Saturday, December 1, 2012

I'm Back

I know it's been ages since I've posted.  Sometimes I don't have much to say, and sometimes I have too much on my mind to focus on any one thing and make a coherent post.  If you're still following me, thank you - I'll try to catch you up a little on what's been happening in my corner of the world.

A double rainbow behind our house in late October - 
it was magnificent and spanned the whole sky.

The kids are back to school, and doing pretty well.  Princess Yakyak (who has requested that I not call her that any more, so I'm changing her blog nickname to simply Princess) and Safety Guy (who still merits every bit of that nickname) are doing pretty well.  It hasn't been perfectly smooth sailing for SG, but it's still a little better than last year.  Both kids have awesome teachers, and I am so very glad.  Princess is in an inclusion classroom (mixed regular and special needs students) with two teachers (regular and special ed), and she's doing great. Safety Guy has the same resource teacher I subbed for long term last year, and she's amazing too.

Safety Guy still struggles with the same anxieties and stress triggers.  He has many of the same annoying classmates as the last two years, but he's not lily-white and innocent of provoking either.  It's a constant battle to help him monitor his own behavior and own his own actions while not letting the other students pick at him till he explodes.  He's comfortable enough with his new teacher to relax with her, but also to yell at her - not a happy thing, and he's discovered that consequences do indeed come down in 8th grade.  Still, it's better than last year.  I keep telling myself that, and him too:  it's still better, and getting better as time goes on.  I can't wait for 9th grade, however, when he's likely to be split off more from this core group of students he has most classes with.  His counseling group was mixed up and he's no longer with the student who annoys him most (because they're the most alike), so that helps.

Safety Guy and his Boy Scout troop participated in an emergency drill 
with local fire stations, ambulance crews and police.  
His troop were the "victims" of a bus accident.

Speaking of counseling, Safety Guy now sees a psychologist who specializes in youth/teens with Aspergers and other autism spectrum disorders.  I can't tell you how blessed we are to have Mr. R. working with us!  Most of the time SG sees him alone, but when there's a crisis we have a family meeting to address the issues.   The biweekly sessions give SG someone safe outside the family and the school to talk with.

Princess has had a great fall.  She's continuing her horseback riding lessons, and has joined 4-H with the other girls from her riding instructor's stable.  She also won a local writing contest, taking first place in the 10 and Under Short Story category.  (Short is relative, and she's definitely my daughter:  her story was 20 handwritten pages.)  She went to the award ceremony, won a $25 cash prize, and got her picture in the paper with the other winners.  Way to go, Princess!

Princess made her first pie (pumpkin) this fall with my help.  
Oooh, it was so good!

My art pursuits have gone in fits and spurts.  I spent a lot of the fall making teddy bears and teddy bear Christmas ornaments.  I've sold a handful, and used some as gifts.  I just haven't had the urge to draw or paint.  I have been very busy subbing, almost every day, and prebooked most days.  A number of teachers have been out (maternity leave, illness, surgery, personal issues - all sorts of troubles), and subs are in short supply in our district.  Good for me, but hectic.  Some days I stay in one place; some days I get moved around.  The worst day I was in 7 classrooms in two adjacent schools - what a marathon.  And of course at the beginning of the school year the only way to figure out which classes to avoid was to sub in them at least once.  But I'm grateful for the steady work, which will allow us to have a relaxed Christmas, and take care of a few extra needs and wants this year.

Bad Cat in a sunbeam.  So comfortable, so warm, so fuzzy.

The garden is tucked in for the winter, which I hope will provide adequate snow cover, unlike last year.  I planted spring-blooming bulbs like a squirrel burying nuts; dozens and dozens of daffodils, tulips, grape hyacinths, crocuses, regular hyacinths, and irises (which technically aren't bulbs at all, but rhizomes).  I can't wait for spring blooms!  In the meantime, I'm saving milk jugs for winter sowing, and planning what I'd like to plant as the seed and plant catalogs roll in.

Sophia with a new cat toy, on my lap, 
a couple weeks before her death.

On a sad note, we had to have our cat Sophia put to sleep last month, which was terribly sad for all of us.  It's so hard to let go of a beloved pet, even when it's best for them.  Sixteen wonderful years with my fluffy cat; I miss her so much.

I'm going to try to get back to blogging a few times each week.  Sometimes I'll have recipes, sometimes I'll talk about the kids, sometimes it might be autism-related posts, sometimes gardening stuff.  I still don't want to focus on one specific topic to the exclusion of others.  Please bear with me, friends, as I share bits of my life with you.

Safety Guy with his baby cousin at Thanksgiving.  Soooo cute!
SG spent most of the day watching his 3 year old cousin; 
the two of them ran each other into the ground.  
Upstairs, downstairs, all around the yard and the house, nonstop.
SG was so good to keep little M. occupied so his aunt and uncle
could have some time kid-free on the holiday.