for the strip search this time. (Not kidding. I got that coming back from San Diego in 2012 because I wouldn't give up the drink boxes and they smelled funny to the machines.) Someday, we're going to have actual security instead of security theatre, but until then, I try to be patient and keep saying the magic word, "autism."

6. Pray for us. Pray that Alex's anxiety with be replaced with interest and excitement about seeing a cool new place. And meeting two new dogs. And people, of course.

7. I'll try to post fun pictures from Texas, but we don't have a lot of plans to go places. Mostly, to just be together and play. I think Miranda will find staying in a house with 3 little girls to be the best thing ever, after Aunt Katie's pool in San Diego. I think Alex will attach himself to the daddy of the house or follow the dogs around, reading to them. And I will enjoy being with good friends.

Here's Jen.