Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Talking Points

The sky is darkening and the wind is picking up - a storm is brewing. I love nights like this!

Well, I'm a wee bit stressed this week. We are going camping this weekend in western Iowa with Paul's sister and family. Now, I was alerted that this particular campground still does not have working showers. I called them today and the lady told me they are still hoping to have them up and running by this weekend. So I'm not sure just what I'm going to do if we get there and discover they have no showers. I am a twice a day bather - pretty sure it would kill me to not be able to continue this.

And going camping is an ordeal. Packing to go anywhere with a large family is an ordeal. But on top of clothing and necessities I also have to pack everything for cooking and sleeping and etc. And, since we have a fold down camper, they all have to fit in a very tiny space. I'm tired just thinking about it!

And then Paul mentions last night that his parents are coming this Thursday and Friday! Ack! They're coming to help with the basement project, for which I'm grateful. That has been stressing Paul out like crazy. Sat. he came into the house shaking and told me felt nauseous and when the fan blew on him he had the chills - sounds like heatstroke to me. He was using a pickax on 160 year old dirt that was like concrete. So now it's my turn to be stressed. On top of getting ready for this trip, I have to cook extra meals and clean the house. But at least they are sleeping elsewhere.

And Sam has just been really difficult lately. I just started doing time-out with him Sunday. And I'm not a big time-out fan. I've always pretty much viewed it as a cop-out punishment for parents who are afraid to spank their children. But when you're faced by a defiant two year old who pretty much has the attitude, "Go ahead and spank me - see if I care!" you kind of start to re-evaluate previously held convictions! Sam is, without a doubt, very strong willed. I'm still in shock because he was such an easy going baby. But anyway, he's been in time-out an awful lot this week! I'll tell him to apologize for whatever and he juts out his lip and says, "No! I don't want to!" After sitting in time-out for awhile, then he's usually more amenable to offering up a "Sowwy." But I haven't seen that it's changing his behavior yet. He's still hitting his brothers and calling everybody "poopyhead."

Last week he took a table knife to my new cupboards. We also discovered that one has big scribbles on it done by an ink pen. He also put the kitty in the refrigerator. I am really, really seeing the wisdom of having children in one's twenties...

Ben shocked me last week. He has long had an aversion to chocolate, with the exceptions of oreo cookies and tootsie rolls. So I'm always careful to plan equal numbers of chocolate and non-chocolate desserts in my menu planning. I always make sure we have some fig newtons so that he has something to snack on if all we have is chocolate goodies. So, I was eating a Hershey bar while driving (an older gentleman at church knows of my chocolate obsession and keeps me supplied - he's always slipping me king sized chocolate bars - bless his heart!) and Ben pipes up, "Hand me some of that, won't you, Mom?" I was so surprised! But I gave him half the candy bar and he actually ate it! He told me, "I like some chocolate Mom!"

Ben had a rough day last Friday. It started Thursday night when he got into a crying jag. He is very sensitive to music - has always loved it. But there are some songs that upset him. For whatever reason, he snuck this cd out of the cupboard and went and listened to it. It's a lullaby cd of hymns and the first time he ever heard it - about 2 yrs ago - it set him off. He literally cried all night long that time. Well, he came down the stairs bawling about 7:30 on Thurs. night and I soon got the story that he had listened to this cd. The back story too, is that this has to do with autism and fatigue. It's getting better as he gets older but when Ben gets overly tired he wails...and wails...and wails. Then he cries because he can't stop. It's awful. And being tired was to be expected, I guess - his first week of school and all. Still, I was irritated. He was up several times in the night crying and he bawled all the way to school. I didn't know if I should take him or not. I finally did. I explained the situation to his aide who is always waiting at the door for him. I told her if she couldn't jolly him out of it then to call me and I'd come get him. I never got a phone call all day. Later, I discovered a message on my phone (but it hadn't rang - weird) from his teacher and for some reason, I could barely hear him. But from what I could make out, he was saying that they had managed to calm Ben down. So, anyway, he made the whole day and never cried again. I was so amazed!

I got a note today saying that they started having Ben work on some of the school's recycling. They must do that with some of their sp. ed students. Anyway, that's good - he'll learn about organizing and sorting by category. I'm not so impressed with the whole environmental aspect of it, but if they want him to do it, that's fine.

This is what I AM excited about, though: Ben is going to have private vocal lessons through the school! He's also in the choir. Ben loves to sing. Unfortunately, he has very flat, off-key, voice. So the enthusiasm for his singing is pretty much one-sided - his. I don't know if he can be taught to carry a tune. But all we can do is try. And his voice is still changing, too. In a couple of years, it may be easier. Or we'll teach him to lip-sync. Oh, that reminds me. Paul pulled Will into church choir this year. Will is not really happy about that. But it's just for one year. If he totally hates it, he doesn't have to do it after this year. David has already emphatically stated that he will not be doing the same. I guess he'll see! Poor Will - forced to take a writing class he doesn't want to (he gets in the van yesterday - I ask, "So how was your class?" "Boring" was his terse response. "Like usual." Ok, then!) and now choir, too! I doubt he'll recall his sophomore year with much fondness...

I found a new author this summer that I really like. I'd like her better if she was a Christian author. But she's not. However, her books are pretty decent. I like them because they're deep but also full of action and suspense. Her name is Julie Kenner. I loved her "Demon" series (sounds worse than it is). Now I'm on her "Givenchy Code" series - reading them backwards, but that's ok. Except, I already know the heroine of my current novel dies, which is too bad, because I'm starting to like her.

Well, I AM going to get a new phone. But since the account is in Paul's name, he has to be with me when I do. Bummer. So I don't know how soon that will happen. But for now they gave me a new battery. They said my old battery is corroded and must have got wet. I bet that happened one of the dozen times this summer that I forgot to close my water bottle and I soaked my purse. Makes me mad how I always do that. All I have to remember to do is to punch the little button on top the bottle and then nothing can get out. But I just throw it in my purse until water starts dripping out the bottom.

Better start picking up the house and getting ready for tomorrow morning. I've got so much on my to-do list for tomorrow, it isn't even funny. And I am going to give an hour or so to my neighbors and go visit them. I had planned to do that today but when I called, they were at Walmart. So, I'll squeeze it in tomorrow. I really don't think I'll be getting a FW story in this week. That's the way it goes. I had an idea floating around in my head but it really hadn't gelled yet. So I guess I'll use it some other time. I'll be back!

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