Saturday, April 25, 2009

Breach of the Fortress

Today I was on our front porch, watering new plants we finally put into the front flower bed. If the azaleas bloom, I'll take a few photos and will post them here. But that's not the focus of this post.

Moose cannot resist being close to sources of water. He's fascinated by them. Whenever I water plants, inside or out, he's always right there with me, and I bet he's analyzing the molecular properties of the water I'm using. Haha. Today was no different, but he was inside the family room when I was outside on the porch watering the new shrubs. He apparently wanted a closer look...

Now, our house is a fortress, otherwise Moose would bolt outside and risk get killed by a car. Not like he can just say "hi "to a neighbor and have a conversation about who he is and where he lives, so we keep the place locked up tight. Even most adults have a tough time figuring out how to exit (dead-bolt locks requiring a key, though the key is hanging near the door). Moose must have been watching how we exit the house, and he must have been really motivated by seeing the water coming out of the hose: As I finished up the watering process, I thought I heard keys jingling and then a key inside the door. I figured Wife was coming out to say hello. A minute later, there was Moose running down the walkway toward the driveway. I did a double-take, looking for Wife to be close behind him, but no such luck. As it turns out, she was in the back yard planting vegetables. Moose figured out how to open the damn front door all on his own.


Man that's a smart kid we produced. We'll see how this new placement of the key works to keep the fortress secured.

Friday, April 24, 2009


Am now in a holding pattern, circling over a rest stop during this plane trip.

I sent an e-mail to DC a couple of days ago requesting a meeting. Figured having an externally-motivated deadline looming overhead would get me to work faster. I've heard nothing back. Her track record for responding to e-mail timely isn't stellar, so I'll probably have to actually radio down to the control tower (i.e., use the telephone) later today.

Waiting, waiting...

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Not sure how to feel on this one

Today was my day to wake up Moose so Wife could exercise this morning. He gave me a big smile when he saw me, and we had our usual morning conversation:
"Good morning, Moose! Now what do you say to me?"
"Say hi Daddy."
"Thank you, Moosey."
And then I realized that he had puked all over the bed. It must have happened hours earlier, since it was dry. Remarkably, he had missed his body, since his PJs were pretty clean. Wife helped me clean up everything while I continued onward with Moose's morning routine.

Moose has learned to stay in bed till we come get him in the morning. Not sure how it happened, but I'm thankful for this, as it's safer to have him staying in one room on the off-chance that Wife and I actually have a chance to sleep in. However, when he's really sick or something's wrong, he doesn't know it's OK to come get us in the middle of the night. I can't have a conversation with him about this, so I'm not sure how to feel. On the one-hand, I feel horrible that he slept in his own Ralph last night. On the other, I'm glad he didn't go roaming around the house in the middle of the night and risk falling down the basement stairs or something awful like that.

But sleeping in your own puke? I mean...look, it's gross. Why didn't he know this? Why wouldn't he get up and at least come into the room and get us?

He has puked two other times today. Obviously he's dealing with a stomach bug of some sort. I'm staying home from work with him. Just now he puked in the family room, and while I was cleaning it up he then proceeded to start eating his peanut butter sandwich. Personally, I can't think of eating anything right after I puke. Wow. So different. And now, of course, he seems to be feeling perfectly fine.

Monday, April 20, 2009

It's Either Hit or Miss

[unfolding portable soap box]

A rant:

I've decided that there are only a select few parents of children with autism disorder that I really like. It is definitely a hit or miss issue. It is a black or white thing (I'm not talking about race, rather it's simply an illustration of opposites). There is no in-between on this.

I see myself as one who typically looks for the bright side of things, probably to a fault (or at least to a point where I piss off the realists around me). I don't tend to dwell in absolutes, either. But with other parents of kids with autism, I have learned that they are either horrible, horrible people, or they are relatively easy-going people who are willing to lend a helping hand to another whenever possible.

We are all going through a long, rocky, foggy road with this disorder. I thought the commonalities would bind us together unconditionally. Instead, there is a constant competition on who has it harder, who has the better idea, who has the better treatment, and who can balance it all and not look like you've been run over by a Mack truck. Guess I had my standards set to high.

Why in the world should there be any competition among parents that share this in common? Why wouldn't we want to learn from each other? I suspect the answer lies within the realm of needing a locus of control. By definition we have less control over our children's progress and well being than parents of typical kids since we often cannot communicate with our children. I suspect many parents over compensate for this loss of control by pulling down their pants and crapping all over other parents, therapists, and others who merely attempt to lend a helping hand.

Well, I'm through with being nice about it. My sympathy has run out. I'm done. My defenses are up and will forever remain that way. I will assume the other parents of autistic kids are horrible people until they prove themselves otherwise. I think the disappointment in their selfishness will be easier to take that way. Then I will hold those other decent parents (yeah, like all two of them) as close as possible, so we can figure out a decent pathway on which to travel this road together. I may have very few friends as a result of this line of thinking, but at least I'll have my integrity and sanity about me.

Rant over.

[folding up portable soap box]

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


I'd say the plane is making a slow ascent. It's definitely off the ground, though, and I daresay the landing gear is up. Still has the fasten-seat-belt sign turned on till we reach our cruising altitude. Portable electronic devices are not yet permitted for use.

But I hope it all evens out soon. It's unfolding, and today's Dissertation Day went well, but the road before me (or perhaps the flight?) feels rather long at the moment.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Flight Attendants, Please Prepare for Takeoff

I got over a short hill this afternoon - sort of got into the repetitive nature of the writing task I have ahead of me and just plowed through the rest of the first summary. It SUCKS, but it's done. Just thirteen more to go. Ugh. But I think the next ones will be far easier than this.

I've actually written all fourteen summaries, but they're in my own notes, my own thoughts. This process essentially involves just translating all of it into prose. I hate that word; reminds me of one of my music history profs in my undergrad degree. But it is what I need to do: get my notes into prose.

So, the plane has left the gate. There's a chance of turbulence along the way, but that really doesn't matter. We'll still reach the destination. The plane just has to land at the gate, on time, and preferably with no passengers or baggage left behind. We're on our way.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Back at it

After an unintentional hiatus, I attempt to get back into the writing process today. Since the end of The Two Weeks, I had a rather hellish week at work (and that's no surprise after being gone for a while). After that, I left for a conference (see my Tweets to the right). The meeting itself was good, and I'm glad I went. I did a presentation that I thought went very well, and I'm an elected member of a directorate board for a committee whose work I respect a great deal. The committee met the first morning of the conference, so that was time well-spent. I was also able to catch up with friends and my cousin who lives in the area, so all in all it was a good balance of a variety of things, both work-related and social.

And then I came back. Suddenly it's April. How did that happen?

I wasn't able to get anything done on the dissertation while away at the conference, and I forwent (forgo in the past tense) my dissertation day this week to catch up from being gone AGAIN.

So I'm back in the cafe this afternoon (large chain one, not the snooty one), attempting to get something done before we have friends come over to watch the MSU Spartans get flattened and pulverized by UConn.

I will admit that I've lost my dissertation-writing energy. Something about that shitty week back at the office made the reality hit that I really do not have the time to do both my job and the dissertation. Something will have to give, and frankly I suspect it will be the job. The diss simply has to get done. It's sort of depressing. Not debilitatingly-depressing, but depressing nonetheless. Oh well, I'll get through it.

In other news, Moose has successfully completed his second time through the Motor Activity Clinic at LMUU. It was fun to go with him for the last session this morning, which included "closing ceremonies" where each kid received a certificate, t-shirt, and applause. He wasn't even too upset by the clapping, so that was good. He had a GREAT time, generally speaking, and seemed to make great progress learning to kick in the pool and throw a ball. He'll be better than I am in sports, though I suppose that's not saying too much. Anyhow, it's pretty darn cool to see.

Back to the writing, then.