Sunday, January 30, 2011

Broadway Lights

Until recently, Broadway has contended he wants to finish high school and go into the military. Maybe try to get into special forces. JrROTC has been a BIG thing for him, and something that has kept him eagerly returning to school each weekday.

 That's Broadway in the middle.

He got signed up for Robotics by default.

Basically, there was a computer glitch when he signed up for courses at the end of his freshman year and he didn't get assigned a "bridge class." The high school classes rotate each day, and the bridge class is the one class allotted a shorter time period, but taken every day.

The class that was left over when he visited the guidance office? Robotics.

Some things are just meant to be!

Broadway has taken Robotics by storm. He has even joined the Robotics competitive team which travels to test it's robotic creations against those of other robotics teams from other schools. The robotics team brings in mentors to work with the kids on their projects, and Broadway has taken the opportunity to really talk to these folks. In formulating and planning the gears of the next robot, some gears in Broadway's head have started turning in a new direction.

On Friday Broadway came home from a late robotics work session with something he wanted to tell us. After talking at length to the mentors, Broadway has come up (all on his own) with a plan for the future. He has decided to take Physics in his junior and senior years of high school, and go directly to college upon graduation... for Nuclear Physics or Nuclear Engineering!

Broadway and The Skink discussing the inner workings of a nuclear generator?

To say I'm pleased with this new goal would be a huge understatement! Broadway is plotting out a number of possibilities for reaching his goal, including going to VA Western for a year or two to going directly to VA Tech and participating in ROTC while there. After getting a degree, he thinks he may join the Navy and work on nuclear submarines for a while. Of course that is still open, as he might just go straight into the corporate world, but his glee is evident as he talks about the possibilities his new goals will open up for him.

Yup - that works for me! And you better believe I'll do everything I can to see that he reaches his goals! And that he gets enough to eat... so we took them to IHOP for dinner  :o)

The Skink - working on a blueprint for a nuclear power converter.

Yes... I'm PROUD!


Saturday, January 29, 2011

Sunny Saturday

And while we were having so much fun in the sun outside... well - you know the old saying. "While the people are away, the cats will run Google searches for hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh... "

Is that not an old saying?? Well... whatever...  :o)


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Morning Cuteness Break

Don't you wish you could be this enthusiastic about life at 5:50 a.m.? And she doesn't even need coffee!


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Save the Hair!

She has such pretty hair, doesn't she? Unfortunately she has started chewing on it. This is part of autism. It's a self-soothing behavior often referred to as "stimming." Some children rock, some flap, some chew and some do all of those things and more. 

Iraq used to suck her thumb. It was her form of stimming, but as she grew older her peers began teasing her for her thumb sucking. (We all know how sweet and accepting children can be... LOL!) In recent months as the school work has become more involved, Iraq's hair has been paying the price. Last Thursday her bus driver, who absolutely adores her, gave her some gum. Within 30 minutes we had a large wad of gum and hair all chewed together. Thankfully I have some hair de-frizzing serum that let me work the gum out (yes - this would be about the 8th time this has happened with Iraq), but I an guarantee it took longer to get the gum out than it did to get it in!

Recent classroom observation by the special-ed staff at Iraq's school found that she is, in fact, stimming in class quite a bit.

I can't be at school to redirect her stimming, but in lieu of sending her off with a pack of gum (ie. "contraband") I have found something called "Chewelry."

I've ordered a pretty, pink heart necklace. I have very high hopes this will spare Iraq's hair from hours of noshing through the day! Not only is this great for kids in the autism spectrum, but I've heard from parents of kiddos with Down syndrome that their kids often have the urge to chew. It hasn't been a problem with The Skink, thankfully - but honestly that's not a huge surprise considering she never allowed anything at all in her mouth until she was almost 2 years old (The Skink had a G-Tube for feeding issues associated with her premature arrival).

So there you have it! We're going to give Chewelry a try.

I also recently made the mistake of putting all of Iraq's clothes back into her room - yes, after her OCD hoarding behaviors led to the wrinkling and near-destruction of much of her wardrobe, her clothes took up residence in the master bedroom for about 6+ months. Not 48 hours after putting her clothes back in her dresser did I find every single item stuffed into one of the 8 drawers! Gah!

We talked about *why* this is not good for the clothes and discussed allowing each type of clothing (pants, shirts, socks, pajamas) to have their own assigned drawer so they could be found quickly and easily.

I'm not holding my breath, but I am hoping. Honestly, we just never know what we'll find in Iraq's room... or where in her room. It's like a strange, Goth Easter egg hunt in which finding an item may bring, joy, relief, frustration or nausea. Just never know!

The Skink, who does not have autism, anxiety, OCD, kleptomania or any of her sister's other major issues, received a purse for Christmas. She loves carrying it around with a set of toy keys, sunglasses and a toy phone it it. Purses are for the little items you value, right? I suppose I shouldn't have been too terribly surprised when I found the remnants of an ice cream cone in there. *sigh*  It did give me a great giggle, though!


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Technicolor Moments

Every day is like a different color. Some are bright and some rather dull and drab. Some are so saturated with brain-numbing hues they wear you out by noon, and others are a bit easier to look at for a full 18-hour period.

Monday was a blood-red color, I'd say. It was a rough day for Iraq. Transitions are difficult in general, and transitioning from the weekend to the school week can pose some challenges. On Monday, those challenges (in order of appearance) were; getting up, getting dressed, picking a breakfast, getting caught trying to put pills in the garbage, begging to take a lunch-box lunch, getting a coat on, getting out the door...

Yup - that was the look I was awarded with when it was time to get a coat on. It crossed my mind to shove her out the door sans coat in the 20 F chill of the morning. Instead, I took another deep breath.

After school we faded from blood-red to a pulsating fuchsia. Sharing was an issue... but it pretty much always is. The Skink is doing fairly well on the sharing front. Iraq... not so much.

Today was a much nicer pink hue! We enjoyed temperatures in the 50's. Tired of hibernating in our "den" for the winter, we came out of hiding after school for some outdoor fun with scooters, running and chalk. Even the boys came out and did a bit of fix-up stuff by replacing the worn-out flag holder with a brand new one, and a new flag pole!



Who knows what color we'll get tomorrow?


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Stylish Blogger Award

Much to my surprise and delight, my blogger friend In Real Life has bestowed the wondrous "Stylish Blogger Award" upon me and my little corner of the padded room. 
First, I must tell you 7 things about myself so without any further adieu...

1. We can be quite certain that my wardrobe played no part in my earning this award! Once upon a time, I worked outside of the home and was in relatively good shape. When cleaned up for a special event, I looked a little like this:

Seven years, 2 additional kids and 100 gallons of cortisol later... not so much. Ya know - I still have that dress, but I'm not sure I could pull it much above my ankles at this point. 

2. My current wardrobe consists of jeans, sweats and in the summer, shorts. Throw in a T-shirt or two and I'm good to go.

3. If I were invited to a formal party or special occasion this coming weekend, I would have to go shopping for something "nice" to wear. 

4. My life currently revolves around my family. They don't care what I wear.

5. I'm going to get back in shape... someday...

6. My children have far nicer wardrobes than I.

7. Finally, I think this award has inspired me to create my own clothing line. I'm gonna call it "Suburban Decay - Clothes you can really let-yourself-go in!" and it will consist of raggedy sweats, baggie jeans, T-shirts stained with spaghetti sauce from little hands and mismatched  socks. There will also be a line of hair clips with some of the teeth broken out. Contact me to get on the waiting list to try my new line!

Now it's time for me to pass along this award to some far more worthy candidates! Honestly, I'd love to nominate everyone I follow, but I'm going to have to close my eyes and point to...

Stephanie from Daily Smiles
and Stacia from A New Start

All of whom are probably far more stylish than I   :o)

Monday, January 17, 2011