Friday, February 27, 2009

Humming Along

Going quiet for the next little bit--lots of work to do, deadlines to meet, all good, just intense. I need to finish 300 pp to copyedit by Monday, and my next blog for the IT site is due. Here's the first one. I am quietly proud of it.

And another article due, plus the charity stuff. Oh yeah, and the kids. So it's busy.

IEP for Nic on Wednesday went great--we're upping direct OT and social skills and dropping back on pullouts for speech. He qualifies for ESY--two blocks--for reading and comprehension. Fourth grade placement right now is in the air, but I am confident that the team will do the right thing by all kids with whatever decisions are made.

Dropped the coach a line about last week. Not sure I'll hear anything back, but we'll go, he'll play, and it will be fine. We're starting up swimming again in a couple weeks, picking up track, and TOPSoccer will kick in, too. We'll have a good busy spring. OH...and G is in Tee-ball. So yeah, lots to do.

Off I go, meetings to attend, etc.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Soft Bigotry of Low Expectations

We just got back from basketball. You know this isn't going to be good.

On the positive: Nic played half the game--and scored two foul shots.

The negative: The ref awarded him 3 fouls shots--twice.

To those of you who don't play basketball, there is no such thing as awarding a player THREE shots. And you don't let them shoot those baskets right on top of the basket--you take the shots at the foul line.

If Nic hadn't already scored two baskets in regular team play, perhaps I would be a little more gracious. As it is, this little display figuratively patted Nic on the head and sent him on his merry way.

I even said to the ref after: "You didn't have to do that--he's actually scored playing."

He waved me off. "He scored, people cheered, that's all that counts. Keep bringing him."

Patted ME on the head, too, didn't he?


One upside is that I think Mr. C--Nic's coach--was unhappy about this, too. I didn't talk to him, though. I just couldn't get out of there fast enough.

I need to charge my phone, then off we go to do errands, go to Costco, take Nic for his reward trip to KoP.

I need so to summon the energy. This absolutely knocked the wind out of me.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Through the Mill

Well, I finished the first newsletter--about an hour ago after edits, hashing, and rehashing....I think this gig will go fine once I figure out all the moving parts. And the book has to be done in a week's time, and I'll make the initial article contacts before getting the boys off to school tomorrow.

So Nic had yowling screaming fit when he got home that lasted 40 minutes that cost him his computer...then I found out later that he had a really bad day at school today.

Let's see, it's the end of February and it took...well, nearly six months to have a bad day in school. I guess that's not bad.


SO. He'll probably fail social studies tomorrow because he refuses to look at his sheet. Fine. Let him fail. Bet it won't happen again.

All right, so this afternoon was basically a straight run of crap from about 4:15 to 7:30. BUT. His homework is done. They are relatively calm, have eaten dinner. I am drinking a beer and sighing in relief that they'll be going up in another few minutes.

I need days like this to remind me how good most days are.

But I am so tired.

Finish beer and up to bed with us.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Basketball Tonight

Went better than all other nights combined, if you are able to discount the two minutes where he broke a hula hoop loose from the gym wall and sent it rolling across the floor during scrimmage. He went 55 minutes out of 60 tonight. AND....he did pretty well with the drills.

I am so proud of him. He is working so hard, and he's doing well. Between that and swimming, there is much to celebrate. We are also going to try track through the CYO this spring. Have to look into that.

I can't believe we're already almost done with February. And I have a lot of work to do.....

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Too Popular for my own Good

Okay, had finished the bluebird assignment (32 hours in all) and have just been advised that the pub date of a new book I'm working on has gotten moved up. AND...I'm apparently writing a new blog, but I don't know when that goes up. AND....yes, the assignment I was waiting for has come through. Due March 6.

I am going to be busier than a one-armed paper-hanger. Who needs sleep?

G learned to float tonight. He was hanging out in the play area, working his way around the perimeter, and the in the last 5 minutes before they shut down the pool, he was out there, legs up, in the middle of the pool. He's got the float.

And Nic did another amazing number of laps. Good night at the pool.

The nice thing tonight was that it was last light by the time we loaded up to head to lessons. Days are getting longer. I like it.

I do have to get running again, though. All I have to do is find some time to do it.

Monday, February 16, 2009

That felt good, out here

Just got back from a trip into the city with the boys, complete with lunch. They had a blast, and it was all included in the cost of a pair of train tix and lunch. Considering that all they want to do is hit the train store, stop in a pair of bookstores and ride elevators all day, they are cheap dates.

We hadn't done this is a while, and it actually felt pretty good to be out and about. The insistence on hitting the high-end ladies stores on Walnut St for the elevators was a bit much, but they had a good time. It took us about 4 hours to work our way from 8th and Market to 30th St by way of Chestnut and Walnuts Sts.

And I came in to find another job waiting for me.

The thing I am *really* waiting on hasn't come through, but with all this other stuff on my plate, I am hesitant to pursue it. I don't want to take it on if it means doing a half-assed job.

So I'll do these other things and keep cranking.

Listening to: The Motorcyle Diaries Soundtrack

Sunday, February 15, 2009

In vino, veritas

Don't ask me what I think about anything right now if you don't want to hear the truth.

I just got an email from an eejit who tells me her life experience has made her more compassionate. That she has to tell me this already makes her compassion suspect. But whatever. I'm supposed to buy what she's selling, regardless of what my experience with her tells me.

SO MIL leaves tonight. We're ready for her to go. I already told her what I think about her compulsion to find matching lids to the tupperware this evening. (She didn't like it)

Right now, what am I thinking? I need to lose some weight. I'll start running again tomorrow. I really want to get back into aquatics, but the schedule is a problem right now. I loved that. I need to get my blood work done to see if my cholesterol is going to kill me. Maybe tomorrow.

I have homework and another run to P'burgh later in the month. Better get caught up. I also have some editing to finish and send up tomorrow. Yeah. Then my new project with S, and to sign and send off the contract for the other new gig. Gonna be a busy next little while. Workwise.

Oh the homefront, have to confront the reality that G is not a baby anymore. It really is hard for me to acknowledge that he's growing up, and I'm surprised at how hard it's hitting. Al remonstrated me the other night for calling him Kitten. Now he's Tiger. He likes Tiger.

And watching him at the party today, playing with his friends, playing the games, I found myself saying to another mom, "Nic never would have done this," and realizing with a start how true that was, that what G is doing was unthinkable for Nic at the same age. Possible now, unthinkable then.

How far Nic's come. And G, while he has his issues, is already so far ahead in so many ways.

And Miss C has compassion with people with 'certain conditions.' Heh. She hasn't a fucking clue.

Still doesn't.

My email was brief. 'You are fortunate. I wish you well.'

Good riddance.

And darken my doorstep at your peril.


Why I love Fr. Mike

Because the guy reads my thoughts like a book and proclaims them! I loved his sermon today, which went into Genesis, Adam and Eve and took Adam to task for not owning his part in the fall of man (The woman gave me the apple.)

HAVE I NOT been all about taking responsibility for your own actions? (yes) It was really good to hear some one else say it. I think myself less a scold and more of an adult.

So those of you out there still playing the blame game over what your lives are or are not--take a look in the mirror.

You might learn something.

Or not.

As the man said, you can lead a horticulture but you can't make her think.....

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Red Shirted on Valentines Day

I don't know if this is general usage, but my friend K uses the term 'red-shirted' interchangeably with red-flagged--the context being (usually) that are kids are flagged by virtue of how they look in the classroom and in the schoolyard.

I'm looking at this from a professional standpoint. I've signed two more short-term contracts (so now I'm good until May or June, depending on how timely the second one is in payments). As it happens, in both work and romance, if some one finds you attractive, then EVERYBODY else does, too. So having said that, I had a job with a short-term turn around bluebird in this week, and work to do with that project this weekend. (Which I should be doing right this minute, but I'll get to that momentarily)

SO. Not for nothing I go up on LinkedIn to update my contact list, and note that I have a number of people from the same organization looking at my profile.

The only thing I can conclude about this is that whoever said what about me previously to blackball me from said organization is either a) now being ignored or b) was fired or c) discredited in some other fashion.

You can say what you will about me. I am a social clod. I have OCD. But I'll tell you what, the OCD pays off handsomely for what I do--because I am damn good at it as a consequence.

The proof is what you are, how you live, what you do with your life. My internal compass has never failed me. Nor has God. And as that pertains to work matters, the economy is lousy, but amazingly, I am finding work, and it is finding me.

Tell me it's not connected? I don't buy it.

Things are moving forward.

As for MIL being here, I won't have much in the way of romance, but relative safety is a good thing.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Angels in Unexpected Places

I forgot to mention as an addendum to the swimming coolness the other night--I was boxed in, so figured I'd take a short cut across a field back to the main driveway.

Uh, forgot to factor in the snow melt.

Yeah, guess who got stuck?

The boys remained unfazed. "You'll figure it out, mom," N told me.

I did. I saw a Clark Kent-looking guy getting into his car and sprinted over to him. "I'm stuck!" I shouted.

He looked out at the van. "You sure are."

"Can you help me?"

He looked at me a moment. "Let me strap my little guys in, I'll be right over."

No doubt he was thinking about calling the county with my location.

But he came over, and with a little skill, finesse and patience, he coaxed the van back onto the asphalt. And he waved off my thanks.

"Angels," I told my boys as we headed home, "are everywhere."

And Clark Kent really *is* Superman.....

And angels? MIL is here for the weekend.


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Variety Autism Walk on March 29

I'm walking! Support a great cause at

AND....Nic swam 10 laps unsupported, no floatie, no one holding him up, no nothing, last night. And all because he got a pair of swim goggles for his birthday.

He also got his Buzz Lightyear. We had gone on a mission to find one for him to no avail on Monday, and he was quite bitter about our failure. He came off the bus yesterday bearing the plastic figure like a torch. As a matter of fact, it LOOKED like a torch when he got off the bus.

I hoped he hadn't shown it to his class, but he did. *sigh*.

SO. We missed bball practice last night, but he has a bye this week, so back to routine next week. He likes basketball and swimming both now.

Good stuff.

And I've discovered the therapeutic value in Wii Boxing. I've knocked out every opponent I faced so far. Nic declared last night "You are *good* at this, mom!"


Monday, February 9, 2009

My baby is 9

Nic had a great day on Saturday--we had a basketball game in the am and I told him 'you play half a game, I'll take you to lunch.'

He played more than half the game--and scored!

He still needs to learn the whole concept of fighting for the ball, but he's really getting there.

We had lunch at Friendly's and we watched out the window for birds. A highlight was when a red tail hawk alit in a tree across the road. That was pretty cool. I think Nic liked lunch, but I think he liked the fact that it was just me and him more.

We stopped off at a grocery store to pick up party supplies and came back to finish cleaning for our guests. We had Wii and pizza. Nic invited 8 kids, we heard back from 6, one called out sick at the last minutes, so 4 showed up, joined later by my friend, her hubby and their 3 boys. After we cut the cake, the guests (all kids from Nic's school) left and we had a nice visit with our friends (and their boys enjoyed the Wii)

They left at 10:30 and our boys promptly crashed out. It was a very nice day.

Yesterday we had a family luncheon for mom, who turned 70 on Friday. The boys and I bought her an assortment of gift cards for groceries and eating out--younger sis provided the luncheon, and we were late, so I didn't get to see the other gifts.

We had a great visit, younger sis made me laugh until I cried, the boys had a great time and behaved extremely well and even got to play outside part of the afternoon--it was a gorgeous day.

We dropped mom off, and the boys were disappointed she didn't come home with us. And we had a very random evening; dad worked on a grant, I finished up books 5-8 of Bone and the kids just hung out and relaxed. Nic sort of fell apart at bed time, but he had a busy weekend--he was entitled.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


Yay, van is once again operational, and G and I spent the morning adding to the global warming problem making sure the battery stayed charged by joyriding though several townships and riding around what used to be the Stotesbury Estate. We came home, I fed him lunch, then off he went to school.

And I spent the afternoon doing Charity stuff. And getting thrown under a bus--twice.

That did not make me happy. No. I got off the conference call with the distinct notion that my Cheerios had been quite thoroughly p*ssed in.

So the boys came in, and Nic settled down to homework easily (especially since he has no computer--scouts last night was disastrous, and Dad confiscated the cord as the price of his humiliation. He was running the meeting...and I knew it wasn't going to go well, but it went a lot worse than I could have imagined.

ANYWAY. So Nic did his homework, G came in and emptied the dryer for me, and I'm pondering several balls in the air. The job sitch accounts for a couple. The kids a couple more. The relativity of honesty. And it IS relative....and it's amazing the extent to which some people buy into their own mythology......

But all that had to go to one side, because tonight was basketball practice. And Nic until tonight...well, let's just say that participation is scattered at best and ...well, I don't think there's a descriptor for worst, but just take my word for it when I say it's bad....

I pack up the boys and we head over to Nic's school. Instead of the stage, G and I set up shop next to the coach. I saw the guy who is there some practices to help wasn't there, and I knew I'd have to stand in as assistant to keep Nic on task.

And I did. And I was harsh and relentless. G did sprints alongside the court while I barked directions out at Nic, who at first looked stunned, but he complied. He practiced lay ups; he did drills, and he participated in the scrimmage.

He was on the court for 50 of 60 minutes--a record for any practice.

I couldn't tell if the coach was happy or annoyed with me. But I want my kid to play, and I want him to succeed. Okay, he still verbally stims and does some pretty embarassing stuff out there, but he was out there, and he was playing.

And dare I even think it? He had game.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Grand Bull Moose Prize Winner of Mixed Blessings

My car's dead.

Apparently, according to DH, I left all the lights on.

Uh, no. Actually, the car beeps if you take the keys out of the ignition and the lights are on. AND, I did shut off the internal lights before I closed my door.


Anyway. The upside to this is that my little one and I spent the better part of the afternoon playing out in the snow, making snow angels and a snow man--and we had a pretty good snowball fight, as well.

And I got a full day's worth of work in as well!

Oh, and a little thought about....begins at home. I have a conference I *could* and probably *should* attend on Saturday. BUT...Nic also has a basketball game on Saturday at about the same time.

Guess where I'm going to be?

Let's see if lightning strikes twice....

Delay Today?

Yep. We got four inches and the bus will come in an hour for Nic. Have to get him dressed. He is busy jumping up and down on the tramp in the office while watching Finding Nemo.

What I can't figure out is why they closed the schools due to slush LAST week when a delay would have done....

Anyway. I had to go up to the charity last night to drop something off anyway and wouldn't have bothered if the boys didn't also have swim lessons. I had no phone call telling me the lessons were cancelled, so, off we trundled, and I nearly spun out about two miles from home.

But then the roads cleared a bit, so we went. By the time we got to camp, it was coming down pretty heavily.

Meanwhile, Nic kept telling me to turn around because he didn't want to swim. He didn't want to get in the pool. I dragged him into the dressing room and he managed to change himself. G, meanwhile, wanted to swim, so he and Nic were nattering in near perfect counterpoint.

G managed to wipe out and land on his bottom on the pool deck, so by the time I got there, he was in my arms, crying angry tears, while Nic made his way into the pool. G rubbed his sore bottom while I massaged his sore ego, then he followed.

Thank God it wasn't Nic that wiped out, else he NEVER would have gotten into the pool.

So they had good lessons, Nic making huge headway in spite of himself. He puts on goggles and goes under water now after his lesson (have to buy goggles for his birthday) and even put a pair of fins on last night.

Gabriel still swims like a pencil.

I wrapped up the free time a little earlier last night because we had a rough time last week with a girl in the dressing room--as much as possible I try to make sure we're in there during off times, especially since Nic is getting older and 'looking'. I'm hoping by next year he'll go off into the men's locker room on his own.

As soon as we got outside, my heart sank. Maybe another two inches of snow had fallen since we went in, and I knew it wasn't going to be a fun drive. We played 'Pet Sounds Live,' and I told the boys that there was to be NO FIGHTING while I navigated home.

I think we topped out at 30 mph. It took twice as long as usual to get home, and the last leg had some person (who I guess was looking for some one to hit him) driving slow--stopping short at a spot where I nearly fishtailed. When I stopped to give him plenty of space ahead of me, *he* stopped too, as if he were waiting for me!

So this went for an agonizing two miles before I finally ducked out into my neighborhood, leaving him to be some one else's accident.

SO. There is thick snow out there, and I called G out of his am placement. (Have to call the bus) And I am working at home, playing catch up, making Nic lunch and trying to figure out my month.

In between I've been helping a friend mend some fences, pitching in to help another family and figuring out what my Saturday is going to look like. Nic's b'day party has three attendees so far. I think I am going to make some calls....

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Hope it's Not MRSA and other Thoughts on a Snowy AM

Okay, embroiled in another crazy few days. I have something on my shoulder that is causing my whole right arm to go numb, so I think I'll probably be visiting my dr or the local ER before the day is out.

Finishing up one project, catching up on others, meeting with N's team this am, and oh yeah, keeping my local law enforcement abreast of developments (what joy?)--have to stop in and update them.

Like I don't have anything better to do.

Anyway, I do want to get back to the religion discussions, but that will have to wait until I have a bit more time....

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Payback Time

At BIL's and it's not going well. Still trying to crank on the story, about half written, then I'll have to edit.

Nic's not been dealing well with being here, and I am thankful we are not here that often. He just feeds off the drama.

Party today went okay. Found out about another classmate's party because we saw them pass by our room. Nic not invited, naturally. Oh well, Nic didn't invite this kid to his party, either.

More lines to color in on the belief front, brunch with L yesterday, bearing witness today at church...just getting the sense that I need to stand up to the courage of my convictions. Did I say that right? Possibly I am somewhat lit right now.

And other stuff happening. Oh, A LOT of other stuff happening. All I have to say is thank God DH stood up to MIL and she is not coming with us tonight. She wanted to, but he shot her down.

So, her plan was to come down, spend the week and go back Thursday or Friday, then come back Monday or Tuesday next week to stay through Sunday. Uh, NO. She was JUST at our house. DH got rid of Italian satellite, so not sure what she is going to do.

*shrug* we were spending $60 a month or thereabouts for something that only gets used when she comes down. I'm sure there will be pushback. Well, she's an hour away, she doesn't need to move in for weeks at a time.

SO. We have two guests so far for Nic's party. I'm thinking of calling some of my friends for backup.

That'll go all right.

I really need to finish writing so I can start editing....