Olivia and I had an interesting morning at the library.

I am no longer parking in the metered library lot and adjoining metered streets.  (Take that, Parking Nazi!)  We are parking a couple of blocks away, where there are no meters so that we can just enjoy our time at the library and not have to keep strict tabs on our time.  Now instead of just getting movies and books, we are coloring and playing with the library toys and puppets.  (And taking our sweet time doing so.)

This morning when we were wrapping up our visit, a preschool-aged boy and his uncle came into the very empty Children’s section.  The uncle told the boy that he needed to get something from the car, that the boy should stay in the “play area,” and that if he had any questions he should talk to the librarians sitting at the desk on the other side of the section. 

I watched this boy.  He seemed so alone.  He asked for some trucks to play with on the “street rug.”  I helped him find them on the shelf.  Then he just wanted to talk and be by us, so I didn’t feel like we could leave.  And Olivia, who is normally extremely shy at the library, hiding behind me or hanging her head any time someone tries to talk with her, just started immediately playing with this boy.  (After watching and talking with him for a few minutes, I am pretty sure that he is on the autism spectrum somewhere — running an ever-familiar circle around me as we talked, repeating questions asked, etc.)  I was amazed just watching them play together.  They seemed to understand each other without having to say many words.  Laughter was their dominating communication.  So, we just could NOT leave. 

After being gone for quite some time, the uncle came back.  We left then.  I think with a new friend.


So, Olivia and I made our weekly trek to the library this morning.  After getting halfway there and realizing that I had left our book bag sitting on a shelf in the garage (sigh) that we went back and picked-up (because what good is it to go to the library when you don’t have the items that are due??), we found a spot in the library parking lot. 

Now, our library lot is metered (except for a  row of 15-minute free spaces) and the streets surrounding the library are also metered.  So, I put my coins in (thankful that I actually had some along), checked my watch, and dashed into the library with the clock ticking. 

Olivia and I returned our current books and movies and headed for the Children’s section.  We picked out new movies and books, colored, and played with some magnetic letters as I was keep track of the time (without trying to rush her too much).  When we had a couple of minutes before our time expired, we found a very slow moving line at the checkout.  We finished checking out right around the time that our meter expired.  OK, hurry, but no.  Potty Emergency!  Livs had to go, and when she has to go, she has to go NOW!  Into the bathroom we go.  Relief she received.

A few minutes later, we were headed out to the car.  I helped Olivia into her carseat and then saw the ticket on the windshield.  Really???  Because we stopped to use the bathroom???  Not cool!  😦  We had been ticketed by the Parking Nazi.

The Parking Nazi — the overly zealous parking attendant of our town.  He seems to take great pride in issuing tickets in the downtown area.  I have seen him before looking like he is smiling while sliding the tickets into the wiper blades.  I have been told that he will come into a lot, write down the times of when the meters expire, and come back at that time to issue tickets.  True?  I don’t know.  But this dude does write a lot of tickets.

Anyway, I was pretty frustrated with the whole ticket thing.  I was reading the back of my “parking citation” and found a number to call to contest it.  Why not?  The worst thing they could do is to tell me to just suck it up and pay for the stupid ticket, right?  So, I called the toll-free number, and waited for a customer service rep, who gave me a local number to call to contest.  OK.  I called that number.  No one answered.  I called again and got a machine (which sounded like a personal message, not a business one).  I’m persistent so I continued to call again and again and again.  (Even left a message once.)  Then, my gut was telling me, something was not right about this number that I had trying, so I called the toll-free number again.  They told me that I’d have to contact a local office and gave me a number.  A different number.  Sigh.  So, I called that number.  Yes, this was a county office, but they were out for the rest of the day.  Sigh.  I guess I’ll be back at it tomorrow morning.  😉  (Because I really have a bunch of other things that I’d rather spend $10 on!!!)  (Oh, and SO sorry to the random lady I was calling all afternoon!!!)

I think next week, when it’s library day, I’m going to hunt down a parking spot a few blocks away on a side street without metered parking.  Ha ha, Parking Nazi, take that!!! 😉

UPDATE — Big surprise, I ended up paying the ticket.  I was told that they don’t care if you are walking across the parking lot when the ticket is written, if you’re late, you’re late even if it’s only 30 seconds.  Sigh.

This post is a bit overdue, but I’m going to blame my tardiness on lack of sleep and the continuing recovery process of the sinus infection.  (That and Latte Land, but LL probably deserves a whole ‘nother post.)

Major Firsts…

  • Both kids attended Sunday School for the first time!  Yay!  They are in the same classroom.  That’s fine.  Olivia was very clingy, though, because I was in there acting as Christian’s “assistant” and Olivia gets SUPER shy anytime we are away from home and she is asked to interact with other people.  Sigh.  I’m hoping as the weeks progress that she will become a bit more independent (like she TOTALLY is at home).  It was also VERY clearly reinforced to me why every Sunday we sit in our church’s “Child Training Room.”  Sunday School had an opening devotion in the church proper.  Christian was COMPLETELY overwhelmed.  (My guess is the number of people, the openness of the sanctuary, the colors, the brightness, the acoustics, etc.)  After we wrestled through the devotion and settled into the classroom, he was fine.  I am EXTREMELY thankful that next week we will start directly in the classrooms.  Whew!
  • The kindergarteners (2 other besides C) in Christian’s special ed classroom started attending a “regular ed” kindergarten classroom for 45 minutes every morning as of Monday.  I’m happy to report that Christian did GREAT!!   He even then went with the K-class to music for another 1/2 hour!  🙂  I’m so excited for him!  I guess that Monday is also library day at school and Christian went and checked out a book.  More excitement from me as we have NOT been successful at the public library.  (Perhaps too big, too bright, too many people, and just too much going on???)  But I’m really excited about how well school is going so far!  🙂 🙂 🙂
  • Also after school while Christian was receiving therapy, he came up to the kitchen looking for food and while I was making his beloved toast, he said, “I tired.”  THE FIRST TIME EVER IN HIS LIFE THAT HE HAS SAID THAT!!!  Cartwheels around! 🙂  (Well, mental ones, anyway.  Not sure that I could pull off actual cartwheels anymore!) 😉
  • For almost THREE months now, Christian has refused to go to the bathroom with anyone but me.  (Yes, this even includes Brian.)  Thankfully, he broke that habit at school (with the help of a social story), but I am still the only one who has been able to take him at home (or out in public).  Since the social story seemed to help the transition at school, Sunday afternoon I sat down and tweaked the one that we had for home.  (That stated, “When I go potty at home then I am a big boy and MOMMY is happy.”)  So I changed the story to include Daddy, Grandparents (on both sides), and EVERY single one of his therapists with everyone’s pictures.  Monday night, he allowed Brian to be in the bathroom with him while I helped.  That’s a BIG step.  I was happy.  But then yesterday afternoon, he let his therapist, AB, take his hand, walk into the bathroom, and HE WENT FOR HER!!!  His senior therapist, AZ, and I were listening intently in the kitchen and were silent cheering as we hear the stream start!  HURRAY!  I was (mentally) doing the running man and cabbage patch!  SO EXCITED!!!  Christian was heavy rewarded with a cupcake!  SO, SO HAPPY!!!  I pray that it will transfer on to other people now as well!  🙂

So, this isn’t a first, but a funny Olivia-ism story…

I had an underwire on a bra break recently, so I got a new one.  Yesterday morning after getting dressed and getting everything prepared to take Olivia for a walk in the woods, she walks over, peeks up my shirt, and says, “Mommy, where’d you get that boobie-holder?  I never see THAT before.”  Sigh.  Out of the mouths of babes.  😉

And sleep, well, it had been going terrifically, but we have had 3 nights in the last week where sleep has been interrupted by 3-5 hours during the night.  I’m not 100% sure what’s causing this, but I do think it may be linked to intestinal issues.  With the sudden increase in meat eating after taking a 2-month hiatus from it, I think has slowed down his digestive track.  Missing the #2s a couple of days, would probably make my tummy ache, too, so that’s my best guess.  Hoping for a good poo today, so that we can get a whole-night’s sleep tonight!  😉

I had fallen into the abyss of a sinus infection.  Between the infection itself and the medications that I was on to fight it, I was exhausted and in a haze, unable to think clearly or formulate a coherent thought.  My computer time in the last week has been spent checking email, on Facebook, and playing Latte Land at CafeMom (very addicting — thanks, KK, for getting me hooked).  All of these computer venues don’t require me to be able to think outside of my foggy realm.  I have kicked up wordpress a few times, meaning to write something and then just end up staring blankly at the screen.  Anyway, today I will attempt to play catch-up and post about the last week…

  • Last Friday — went to doctor and was diagnosed with a pretty bad sinus infection. 
  • Saturday — Olivia and I went to the Farmer’s Market to pick up some sweet corn and ended up bringing home a bouquet of flowers, too.  Christian went on a field trip with Brian to Menard’s (but refused to use the bathroom with him — boy, was he ever doing the “potty dance” by the time they got home!).  Brian went fishing with his Dad in the evening while the kids and I kicked it at home and I worked on “cleaning” the house.
  • Sunday — We went to church and had a family gathering (my side) at our house for lunch.  It was a lovely day.  Beautiful weather.  My grandmother was even able to come along.  My brothers and their families were here.  Olivia LOVED playing with her cousins.  (My sister couldn’t make it as her family lives way down in the Southwest.)  Anyway, it was lovely.  I just had to make sure that I didn’t sit down for too long as I was really ready to just curl up and take a nap.
  • Monday (Labor Day) — Christian had 2 hours of therapy in the morning.  When Brian got home for lunch, we headed over to the big city park where a group was sponsoring free kiddie rides in the afternoon.  We got tickets to ride the little train.  Christian was pretty nervous, but once we got going he was OK.  (He did bury his head in my armpit for awhile, though.)  After the ride we played on the playground for a bit and then Brian had to get back for the evening milking. 
  • Tuesday — was back to school.  Christian wasn’t overly happy about that until I got him on the bus.  Then he was fine.  Olivia and I spent the morning trying to make some chocolate chip cookies for Christian.  Christian’s therapy schedule changed at the last minute in the afternoon, so our new therapist, CS, was on his own for the first time.  He did great.  🙂  Christian, however, took one look at the cookies that I slaved over and attempted to crumble it up.  Sigh.
  • Wednesday — Olivia had story time at the library.  She’s old enough now that she could attend by myself, but she hid on my lap the whole time instead.  (She is so loud and overbearing at home, but the minute we step out in public (or are around people she doesn’t know), she will not say a word.)  I sent a cookie to school with Christian and he also crumbled it there — how can he tell the difference so easily???  I will give the rest to Olivia.  Christian was totally avoiding his therapists — running away anytime they sat down next to him.  I caught my nail-biter, Olivia, chewing her toenails.  (Wow!  What flexibility, but eww!)  My hubby wrote a song for me based on one of my favorite Bible verses — Matthew 7:25.  Yay for my wonderful husband!  🙂
  • Thursday — Olivia and I grocery shopped in the morning and searched for a yummy cake.  Christian had his first shift with his former respite worker, now therapist, PS, after not seeing her for 3 months.  (She helps her parents during the summer who live in another state.)  It took Christian the whole 2-hour shift to start warming back up to her.  (He spent most of the time avoiding her today.)  Christian then immediately jumped into therapy with CS & PW, which seemed to go very well.  I ran into town while they were here to grab supper.  Burritos for me & Brian, McDonald’s for the kids.  Yum!  Delicious cake for dessert (with Brian’s parents).  It was a very nice day.  I have been very blessed, although I don’t feel any older than I did yesterday.  😉

I guess that catches me up.  I’m still feeling very tired.  Some of that is still from the infection, the meds, and the fact that Christian spent 3+ hours up in the night (and being another year older).  Perhaps a nap will be in order today.  😉  Christian’s therapy team has a meeting here this afternoon, so I am curious to hear what will be discussed especially after the big, frustrating news we were informed of early this week.  Perhaps a trip to a coffee shop will be in order today, too.  🙂

School starts tomorrow!  Whoa!  Is Christian ready?  Am I ready?  How did we get to kindergarten so quickly???  Absolutely crazy! 

I am nervous.  Not so much about school.  (Although I wonder if I passed enough information on to his staff about things they should know — like he hates people singing the alphabet song, he uses the word “scary” when he doesn’t like something or someplace, if he starts to strip that means he needs to poo, etc.)  Right now I fear the early morning arrival of the bus.  7:10am.  I am trying to get my part prepared tonight — like clothing, shoes, backpack, as much lunch/snack as possible, etc.  While I feel that I have as much ready as I can, I’m still feeling the nerves racing.  I have to get up.  Then get him up, and fed, and toileted, and dressed.  Then there is the new bus driver and route and seat harness.  So, I’m just really curious to see how it will go.  Doing my best not to worry, but to also be prepared for whatever may happen.

And then I pick Christian up at 1:30 and hurry to get back here by 2pm, when therapy starts.  Oh, and we are training with a new therapist, too.  A guy this time.  He started today.  Christian seems to like him as he apparently climbed all over therapy-guy.  (That is a sign that Christian accepts you!)  Lots of people in the house then until 6:30, when we can eat supper and settle into our evening routine (and Christian can just chillax!).  (And I’m trying to remember to breathe!!!)

With Christian at school, I’m hoping to tackle some projects (i.e. messes) that I’ve been hoping to get to for awhile but just haven’t been able to accomplish.  I think Olivia will let me work on these if I do them in small doses.  I’ve also signed her up for story time at the library.  Tomorrow, though, we are going for a walk in the woods.  I promised, so I better make it happen.  🙂  My other hope is to keep the house a little bit cleaner and picked-up.  I’m not talking perfect (as we DO have kids in the house), but just vacuumed and dusted and mopped a little more often than what is currently happening.  We’ll see if I can carry through on that, but I am REALLY hoping to!

Stay tuned for how tomorrow actually goes!  😉