Monday, December 31, 2012

Top 10 List for 2012

This probably won’t really be in order of importance, but rather just a top 10. Even though I am not a Dave Letterman fan, I will do it in reverse.

10. Lavender and Blue going on their first boat ride

9. Braeden having his first job and being there to see how incredibly well he did at it – he worked as a cooking counselor at Cub Scout Camp

8. Braeden graduating from Riley and starting high school at Lincoln Academy (and winning first place at the Science Fair at LA)

7. Seeing Thane try a bunch of new things – Tubing, paddling a kayak, pedaling a boat

6. Taking a short autumn vacation in Harrington

5. Thane moving into a new bedroom

4. Finally giving in and getting a snowmobile. I have wanted one since we moved here. We actually got one years ago that never ran for us. We pick up the new used one on January 2, 2013 but it is still a great way to end the year!

3. Braeden as Judas in Godspell

2. Getting a summer house on Damariscotta Lake . . . we celebrated out 25th wedding anniversary shortly after the purchase and considered our silvered cabin to our silver anniversary gift to each other.

1. Seeing how much both of my boys have matured this year – They have both grown up so much in the past 12 months, it is truly amazing and wonderful

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Gluten-Free Sites and Blogs

Gluten-Free Listservs:
SillyYaks Listserv

Gluten-Free Recipe Blogs & Pinterest:
I have some recipes on my Pinterest
Gluten-Free Goddess blog or Pinterest
Gluten-Free Girl blog
Gluten-Free Diva blog or Pinterest
Gluten-Free Mommy blog
The GFCF Experience blog
GFCF Recipes blog
Book of Yum blog
Cooking Gluten Free blog

Other Sites for Gluten-Free Recipes:
Simply Gluten Free All Recipes About Gluten-Free Cooking
Food Network

There is really a lot out there, so this is just a sampling. One thing I think it is important to remember for those just starting to go gluten free is that it isn't about what you can no longer have, but rather how to make it it gluten free.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Thane, just a few days after his 9th birthday, wrote this letter to Santa Claus. It is definitely one of those things that makes a mom say "Aw! Isn't he cute?"

It was not only cute, it was surprising. Thane has Asperger's so I don't tend to imagine him wishing to do something for some unknown, ambiguous person in South America. I am also really proud of him that he messed some stuff up and was able to deal with it. OK, I also love that the paper is upside down because that just seems so much like my child.

It also made me remember when Braeden was about the same age. A teacher at his school suffered a significant property loss from a micro-burst (similar to a tornado) and there was a spaghetti supper at his school. Since Thane is gluten-free, we couldn't go to the supper, but Braeden decided to give his savings to the fund. He wrote a very sweet letter and packaged up his $71 and I don't think that teacher will ever forget. It brought tears to her eyes. A couple of years later, Braeden was saving for a large army set that was $250. He finally got to that amount when he decided to give it to a school in South America. His reason was because he felt bad for these kids having no parents, so he wanted to at least make the school better.

I think I have a couple of really great kids.

Friday, October 05, 2012

A Little Birdie

Moments when I should biff myself in the head . . . 

Me: “A little birdie told me . . . 

Thane: “What kind of bird?”
Me: “It's an expression . . . someone told me that you won a prize a today.”
Thane: “But how can a bird talk?”
<Biff myself> “When I said birdie, I really meant a person told me.”
Thane: “What?”
Me: “That you got a prize!”
Thane: “I did? What is it?”
Me: “I don't know! I was just told you answered the morning question.”

Thane: “That's right! I remembered where the first miniature golf course was created.”
Me: “Really? Where was that?”
Thane: “New York City. Now you will know when they ask again next October, so don't forget.”

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Teasing vs. Bullying

Today I am pondering when teasing becomes bullying . . . I think it may be a more difficult question when the child being teased has disabilities. I’m also not sure if I am more or less reactive to it because my child has disabilities.

I feel like Thane doesn’t fully realize he is being teased. On some level, I am really thankful for that. Growing up as the “Ugly, fat and stupid” one in my family, I think being oblivious to other children mocking you might be a blessing of some sort. I bet someone, somewhere will say something hateful about that statement, but sometimes how a person feels just is . . . and I feel like it would be nice not to be hurt, even if that comes from not understanding.

I talked to Thane and he definitely feels he doesn’t get along with this child and he is hyper-focused on an incident that took place a couple of weeks ago with LEGOs. I get the impression that this child sees Thane’s vulnerabilities and uses them to his own advantage. That really hurts me. I also understand that he mocks Thane’s gestures – Thane does some hand-flapping (which is something I do not consider to be within his control), is prone to stomping or slamming things if he is frustrated, and he does some visual stims. To me, mocking these actions is bullying because it targets things directly related to his disabilities.

From what I understand, this behavior is also impacting others in the classroom – particularly a couple of girls who have taken it upon themselves to either stand up for my son, or console him. While I am totally thankful that there are young people stepping in, I have to say that it concerns me that while it is obviously and opportunity for them to nurture and grow, it is also a sense of innocence lost because they have to witness an autistic child being teased. Moreover they have seen some behaviors and reported them to teachers and felt that their concerns were ignored. What kind of message is that? Is it that it doesn’t matter if a child is teased? Or maybe that it doesn’t matter if a child who doesn’t really get it is mocked?

Deep down I know that most likely there is something at home that makes this child behave negatively toward mine, and I think there is a limit to what schools can do – unless you have someone watching everything every single child is doing every second, you cannot see nor address every infraction that occurs. This is where the full beauty of homeschooling comes in I guess because you can control the environment so much more, but with a child with autism I feel like at least while he is little he needs to try to assimilate. In general, I have felt that the children in his grade are so much more exposed to autism than most of society that these wonderful little sponges have learned to be exceptionally understanding and supporting peers. But I guess there is usually at least one bad seed.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Update in September

It's been awhile since I have posted . . . I think it is time for me to get back into the swing of things and keeping this updated. For now I will just do a quick update.

Braeden has started high school at Lincoln Academy. It is a huge transition, but I am rather impressed with how well he is doing. He is much more concerned about his grades than I ever was, even though I always figured I would go to law school (I dropped out after a year). He is taking all the usual classes plus joined in the International Club and is participating in the fall musical, Godspell, as John the Baptist and Judas. He has matured a ton over the past year or so and is really a very good teen.

Thane is now in 3rd grade and is still a special education student with Asperger's Disorder and newly diagnosed Anxiety Disorder-NOS (Not Otherwise Specified). He is a curious position of belong somewhere between what they call "life skills" here and the "resource room" which is more for children with learning disabilities as opposed to a pervasive developmental disorder. Thane is very smart, a bit like Sheldon Cooper from television's "Big Bang Theory." His road-blocks to learning are definitely related to his autism, such as lack of flexibility in writing, and his anxiety. Odd as it sounds, I am glad he actually has an anxiety diagnosis now as I think it is the primary obstacle he faces.