Sunday, April 6, 2014

Catch Up

1. I should start calling this 7 Quick Takes Sunday because that seems to be when I have the time and energy to write it.

Yesterday I took the kids across the bridge to Limerick, PA, to say good-bye to my high school friend and her husband whose company we've enjoyed for the last couple of years but who are now off to a new adventure in Colorado Springs. You see, they have a dog named Truman who Alex is very attached to.

I started talking to Alex about saying good-bye to Truman a few weeks ago and planned this trip last week. But mid-week he started telling me he didn't want to go and they needed to stay and not move away. Then I realized Alex has never had the experience of saying good-bye to anyone he doesn't have some reasonable expectation of seeing again. No one he really cared about, that is. So this was a big deal. But I knew if I didn't make him go, it would be worse later.

I have to say, my favorite scene ever on The Big Bang Theory, which I only started watching last summer, is this one:

If you live in a house with ASD, you know change is hard. Terribly, terribly hard. There are many debates about Dr. Sheldon Cooper and what classification he might have, but he gets this part perfectly right.

So, armed with food, electronic toys for the children, dog toys for the dogs, we set off for the Pennsylvania Turnpike. The drive time is only about an hour but my spoiled children thought it took forever. Alex had some anxiety getting in the car, didn't spend every possible moment in Truman's lap, and he decided after 2 hours it was time to come home. But we did go and come back without a major explosion. I'll call that a success.

2. We had a few warm days this week that allowed that poor daffodil to open almost completely. This photo is from yesterday:

3. The Phillies had their opening day in Texas with the Rangers on Monday, which they won 14-10, so it was a rather odd game. I watched the game in the evening and found it did not interest me as much as in the past. If you read my blog, you'll know that watching the Phillies games last spring helped to keep me sane, because Alex was on the verge of exploding every day, all day, for months on end. When we finally had him settled in October with new meds, a new school, and a new teacher, Marshall and I found ourselves in a state of PTSD. That probably contributed to the nasty winter we experienced; it wasn't just the weather making us blue.

If you missed it the last time I shared this link, read this blog entry now from another mother who lives a life like ours. And don't miss the comments or you'll miss the label Marshall and I use to describe our life: Ongoing Traumatic Stress Disorder.

We are blessed that right now because life is fairly calm. But the whole trip to say good-bye to our friends and their dogs yesterday was exhausting; I came home completely spent. And we are currently trying to fit into our regular medical visits a psychiatrist who is seeing all of us individually (well, kinda; I'm taking each kid to see him and staying to talk to him about them, so he gets Alex + me or Miranda + me) which is helpful, yes, but complicates everything.

I just spent 10 minutes trying to find the Animaniacs episode "De-Zanitized" on YouTube but Warner Brothers has helpfully taken it down. It's on Amazon Prime, if you need a refresher. It was definitely in the back of my mind and I traveled to and from Dr. Ayala's office a week ago Friday for my own appointment and this last Friday for Alex's.

4. If you don't follow me on Goodreads, my new favorite authors are Julie James and Jill Shalvis. I have only two more books of James' that I haven't read yet, one of which comes out next month, which is disappointing because they are a great deal of fun. Shalvis has helpfully written 12 stories in her Lucky Harbor series and I've only read 4 so far, so hopefully that will keep me busy for a while. I also read Anne Gracie's new book Winter Bride this week and loved it. Waiting for me on my desk is Kristan Higgins' Waiting for You, which has only been out for a week or two, which is book 3 of her Blue Heron series that is excellent. I spent the winter reading everything Higgins had ever published and while I don't love every one of her books, they are all worth reading. I did give up on the Julie Garwood contemporary series that started with Heartbreaker. I read about 80 pages of Mercy and decided I didn't want to finish it. She spent too much time with the villains and not enough with her hero and heroine and that kind of story does not interest me.

5. Captain America: The Winter Soldier opened on Friday and I realized when I glanced at the reviews that, in order to make everything work out in the right order, we would need to finally watch Thor: The Dark World and then catch up on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which we stopped watching the week that the new Thor film came out because it referenced the movie and I didn't want to experience any spoilers, before we went to see Cappy's new adventure. So, last night we watched Thor and, as usual, Tom Hiddleston as Loki is my absolute favorite part of movie. He's just ... perfect. Maybe we can get through 9 episodes of S.H.I.E.L.D. before next weekend when we might talk the grandparents' into babysitting.

Rio 2 comes out next weekend and my mother and I have decided to see it together since the children refuse to go with us. Yet another annoying ASD aspect: they're just not into movie theatres. Too dark, no way to stop the film if it's scary, no snacks, no bathroom breaks. Well, I can see their point.

6. What with baseball and Thor this week, I had more time to stitch. Here's the progress pic:

7. My gluten free adventure continues. I tried my impossible to ruin pork pot pie recipe on Wednesday night with a gluten free pie pastry and corn starch as a gravy thickener instead of flour and it failed horribly. Mostly inedible. But what was constant stomach discomfort 3 weeks ago has subsided into an occasional thing and I'm able to eat fruit and vegetables again, which I haven't regularly in months, so it's not all bad. But I'm still figuring out my way.

And here's Jen. Her new book is coming out soon and looks fascinating.

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