Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Whole Fur

Is it just me or is it absolutely hilarious I just saw a woman wearing a mink coat coming out of whole foods?

Monday, February 10, 2014


Played with Bunny for an hour this afternoon after shopping. Math flash cards. Then we made flowers.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Think Before You Publish

I recently published an entry that dealt with the intricacies of marital life. It was very personal. I have removed it from public view. Unfortunately, I did so after publishing it, then sharing it on Facebook.

Not only was it personal, but I wrote about marital challenges. Initially, it seemed like something that was on my mind and something that I wanted to document to have for the future. Also, I thought that many people could relate to the challenges.

Unfortunately, what I did not consider was that I was not just writing about myself but also about my wife. Not only was I putting myself out in public, but my best friend. And, without considering how she would feel about this story being out there.

Doing this blog for seven years, I have walked the line many times between documenting my life and putting sensitive personal issues in the public eye. If I were to analyze the posts, my guess is that many would follow this format:
1. Describe a situation
2. Share my analysis of the situation
3. Consider future remedies or alternatives

The problem is in the #1. Specifically, in describing a situation. Since this is about my life as a homemaker with a wife and children, the situations are about my wife, my children, and me. Me: okay. The others: I don't have their permission. It's not like I'm blogging about sports or other public figures.

I am going to have to think hard about how this will effect my kids, or how they will view it later on. Will JD care that I talked about being austistic? Bunny about her idiosyncrasies? At the moment, they are not aware of the internet and its scope and reach.

Wife is fully aware. And perhaps that's what I have to think about - if she is sometimes frustrated with some of the things that I post (rightfully so) then perhaps Bunny and JD will be, too.

The deeper question:

Why bother posting these thoughts and feelings publicly, rather than keep a private journal?

Perhaps my format for writing should be:
1. Write entry on Google Drive or MS Word
2. Read it and decide if it is for public or private consumption
3. If needed, consult my partner

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Some People Just Don't Like the Indigo Girls

I sing to bunny almost every night at bedtime. Common songs include, Jingle Bells, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, and Fools Rush In.

A few nights ago she asked, "Daddy, will you a song you've never sang to me." 

I'm not very good at memorizing lyrics, so I used my phone to look up the lyrics to Closer To Fine. 

/I'm trying to tell you something about my life.../

She interrupted me. "Daddy, I don't like this song. Sing jingle bells."

So, I got pissed. I get mad when I put forth extra effort and the recipient says it isn't good enough. So I told her that I was upset and that I was leaving. We would try again tomorrow.

Should I have just said, "Okay, sweetie," and sang her song?

The damned flip-flopping! 

I want this, no, I want that! 

I can't stand it. It makes me crazy. Sometimes I lose my mind.

This time, I kept my cool and kept my word. No song tonight.

Was I wrong?

Didn't Get It From Me

Bunny likes her room to be clean. It's the oddest thing. She actually takes tine every day to pick up her toys. The shelves where she had stored her things are not particularly tidy, but everything is off of the floor.

And I didn't ask her to do it. Very strange behavior, indeed.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

How do we get from one-half to one-and-a-half?

Teaching JD to count by halves made me want to throw a chair through our sliding glass doors. Let me explain.

The assignment: to measure area by square inches.
The format: there were four problems. Each problem had a picture using polygons to depict an area to measure. There were squares which equaled one square inch. There were also half-squares that were either depicted as a triangle or as a rectangle. To get the answer, we counted by halves and wholes.

The problem in our case: JD did not know how to count by halves. He barely understands what a half is. I get it - a piece is a piece. Cutting a pizza or a pie apart just makes smaller whole pieces, from a certain perspective.

I drew a number line to try to help him understand how to see that halves come between the numbers he already counts:

0          1          2          3          4          5          6          7          8          9          10

We read those. Then, I put halves in between so it looked like this:

0     1/2    1      1 1/2        2       2 1/2       3      3 1/2        4       4 1/2       5      5 1/2        6      6 1/2...

He just didn't get it. The connection wasn't there. I tried so hard and so patiently. On top of trying to teach this, he's looking out the window at the snow falling under the street light in the alley. He's yawning because it's around 7pm and we had been at it for 25 minutes and were on our second problem. (There were four problems to complete.)

"Okay, JD, let's count. Is this a square or a half?"

"Half," he would say.

"That's right!" I replied enthusiastically. Using a pen, I pointed to the next one, a whole square. "How about this one? Is it a half or a whole?"

"One-and-a-half?" he guessed.


Chair through window.

Just kidding.

I don't know if it was more frustrating for him or for me, though.

And the reality is this: that's MY problem, not his. Failing to grasp the concept is not something he is actively seeking. Being autistic, he probably doesn't know why he needs to learn this. More specifically, he is apathetic to the need to learn it.

It is my false expectation that he should be able to pick this up easily. I was able to easily understand math concepts like this at his age. Projecting that ability on to him is terribly unfair. He will likely excel at many things with which I struggle in life. I need to chill out and accept that counting by halves will take a little while longer.

And, if it's so hard for him and so important to me that he learns it, I need to spend more time with him on this subject.

Or do I choose nuanced language?
Or do I work on communicating using Wh- questions?
Or do we read more books?
Or art projects?
Or physical fitness?
Or give the kid a break and let him play with his action figures because he doesn't get home until after 5pm three out of five school days?

Hey, at least teenage years will be easier!

To get the answers faster, I had him count the total number of half-squares, then find how many wholes that equaled on the number line. Then he counted the total number of whole squares. Then we found the sum. It got us through the four problems in 55 minutes. Maybe he'll be able to use that strategy on the test. Sigh.

Pulling Out All the Stops

It's a good one.

And, if this is rock bottom, I'm calling DCFS on myself.

Monday, February 3, 2014

JD is getting so tall that the difference between his jeans and wife's jeans in the laundry is no longer easily distinguishable.

Sunday, February 2, 2014