If We Were Having Coffee in a Whirlwind

Good morning, pull up a chair, relax, it is time for another #WeekendCoffeeShare.

Weekend Coffee

This post is part of a link-up hosted by Part Time Monster

I’ll have to admit, I probably won’t get a chance to read many people’s coffee posts this week. We have had friends in from Chicago this weekend, and it has been busy this week–first cleaning, then entertaining. Yesterday we went to the Butterfly House; today we are going to the Zoo and then the Arch. It should be a fun day.

I was about to write that I was enjoying the morning’s peace when I heard thumping downstairs. Twenty minutes later, Cassatt is downstairs watching TV, and I think Picasso may be joining him soon. The first show I wanted to show him is no longer Prime. It is frustrating how Amazon changes what shows it has on Prime. I just hope it doesn’t take Downton Abbey off prime, since that is my obsession right now.

I get frustrated how everyone’s spring breaks are on different schedules. We had spring break a few weeks ago, and our Chicago friends are on spring break this week. That means Picasso had to miss out on the fun yesterday because he was in school.

Our other big news is how quickly Cassatt is growing up. He will be four next month, and I need to find a place for his birthday party. He insists on doing things independently, and things I helped him with just a few weeks ago he does by himself now. This will make summer easier for everyone! I can’t believe I’m thinking about summer already, but I need to make plans for what my boys will be doing.

Well, my coffee is nearly gone, and it is time for me to get ready for the zoo. I hope you have a wonderful week!



If We Were Having Coffee (racing through a busy week)

Weekend CoffeeIf we were having coffee, we’d be sitting outside at Starbucks today. It is too lovely a day to sit inside. There are too many germs floating around to invite you over to my house. And Hub has graciously offered to watch the kids so I can get some time to myself.


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?


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.


Santa Magic

“I love Santa,” Cassatt said to me as he snuggled into bed.  When I asked why, he said, “because he’s my favorite.”

I can’t help but be amazed at my children’s belief in Santa.  Even though he is everywhere this time of year, even though the world is oversaturated with Christmas cheer, they believe in the magic.  They believe that Santa will leave them presents on Christmas Eve, and that he knows them and cares about them.

In my children’s belief in Santa, I feel some success as a parent. I have not imbued them with adult cynicism.  I have not created their world as I see it, but they are free to be children, to believe in Santa.

For me, the magic is in their belief.  In seeing the world through their eyes, full of magic and wonder.  This is the joy of Christmas.

Picasso Update

So I had posted several weeks ago that the school thinks Picasso has autism.  More than fear, I was upset that the school had hidden that from me.

It turns out, I should have questioned further.  I am so conditioned to expect the worst of the school, it didn’t occur to me that the counselor was making a mistake.  When she was talking to me (keep in mind this meeting was not supposed to be about my son, so I didn’t expect her to look at my son’s file beforehand), she had me confused with another mother.  That other mother had been advocating for an autism diagnosis from the school.

It is such a relief to know that the school wasn’t hiding information from me.  They have been so good about getting services for Picasso, I had been upset with this turn of events.  I am glad to know they are wrong.

Now we are in the middle of evaluations at school, and everyone is on board with keeping an IEP for him.  The ironic thing is, one of the categories they are looking at is autism.  Although I really don’t think a doctor would say he has autism, the criteria for a category at school is different.

We’ll see what happens with the evaluations.  I hope he does qualify to have an IEP after this year.

I keep meaning to watch it, but here is a video about the link between Autism and ADHD.  These videos are worth watching (if you have the time).

The Label Makes a Difference

I think the initial shock of the word Autism has worn off.  It may have taken a few days, but a few days to process that kind of news is a pretty short time.  I think more of my anger is directed at the teachers for not saying it, not telling me what they suspect.  Even if they can’t diagnose, they know an awful lot more than I do and they know what autism looks like.  Even if they were later be wrong, I don’t think they would be as far off base as I was thinking ADHD. More

Siblings at Birth? Prepare Them.

Mothering.com recently posted an article titled The Beauty of Siblings at Birth, basically talking about how wonderful it was to have her children in the room when the new baby came.  It sounds so cozy, such a great family moment, right?

Here’s my experience:

I went into labor at midnight.  I was 33 weeks along, no way were we going to call a sitter at that hour.  (I was determined to wait until a “respectable hour.”  Like 5:00.)  And we don’t have family in town, so Picasso went to the hospital with us.  He was 2 1/2 years old (and was, at the time, recovering from having his tonsils out).

Of course I wanted labor stopped.  But my body doesn’t work that way.  So I labored in the hospital.  For two hours (because it was 3 or so by the time we got there.)  Picasso was in the room with us, and I didn’t care.  I was in labor, someone else got to think about him.

I didn’t care until he said the words I’ll never forget, the moment that will forever be locked in my memory with the birth of my child.

“Mommy made a funny noise.” (followed by laughter.)

Yup, he got kicked out, right then and there.  I learned how wonderful nurses are at babysitting during an emergency.

All of the “good” sibling experiences people have described involved prepared siblings, mothers who thought about having their older children at the labor and what that would entail.  Mine? A child who didn’t understand the pain I was in and thought it was funny.

Next time, I would call the sitter at 2AM.

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