31 03 2011

The forsythia bloometh!

Meanwhile, I am crazily running around trying to ensure I have all the essentials for our trip to Idaho for SPRING BREAK!

{Conversation with myself:

Me: Wendy, you don’t really need to clean the shelves of the refrigerator right now.

Other Me that Me is talking to: But it would be so nice to come home to a shiny refrigerator!

Me: It’s more essential right now for you to pack clothes for your children. Trust me on this one.

Other Me: But—[glancing longingly at the dried yogurt stain that somehow ended up on the bottom side of the shelf] but—

Me [exasperated now]: Wen-dy.

Other Me: Okay. [softly and wonderingly to herself] Why is it I never want to clean when I have time, but always want to clean when I don’t?

Me: [muttering] Yeah. I wonder.

End conversation with myself. For now.}

And, yes, I’m well aware that there’s still snow in Idaho. My new mantra is “We’re not going for the weather, we’re going for the people!”


The Comfuter

28 03 2011

Colby showed me this yesterday.

“A comfuter,” he said.

This is exciting to me for a couple of different reasons. With autism, the imagination switch is broken. Concrete thought is the name of the game. As kids with autism learn how to communicate, they often have a hard time with expressions like, “We’re on a roll!” That sort of thing doesn’t make sense because they take everything literally.

Pretend play is a big step, then, for my little redhead. He didn’t cross the threshold and actually play with this pretend computer (I can almost hear his thoughts: “Why would I play with that? It’s not actually a computer, Mom. [Insert eyeroll in a few years.] It doesn’t work.”) Still, I’m happy he at least took something and pretended to turn it into something else.

The second pleasing thing is that he showed me what he had made. That sort of sharing, the look-what-I-did-Mom, isn’t a typical response for him. He’s learning, though, and we’re both enjoying it.

Something else for you to enjoy:

Growing up, the top of our Battleship box had a girl and a boy playing. There was a line coming from one that said, “B-6.” And a line coming from the other that said, “Hit! You sunk my Battleship!”

I don’t know if my version pre- or post-dates that (I got it at Goodwill), but I do find it interesting that the boys dressed up in naval apparel to play.

(Apologies if you actually did that as a child. I’m not really making fun of you, I’m just . . . well, okay. Yes, I am making fun of you.)

It’s About Time

27 03 2011

(Cross-posted to ANWA Founder and Friends)

I am not an avid 60 Minutes watcher, but I will admit to hearing that dang stopwatch in my head whenever I am pressed for time.

Tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock

Bus is coming in ten minutes. Lunches? Check. Coats? Check. Shoes? Rats, where are your shoes, Zack? Hurry! The bus is going to be here!

The sink backs up. The toilet overflows. Approximately 8,000 Legos are on the floor. My visiting teachers are coming in five minutes. Hurry! Clean it up!

The alarm goes off. I hit the snooze button. The alarm goes off again. That wasn’t nine minutes! I look at the clock. Hurry! Time to get the kids up!

Yesterday, one of my friends on Facebook posed a question about alarm clocks in heaven. He was pretty sure there would be lots of them in hell.

I’ve been thinking on the subject of ‘time’ for a couple of weeks now. I had been studying section 88 in the Doctrine and Covenants (which I have read many times since it’s one of my favorite sections) at the part where it talks about the signs of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ and the Millenium. I came across verse 110: “And so on, until the seventh angel shall sound his trump; and he shall stand forth upon the land and upon the sea, and swear in the name of him who sitteth upon the throne, that there shall be time no longer; and Satan shall be bound, that old serpent, who is called the devil, and shall not be loosed for the space of a thousand years.”

I finished and thought, “Whoa. Wait a minute. Time no longer? Why haven’t I ever noticed that before?”

In cross-referencing, I found this in Alma 40:8. “Now whether there is more than one time appointed for men to rise it mattereth not; for all do not die at once, and this mattereth not; all is as one day with God, and time only is measured unto men.”

I’ve felt those phrases turning in my brain: time no longer and time is only measured unto men. For some reason, I thought about flying kites.

My kids and I love to fly kites. I remember this day in particular, about a year ago, where we went to the park near our neighborhood on one of the first sunny days of the year and flew this shark kite.

I remember stopping the fun, packing it in, because we had to be somewhere.

And as I thought about time and what it meant for time to be no longer, I realized that children are much better at forgetting time than adults. My kids would have flown kites for hours if I had let them.

Yes, someone needs to be responsible. Yes, for right now time is here and is an integral part of life.



Too often I find myself allowing time to rob me of the joy of the moment. I’m not enjoying the kite flying, I’m checking my watch and thinking, “Ten more minutes. Ten more minutes and then I’ll give the five minute warning, five minutes to pack up, five minutes to drive home, that will leave 1/2 hour to get dinner ready before we eat and go to . . . ”

I have vowed to myself to stop doing that. (It’s one of those easier-said-than-done things, I’m sure.)

But re-reading this talk helps.

Excuse me now, while I go ponder the mysteries of the space-time continuum . . . I won’t let time get away with me to the point of being late for church. Honest.

What is this thing called Spring?

24 03 2011

Spring is going to a park and contemplating its delights like a starving man at a Chuck-o-Rama.

Spring is practicing jumping off of rocks.

Spring is closing one eye because your mom is doing the same thing with her camera that is suddenly in your face while you’re trying to play.

Spring is bright green grass and bright orange hair (pretend that grass isn’t fake).

Spring is thoroughly investigating the merry-go-round . . .

. . . and even cautiously experimenting with it.

And spring is running,



Spring is sunshine on our faces after a long, dark winter.

Thank you, spring. You’re welcome anytime.

(Like today. Seriously, rain. Come again another day.)

Why Was 6 Afraid of 7?

21 03 2011



Answer compliments of Colby and his Jenga blocks.

Get Your Green On

17 03 2011

Last night, Rainbow said, “Mom, why don’t I have any green underwear?” She then pulled down her Tinkerbell pajama pants to show me her green Little Mermaid underwear.

“Uh . . . ”

“I want it to be all  green.”

She let the elastic snap back up then turned to go to her room. “And don’t put my pajamas in the dirty clothes in the morning. I want to be green all morning and  all night.”

Yes, ma’am.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!


16 03 2011

Remember that teeny tiny baby in my last post? This is him today–or Monday, if you want to get technical:

Still a bundle of cuteness, albeit a bundle of cuteness in a spica cast due to a femur fracture. Poor guy.

The cousin trip was a complete success, and Kathleen and I vowed to do it more often. As usual I was too busy visiting to take many pictures, so you’ll have to imagine the Wii-playing, hamster-wrangling, track-building, bean-shifting, crazy-string-shooting, angry-bird-making good time we had.

Oh, but I’ve still got the angry birds, so I can take a photo.

Just kidding–Eden took them to school.


Come back later and I’ll update.


14 03 2011

Here’s Kathleen in April 2009 with a days-old Ian. I love this picture.

My kids have a day off of school for inservice, so as soon as Colby’s therapy appointments are finished we are taking a day trip to see our cousins!

Technically Kathleen is my first cousin, so I’m not quite sure what that makes our kids to each other. Second cousins? Third cousins? I don’t know. But we LOVE it that they only live an hour away. The kids don’t even really know each other, but as soon as they all get together it’s like one big party.

Cousin connection? Or just being a kid?

Either way, we are excited. It’s going to be a super awesome day.

Ze Hair

11 03 2011

This post is mostly for my mom’s viewing pleasure.

I am kind of a flunky when it comes to my kids’ appearances. I let them pick any clothes they want (and it often shows) and I let my daughters cry off of the daily hair brushing because I just don’t have it in me to win that battle. I figure they’ll eventually realize, “Hey! My hair looks a lot better when I brush it!”

That’s probably the wrong attitude and definitely something I need to do better.

Another thing I don’t push too hard is Zack’s hair. I’ll offer to cut it when I think it’s getting too shaggy. He generally declines my offer. Frankly, we have enough tension between us about other issues that the hair becomes a non-issue.

I mentioned on the family chat last week that he finally condescended to let me give him a trim. I said, “He hasn’t let me cut it since we in Idaho last summer.” That was almost seven months ago. A clamoring for pictures was raised. I haven’t gotten one of the after, but I did find this one of before.

Incredibly handsome, even with the flowing locks.

The problem with cutting your hair when it’s been so long is the attention. Zack doesn’t mind attention, but the kind of attention when people say, “Hey, Zack! You cut your hair! It looks great!” is not the kind he likes. I did mention if he would allow his hair to be cut more often, people wouldn’t make such a big deal out of it. I’ll let you know in a month if he was convinced.

Autistic Tendencies

9 03 2011

I haven’t talked to any other parents of autistic children about this, but I found it interesting after Colby was first diagnosed that, in all the reading I was suddenly doing, I could see so many things about my other kids that pointed toward autism. Even more interesting is when I would find a habit I identified within myself. It became an exercise in, “Oh, that’s where he gets it.”

I can not for the life of me figure out where I was going with that.

The whole point of this post was to show off Colby’s tendency towards atypical play.

I find things like this around the house all the time. Put into straight lines (lions). He seems to particularly like things standing up.

I love this one. Jenga was the best present ever (thanks, Mike and Sandi!) even though we’ve never actually played the game.

 I don’t even bother putting it away anymore because he finds it within three minutes and dumps it out again.

After he’s done with his build, he gets close–reeeally close–and looks at it. Often he’ll move his head back and forth past one particular spot, getting something about it engrained under that gorgeous hair.

Maybe he’ll be an engineer someday. Or maybe not. It doesn’t really matter. Right now, I love that he has something he loves to do–as mystifying as it may be to me.

I love this picture. I love this boy.