I started a new job and a new schedule last week.  It means that I have every Saturday off and today I got to spent it with only the smallest of the small ones.  With three kids, it’s hard to get one on one time with any of them, so I relished this day with just the youngest.

It took me while to get him out of the house – in part due to his protests, in part due to my unwillingness to interrupt unstructured play.  Plus, we really didn’t need to leave and pajamas are comfy.  But sun is scarce this time of year in Maine and I felt it was my parental duty to get a little vitamin D action and fresh air.  Also, we’ve been reading Eating the Alphabet, and he really wanted to try star fruit and kumquats, so I promised a trip to the grocery store. (They were out of starfruit, but had kumquats.  Those buggers are tart!)

A trip to the grocery store doesn’t beget much sunshine and fresh air, so I convinced him to go for a walk and hunt for mushrooms.  We’ve been foraging for mushrooms since late summer. Don’t worry, we’re careful and haven’t eaten any yet, though I did put some birch polypores up in tincture.  There are a few paths by our house, I knew we wouldn’t find any interesting mushrooms, but it was enough to get his Bogs on and get him out the door.

On our way back, our neighbors and their two toddling girls were outside.  The boy went to grab his Scuut bike and helmet and enjoyed our hilly driveway and dead end street for a good long time.

Today I am grateful for this slow day with my boy, temperate fall days, and, because I’m human, early bed times.

press your luck

Disclaimer: I don’t usually, and don’t plan to continue, posting things like this.  However, considering the circumstances and potential, I just had to this one time. Please don’t leave me.

Does anyone remember that show from the 80’s?  No Whammy, no Whammy, STOP!

So I posted the other day about how lucky this unlucky gal has been lately.  I decided to press that luck just a little bit and enter another blog contest.  But this is a big one.  And to get some extra entries I have to blog about it.  Now usually, I am NOT a fan of such things and I balk at ‘hoop jumping’ for blog contests.  But for this, put on my jumping shoes and show me the hula hoop.

It’s for an iPad 2.  Really.  Click here to see for yourself.

Anyone who knows Pip knows that he would absolutely lose his mind if I won this.  I’d have to peel him off the ceiling.  More accurately, I’d have to peel him off the iPad.

It’s being given away by the folks at Support for Special Needs and Replace My Contacts. Random? A little.  Awesome? A lot.

The iPad has been very popular with special needs kids because it allows them access to technology and learning that they simply wouldn’t have easy access to otherwise.  My defacto step-daughter got one last year for Christmas because she has some physical disabilities that, for one thing, make typing really hard for her on a traditional keyboard.  It’s been extremely useful and a blessing for her.

Now, while Pip’s needs are different, he would certainly benefit from an iPad.  He struggles with organization because his little Aspergerian brain is going a million miles an hour all the time.  He just can’t stop himself to effectively juggle all of the requirements and responsibilities he has in school.  He’s a really booked kid for an elementary school kid.  Fifth grade has added band and chorus to the 4 times a week he’s pulled out of the class for advanced reading and math work.  Last year he was struggling so much with staying on top of homework I considered (for a few seconds anyway) pulling him from one or both of his advanced programs.  But then he would have been bored to tears IN class so that probably would have been worse.  This year we’ve been trying to be proactive about organization from the get go.  I’ve been brainstorming all the ways an iPad would help him stay on top of things and I’m sold.  Financially it’s no where near a reality for us, so to win this would be phenomenal, truly amazing.

This is where I give props to the folks actually giving away the iPad 2 (link love above).  Thank you for doing this, you are going to make a difference in the life of one family this holiday season!


National Lemonade Stand Day, didn’t you know?  A sweet, dear friend of mine has two entrepreneurial girls (circa 8 and 6) who had a pretty amazing lemonade stand that we just had to go visit.  They live in a little beach town, just on the edge of the bustling, tourist filled down town area.  Prime real estate.  And they were offering accouterments such as strawberries, blueberries, mint and basil.  Delish.

The babies got to meet for the second time, though the first time that our babe was able to register that this other person his size was there.  She’s about 5 months older than ours and the size disparity was not as noticeable as I expected.   Girl babies are typically smaller in stature, right?  No matter, both are healthy, nursing wee nuggets and their difference in age will shrink to imperceptibility in a couple years anyway. It does cause me to pause and wonder exactly how gigantic our baby is, but since he continues to wear his normal baby clothes and we’ve yet to have a Hulk moment, we’ll just keep on keepin’ on.

The morning was stupendous with my two eldest able to hang out with her two eldest for the first time.  Things went smashingly well, though we weren’t really there long enough for anything to implode.  It was fascinating watching them first play with the other who was closest in age, then to switch playmates for other.  Seamless.  Kids are fantastic, I wish I was as easy for grown ups to get along.

Things deteriorated when we got home and the Eldest of the Eldest refused the offered nourishment and stomped off.  I initiated a battle of wills a short time later when there was a clear reason for him to spend some time in the bathroom and the rest of the afternoon went rapidly down hill from there.  In all it was not some of my finer parenting (which happens when he pushes those buttons for 20, 30, 40, 50 minutes in a row – I start to run out of ideas on how to deal), but when things had settled to a dull hum, I had a small “aha” moment.  He’d pulled himself together enough to function and the grown ups were making dinner.  He wandered into the kitchen and I found myself with patience, still.  And I thought, this moment here defines that I am in fact a decent parent.  The previous two hours had been a relentless sort of hell that lately seems to be happening all too often.  But in the end I still had genuine patience for him and my love for him was unwavering and he knew it.

All in a days work.