Things to be thankful for...

I am so thankful my grandparents decided to leave their home in Galveston yesterday morning. They were determined to wait out hurricane Ike, but after lots of persistence from my parents, aunt and myself they finally decided to drive up to the Woodlands and stay with some family friends. While we are so thankful they made it safely off the island without injury, we are worried about the condition of their home. My parents are going to be driving down to Houston sometime next week and either bring my grandparents up to Plano or head to Galveston to assess the damage. Given that my grandparent's house is a mere 2 blocks from the seawall I know they will have received some damage the question will be how much damage. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers over the next few weeks...as they get older it is increasingly difficult for them to bounce back from something like this. On top of that, my grandfather recently had knee replacement surgery and is still recovering. I will post an update as I hear from my parents.

this and that

I am finally getting around to posting some pictures from our kitchen. I love how the walls turned out. Now I just need to get some better frames for the art work...the college frames have seen better days.
While I was taking the pictures of the kitchen this is what Hiro was doing. Yes that would be our couch and the new pillows I recently bought. He totally thinks that is his new bed and unfortunately the pillows have become new frustration toys when we leave him home along at night. We are horrible parents, we think it is cute when he slinks up on the couch and curls up. His favorite is when he gets the spot right between us. Luckily our couches are black and microfiber...otherwise I would never get all the mud off of them.


Jon ordered my Dell Mini 9 this week!! I can't wait to get it...too bad they just released them and it won't even ship until October 14th. I am looking forward to taking it to class...although apparently I will not be able to use it in every class. Last night was my first Monday night class. It is ABA for teachers...a.k.a behavior management for classrooms. About half the class was taking notes on laptops when my professor said "ok class is starting, I would like all of you to close your laptops". Of course people informed her that their laptops were their primary method of taking notes. She told them that she prefers people to use a pen and paper to take notes. Some people in my class got pretty confrontational...it was awkward. In the end she won and we can't use laptops in her class :( Oh well at least I have 2 others that I can use my new mini in.

side note...

notice that i had 3 new post yesterday...clearly i am doing everything i can to distract myself from working on my research project. and what am i doing now...um yes the same thing. i am trying to write a review on an article right now and i have NO motivation :( okay time for me to try to get back to work...

this is moving

some of the blogs i read are from parents with children who have autism...this is one that i found and this post is so moving i wanted to share it. i work with these kids everyday and i love it, but at the end of the day i go home to my quiet house, and on the weekends i go run errands without worrying about people staring. these families go through so much day in and day out...

If I had a pound for every time I heard someone say ‘if he were my son I would give him a good spanking’ or ‘if he were mine I wouldn’t take him out in public’ etc etc - I would be a rich woman. Not one day has gone by when I have taken C out that I do not hear at least one derogatory hurtful remark about my beautiful son. So sadly I think Michael Savages’ recent thoughtless comments on autism represents a proportion of societies views about our children.
When i see C happy my heart sings. But others find this large display of pure joy disturbing embarrassing and even frightening. We have emptied countless cafes, shops, or even been asked to leave.
When C was diagnosed all those years ago many friends disappeared as they didn't know what to say or how to relate to C. Some didn't want their child 'catching' autism. Our world shrank as people kept away. Only recently C and i met up with someone we had known many years ago. We had a coffee - she went to the loo -and never came back.
You get used to living on 4 hours sleep, cleaning poo off the ceiling, trying to find something C may eat. You get over wondering what his voice would sound like if he ever spoke. And there will always be another funding battle to fight.
A new way of life emerges and becomes the norm.
Other things take priority, the superficial, artificial and materialistic things are just that, they are things.
C gives me so much more. A smile, a look, a delighted squeak. A licked clean plate (on those rare occasions). A licked clean train carriage window is more often.
Our odyssey has not been easy. There have even times been times when I thought he was going to die. All the comfort I was given by doctors, was ‘wouldn't he be better off dead’.
Society judge him, make fun of him, they film him on their mobiles. C has had dog biscuits thrown at him in the street, and once was even punched by a passer by. Some of my family are embarrassed by him, some say they are scared of him others pity me and give C no second thought.
They don’t see the beautiful being that he is, or the gifts that he shares. They don’t see that C is happy and does have a quality of life. They cant get their heads round it, or rather they don’t want to or even try.
Living with disability can be tough at times, but you get there. It is also full of much love, joy and laughter. And i wouldn't have it any other way.
It’s the prejudice I find the hardest part. The attitudes of some family and friends and some professionals whom we are supposed to trust. And the strangers in the street.
And that is on going. This is our reality. C by the very nature of his autism and challenging behaviour is isolated and in turn isolates me as his mother.


helpful tips for around the house.

i found this on another blog and thought it was fun. i am going to have to try some of these out. enjoy...

1. Reheat Pizza
Heat up leftover pizza in a nonstick skillet on top of the stove, set heat to med-low and heat till warm. This keeps the crust crispy. No soggy micro pizza. I saw this on the cooking channel and it really works.

2. Easy Deviled Eggs
Put cooked egg yolks in a zip lock bag. Seal, mash till they are all broken up. Add remainder of ingredients, reseal, keep mashing it up mixing thoroughly; cut the tip of the baggy; squeeze mixture into egg. Just throw bag away when done; easy clean up.

3. Expanding Frosting
When you buy a container of cake frosting from the store, whip it with your mixer for a few minutes. You can double it in size. You get to frost more cake/cupcakes with the same amount. You also eat less sugar and calories per serving.

4. Reheating refrigerated bread
To warm biscuits, pancakes, or muffins that were refrigerated, place them in a microwave with a cup of water. The increased moisture will keep the food moist and help it reheat faster.

5. Newspaper weeds away
Start putting in your plants; work the nutrients in your soil. Wet some newspapers, put layers around the plants overlapping as you go. Cover with mulch and forget about weeds. Weeds will get through some gardening plastic. They will not get through wet newspapers.

6. Broken Glass
Use a wet cotton ball or Q-tip to pick up the small shards of glass you can't see easily.

7. No More Mosquitoes
Place a dryer sheet in your pocket. It will keep the mosquitoes away.

8. Squirrel Away!
To keep squirrels from eating your plants sprinkle your plants with cayenne pepper. The cayenne pepper doesn't hurt the plant and the squirrels won't come near it.

9. Flexible vacuum
To get something out of a heat register or under the fridge add an empty paper towel roll or empty gift wrap roll to your vacuum. It can be bent or flattened to get in narrow openings.

10. Reducing Static Cling
Pin a small safety pin to the seam of your slip and you will not have a clingy skirt or dress. Same thing works with slacks that cling when wearing panty hose. Place pin in seam of slacks and -- ta da! static is gone.

11. Measuring Cups
Before you pour sticky substances into a measuring cup, fill with hot water. Dump out the hot water, but don't dry cup. Next, add your ingredient, such as peanut butter, and watch how easily it comes right out.

12. Foggy Windshield?
Hate foggy windshields? Buy a chalkboard eraser and keep it in the glove box of your car. When the windows fog, rub with the eraser! Works better than a cloth!

13. Reopening envelope
If you seal an envelope and then realize you forgot to include something inside, just place your sealed envelope in the freezer for an hour or two. Viola! It unseals easily.

14. Conditioner
Use your hair conditioner to shave your legs. It's a lot cheaper than shaving cream and leaves your legs really smooth It's also a great way to use up the conditioner you bought but didn't like when you tried it in your hair...

15. Goodbye Fruit Flies
To get rid of pesky fruit flies, take a small glass fill it 1/2" with Apple Cider Vinegar and 2 drops of dish washing liquid, mix well. You will find those flies drawn to the cup and gone forever!

16. Get Rid of Ants
Put small piles of cornmeal where you see ants. They eat it, take it "home", and can 't digest it so it kills them. It may take a week or so, especially if it rains, but it works & you don't have the worry about pets or small children being harmed!

Quick post

this week has flown by! i can't believe it is already friday...not that i am complaining!

unfortunately jon had to go to kansas today :( dell is sending him all the way there when he could totally do the job remotely from our house. oh well, i am sure it has something to do with keeping the customers happy. jon is so good at his job, he has to go into situations where the customers (big companies not just individuals) are not exactly pleased with dell. sometimes their machines have broken or need updates that require down time. anyway, jon goes in and he always manages to get the job done as well as change the attitude of the customer. he even has customers that request him to come out again the next time they need help. it also doesn't hurt to have my very own personal tech guy around the house :) although occasionally it back fires...he is always playing around with our home system and making changes. i come home and my computer doesn't work or won't print, etc...

today when i came home i had an email from jon telling me to check out a website. the link took me to a website for the dell mini 9 (the new dell netbook). look how small it is! i have been talking about how my lap top is too heavy to carry to school and how someday i want something smaller. this is perfect! it is tiny and light, and is perfect for being on the go. it doesn't have huge storage and it doesn't have a cd or dvd drive, but other than that it is a regular laptop. i think we are going to get one! it will be so easy for me to take to school (since all my professors post their powerpoints online). it would also be great to take on vacations! jon said he was going to look more at it tonight...i'm keeping my fingers crossed that that means he is going to buy it tonight....right perfect husband of mine?!?! :)

okay so here is my productive weekend plan...
friday:
later this afternoon i have to go to a meeting...i am really excited because it is for the little girl i go to school with and her teacher is coming too! i think it is great that she is willing to take a couple hours after a long work day and come meet with us, because she truly wants to make the classroom environment the most productive for this little girl...very cool! after the meeting i think i am going to take hiro out to auditorium shores to get some energy out...he loves to play with the other dogs and swim. once that is done i am planning on coming home to finish my research. i need to read and review 2 more articles and i want to finish it up before jon gets home tomorrow.

saturday: i am going to wake up early and go shopping! i need to buy some new clothes for work and i want to pick up some fun accessories. jon gets home around 1 so i need to be done by then so we can spend the afternoon together. i will have to think of something fun for us to do tomorrow night.

sunday: jon has his first soccer game of the fall season. he joined a new team over the summer and is going to continue to play with them this fall. i really like this new team, the guys are all very nice and so are the wives/girlfriends (which makes it even more fun to go watch). unfortunately i am not going to be able to make the first game :( i have to meet with my class partner to compile our literature review paper that is due on wed...um we just started class last week and we already have papers due...yuck!

well i think that is all i have planned right now...keep your fingers crossed about the netbook...i NEED/want one!!!



Happy Labor Day Weekend

Jon and I had a great 3 day weekend together. It was nice because we did not have anything scheduled or anything that we "had" to get done.

Friday night Jon had to work (and he doesn't have to work again until next Friday!) so I had coffee with a good friend. When I got home I decided to watch a chic flick since I rarely get to do that these days. I watched Made of Honor. I give it a C+, it was a cute movie but slightly boring and slow.

On Saturday we slept in and then enjoyed a big breakfast. After getting ready, we took a day trip to Fredericksburg. We had a great time checking out all the shops, doing some wine tasting and enjoying a great German dinner with some good beer at a local brewery. Here is where we went for wine tasting. The guy was very cool and let us try more wines than we were supposed to. I was able to try some sweet wine. I really liked this grapefruit wine. It was so good that we bought a bottle. Jon liked the heaver reserved red wines. From the winery we went to this brewery for dinner. It was pretty cool. We were able to taste the 4 beers that they brew (you can actually see the huge barrels they use to brew the beer from were you sit in the restaurant. All in all we had a great day together and were exhausted by the time we made it home.

Sunday we did our typical errand running and relaxing. Jon spent most of the day on the computer and I spent most of the day reading. Currently I am reading two books. For school I am reading The Speed of Dark by Elizabeth Moon. It is an interesting book written from the perspective of a man with high functioning autism. I started my second book yesterday, it is The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff. I just started it last night so once I get more into it I will give more of a review.


Today we took Hiro down to our favorite spot on at the greenbelt. There hasn't been much rain here so the water was pretty low, but there was enough to swim in and for Jon to go off the rope swing a dozen times. Hiro had a blast swimming with his buddy Woodrow and I had fun laying out and reading.

Well that was our weekend. We had a great 3 days...now it is back to work and school for me.