Snow Free January Coffee

Good morning! Welcome. Pull up a chair and grab a cup of coffee. I have good, solid coffee mugs, perfect for a strong cup of coffee. Today needs strong coffee. I apologize for all the clutter in the living room. Between school papers and IEP paperwork, there is paper everywhere that toys are not. And the toys are starting to have a hard time finding space.

If we were having coffee, I’m sure we would talk about the weather. For the past few days, forecasters have been giving dire warnings about the amount of snow predicted over the weekend. Between 4 and 6 inches. Paltry, I know, compared to Boston, but still a decent amount of snow. I was both excited, because we had not had significant snow this winter, and worried that school would be cancelled this morning. But there was no need to worry, apparently; now they are saying it will all be rain.

We would probably also talk some about policing issues in St. Louis. Have you heard about the crazy stuff happening here? On Wednesday there was a meeting, supposedly between adults, about establishing a citizen review board for the city’s police department. The papers call what happened a “melee” between protesters and police. No matter what happened, I’m sure that citizens will face charges while nothing will happen to the police officers who brought inflammatory messages to the meeting. And then on Thursday, I read that the city Prosecutor has demanded, by court order, any recordings of the meeting that news agencies have made. In a country that supposedly has free press, forcing news agencies to turn over their information to the government smells like an authoritarian regime. (And if that’s not enough, this is not the first time this week that the prosecutor has subpoenaed recordings from news agencies. Nor the first matter.) It smells very fishy, but I also wonder if this comes from a law student intern who is not being properly supervised.

I can see you’re getting bored, and eyeing my IEP paperwork. Please don’t look at that pile, it’s for a client. But this packet is for Picasso. We had a meeting to discuss his evaluation results–the school did an extensive evaluation to see if he qualifies for an IEP. The IEP will determine what special education services he will receive in the next year. He qulaifies–under the category Autism. When I told the pediatrician this at his annual appointment this week, she asked if I had told them that the developmental pediatrician (who evaluated him for autism when he was 2) told us to leave him alone. Despite his quirks, we had ruled out autism, so it was some surprise to hear this. But it fits. So suddenly I go from having a child with ADHD to a child with autism. I’m not given much time to think about this, either, because his IEP meeting is coming up Monday. (Hence my relief that snow will not cancel school on Monday.) My hunch tells me that he will receive more extensive services than he did last year.

Speaking of which, I have to cut our meeting short so I can prepare for the meeting on Monday. Thanks for stopping by! Enjoy the other Weekend Coffee Share posts.

This post was prompted by the “If We Were Having Coffee” meme started (or at least encouraged) by Part Time Monster. I enjoy having coffee with you! If you want to share coffee, link up!


And again with the A word

I really don’t want to be sitting at my computer right now.

I want to be curled up watching Downton Abbey (slowly making my way through the series on Amazon. Very slowly, but I’m not in any rush.) and knitting. And eating chocolate cake. (The cake will be done in about 15 minutes.)

I don’t want to be doing CHADD stuff–replying to e-mails, being in contact with potential volunteers. There is suddenly a surge of stuff happening. Good stuff. But I can’t deal with it right now.

I feel like everything I knew about ADHD was wrong. I had thought we were dealing with ADHD with Picasso. I really thought he was going to be OK in a “typical” world.

And then … I saw him at the birthday party. He went to a classmate’s party over the weekend. It was clear he didn’t know what to do. The other kids were talking and playing together–and leaving him out. He got some weird looks. And he spent pretty much the whole time hanging on me. It was clear–he is the “weird kid.”

After that, plus some research I did this week, I was pretty much hoping for what happened today. That doesn’t make it any easier to hear, though.

Today was the school’s evaluation meeting. Picasso was given a diagnosis of autism. That label will stick with him, probably for the next twelve years of schooling. It will be teachers’ first impressions of him, even before they meet him in person.

I am angry–angry that this wasn’t caught before he was six; angry that we didn’t pursue more rigorous therapy before now.

I am lost. I know where to turn to get ADHD help. I don’t know where to get him help for autism, or even what help he needs. I want to do something for him, to help him learn to cope, but I am overwhelmed by the information about autism and the different therapies.

At the same time, I am relieved. I think that with this diagnosis, he will start getting more intensive therapy, and hopefully start having friends. His “weird kid” status will be explained. Yes, with a disability label, but I would rather people see his behavior as a disability rather than a choice.

Rainy Sunday Coffee

Photo by Ballistik_Coffee_Boy, courtesy of Creative Commons

Photo by Ballistik_Coffee_Boy, courtesy of Creative Commons

Thanks for coming over, pull up a chair. How’s your weekend going? How would you like your coffee? I don’t have anything fancy, just a drip coffee maker. But there’s some tea, if you’d like, too. Shoot, I forgot to pick up that blueberry tea at the store this week, but would you like some red Rooibos tea, which always reminds me of tree bark and has an earthy smell with honey mixed in?

All right, now that we’re settled in with good steaming cups of tea, smelling the coffee that we’re not drinking (but the caffeinated smell wakes me up anyway), I’d love to hear all about your week. How did that thing go that you had to do again? What was it? The one you were dreading, that one. Yes. I hope it went well.

Sorry for the shrieking, Dinosaur Train must be over. Excuse me for a minute while I set the kids up with another TV show. That seems to be the only way this house is quiet, but then Picasso pretends to be a dinosaur after he watches it. Dinosaurs were not quiet creatures.

Well, my week. We had some gorgeous weather, very nice for January. My parents sent me pictures of their snow in Southern New Mexico, but Picasso and I went to the zoo. We got to see the giraffe up close and met Ginger.
1-2015-01-20 11.29.58 1-2015-01-20 12.10.40

I felt like I was always busy this week, but didn’t get much done. I guess that’s just life as a mom, though. I didn’t finish my book for Bookclub last night, we were reading a book about Martin Luther King, Jr. We had a great discussion anyway, about the Civil Rights movement and racism in America. I can never find enough time to read, though.

My big excitement this week is a meeting at Picasso’s school. I get so nervous about these meetings and I hope it goes well. Oh! I had some excitement last week because we went to a fundraiser. Well, having the boys there was excitement in itself! But there was a drawing, and I won a jewelry gift card! So I get to go pick out things that I would never otherwise get for myself, and feel pretty.

So thanks for coming over, it’s lovely to chat with you. I hope to go coffee hopping this evening and read what other people have to say. This post is part of a link up by Sourcerer.

If We Were Having Coffee (Birthday Edition)

1-2014-12-31 23.40.27If we were having coffee, I would tell you about the excitement here about Picasso turning six. He had a party at school, then we went to the Children’s Museum, then home for pizza, presents and cake. I made the cake from scratch and it turned out pretty well, but it was a full-day chore. (Well, that plus running errands. And everything else I had to do that day.)

I would tell you about the fun we had at the Lego store. Tom had a ton of fun putting bricks together so we could fit millions of tiny bricks into the bucket. They also made some [strange] Lego figures. It was all very exciting.

We would talk about the latest Child Services near-kidnapping and how these cases of CPS getting involved because children are “not well supervised” is resulting in a chill factor for many American parents. I see kids barely older than Picasso alone at the park 3 blocks from our house, and I applaud that freedom, but I wouldn’t let my kids do that. Sad, because when we moved here, it felt like a neighborhood where kids could roam free. Now, I worry if I leave my son in the yard while I walk two houses up to the corner bus stop.

We would talk about discipline problems. I might be looking for a high-five for sticking it out for an hour (I timed it) to make Cassatt pick up the Scrabble tiles he threw all over the floor.

You might ask me about my fiction blog. I haven’t written in there much over the last few weeks. I did find a support group for the main character in my novel, though, and that group will be her key to friends and life again. But nobody gets to read that yet.

I would tell you about my plans to return to work. I may be looking for a [very] part-time job in the fall. In that vein, are there any divorce lawyers you would recommend in the St. Louis area?

I would ask you:

  1. What kind of coffee are you drinking today? (I’m drinking decaf this afternoon.)
  2. What is your biggest parenting success over the last week?
  3. Does fear of Child Protective Services influence how you parent your kids?


If We Were Having Coffee … Knitting Edition

Photo by Ballistik_Coffee_Boy, courtesy of Creative Commons

Photo by Ballistik_Coffee_Boy, courtesy of Creative Commons

If we were having coffee this morning, I would moan to you that my brain isn’t coming up with 99-word stories lately. Lately being the past few days. I would complain that I haven’t had time to write lately, which is only somewhat true, because I’m sure I could squeeze in fifteen minutes somewhere to write. Every day.

I would tell you about the hat and mittens I knit for Cassatt. The boys are getting closer in size, and we only had one pair of mittens that fit their size; Cassatt needed some bigger mittens. He got me yarn for Christmas, so I made him a set. Now that project is done, and my fingers are itching for a knitting project. I think I will get out the tablecloth.

My mother-in-law was crocheting this tablecloth, and when she passed, the only thing left to do on it was the edging. It is a beautiful tablecloth, and our family will treasure it for years. Judy was skilled with her hands; she loved crocheting, quilting; and needlepoint. We have some beautiful blankets that she made.

If we were having coffee, I would complain about Picasso running in and out of the room. They are watching Dinosaur Train as we sit and sip, and it must be exciting, because he is running all over. He gets scared of the strangest things though. We got a book from the library about an alligator who swallows a watermelon seed, and that book scares him. Not the alligator, he doesn’t mind that. But he’s scared of the part where the alligator imagines a watermelon growing in his stomach. It’s silly.

If we were having coffee, we would be complaining about the cold weather. It’s been terribly cold the last few days; so cold that I took Picasso to school instead of letting him ride the bus. It’s gotten warmer–it’s in the twenties now–but the snow powder that fell on Wednesday is still blowing around. There’s not much, less than a quarter-inch, but it’s the kind that would normally melt as soon as the sun touched it. We’re supposed to get freezing rain today and tomorrow, which I’m not looking forward to. I hope school is not cancelled on Monday.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you my angst about going to a birthday party this afternoon. It is at Dave and Buster’s, which is crazier than Chuck E Cheese. And bigger. My husband hasn’t decided yet whether he’s going, and I don’t look forward to taking the boys by myself.

If we were having coffee, I would ask:

  1. Do you do needlework of any kind? What do you do? What are you working on?
  2. What are you struggling with this week? What are you excited about?
  3. How is your weather?

I hope you have a great week!


If We were Having Coffee … (New Year’s Edition)

Photo by Ballistik_Coffee_Boy, courtesy of Creative Commons

Photo by Ballistik_Coffee_Boy, courtesy of Creative Commons

If we were having coffee, I would tell you how excited I am to start off the new year.  I would tell you about our quiet New Year’s Eve and about the excitement of Doughnut Magic. I would talk to you about how I did more writing over Christmas vacation than I have done for a long time, and that I’ve finally started writing about my characters again. (There’s not enough structure yet to call it a novel, although I dream it will get there someday.) I would ask you how your Christmas vacation went, and whether you stayed sane while your kids were off school.

I would talk to you about your thoughts about Ferguson, about whether you think protests are accomplishing anything and what better ways you think the protesters could get their message across. I would express my frustration with the anger and bias I see on both sides of the issues, and my wish that people could see past their hurt feelings to listen to the other side.

I would be chomping at the bit to get to my volunteer-work life. I would share my excitement about a grant that my local CHADD group got, and some of my dreams about spending it. I would talk about the speaker we are having at our meeting Wednesday, a professional organizer, and how excited I am to hear her speak.

I would tell you about the editing class I’m taking online. I hope it will help my writing, and I may look for some freelance editing work once it is over. I am learning about a whole different world that lies underneath writing.

I may tell you about the chicken pot pie I made for dinner tonight. Tom got me a stand mixer for Christmas, and I used it to make pie crust. The pot pie was good. I made an extra one to go in the freezer for a busy night (or maybe just one where I forget to plan dinner ahead of time.)

I would ask you:

  • What are you excited about as we start the new year?
  • What changes are you making this year?
  • What’s the best recipe you made in the past week?

I found a meme on Just Gene’O titled If We were Having Coffee. I liked the theme and wanted to have coffee with you. 🙂 Hop on over to his New Year edition of If We Were Having Coffee.


Doughnut Magic

Just in time for New Year’s, I stumbled along this post about making doughnut magic for your kids.

I was so excited! I even happened upon it while Hubby was at the grocery store, so I texted him and we decided to do it.


What’s on my menu?

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