Just Add Legos

We forgot about the camera yesterday, so we have no Christmas pictures.
Again.  😦

I need a smart phone.
Would that make it easier to capture my life in photos?

I did manage to snap one blurry old phone pic as I was emptying the dishwasher last night…
How many spatulas does it take to get me through a day of holiday baking?
This is the answer:

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And at some point over the week, I took this photo of the beaded fruit on my dresser:

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I love beaded fruit.

Husband snapped these pics of our new white Camelia:

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I love our new white camelia.

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But that’s it.  😦
Not one picture of the boy as he was unwrapping his gifts…
or the grandparents sipping their Baileys in our living room.
No snaps of the tree, all laden with packages.
Nope.  None of that.

But I did take these pix of the boy and his Rapunzel hair late last night…

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He’s adding Legos now.  🙂

Fa la la la la la…la la la la!

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Merry Christmas!

♥♥

Tangled Autism Hair

A few weeks ago, I posted a note on Facebook about my son’s love for the movie “Tangled” and how he had fashioned himself some long Rapunzel hair using a few lengths of orange Hot Wheels car track.

Not long after my post, I bought the boy a long blonde wig. He tried it once and abandoned it in favor of the car track again.

Now, when he arrives home from school each day, he goes immediately to his room to get the car track.  He puts it in his hair and wears it until he needs to dress or shower the next morning for school.  Yes, he even sleeps with plastic car track stuck in his hair.  And usually he attaches three or four pieces – about eight feet of track – so it drags on the ground when he walks around the house.

I don’t know why I’m telling you all this, except maybe to give you a glimpse into life with an autistic child whose sensory issues, OCD, and creativity frequently collide.

We can usually anticipate that he will react strongly to things, but we are powerless to accurately predict for you exactly how, or for what duration, that reaction will grip his body and our house.

We have simply learned to slip our arms under the track when we hug him and to call him Rapunzel, as if he were the most gifted princess in the land.

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DSC00461Happy Thursday!

P.S.  What’s happening at your house this week?

♥♥

It’s officially a collection.

I bought another Bundt pan.

That’s two in two days.

This one is more modern than the others.

It’s non-stick, silver, heavy, and made by Wilton instead of Nordic Ware.

And it’s beautiful.

See?

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It’s already on the wall with my red and blacks pans.

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Yesterday, I raised my eyebrows in wonder and slight disgust over the condition of the chippy yellow pan I bought on Sunday.  Someone was mean to it.

This one, on the contrary, was treated like the beauty she is.

The pan has clearly been used, but it was basically clean, and the previous owner had even kept the flimsy plastic insert to protect the pan’s interior.  Amazing.

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You can see some dust on the plastic piece – this is after I washed it with warm soapy water.

It was really gross, but the pan beneath it was happy and safe.

Now, I just need an occasion for popping these pans into the oven.

Send me your favorite Bundt cake recipes.

I also bought a few more children’s books and a teeny patchwork pumpkin.

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A few days ago, I swapped out all the books on my son’s display rack.

We now have enough Halloween books to read a different one every day in October.

Our Thanksgiving titles are in shorter supply though, so I was happy to find a few at the thrift store today.

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The display rack is mostly for seasonal titles.

He has a couple of tall bookcases in his room for other books and some of his toys.

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Heh heh.  I just noticed that Wreck-it Ralph is in the hospital.

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Brundibar is a Maurice Sendak book that I’ve had on my wish list for a while.

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It’s always nice to find a $20 hardback picture book in perfect shape and marked just $2 at Goodwill!

Can’t beat that!

I can’t really imagine paying full price for a children’s book – not when Goodwill actually has its own bookstores.

Unless you’re looking for a new release or a specific hard-to-find item, it pays to go second-hand.

My favorite place to buy books is the DAV thrift store on Elkelton in Spring Valley.  They seem to have a permanent half-off sale – all books and magazines too.

And their prices are low before the discount.

Anyhoo, here is a close-up of my little patchwork pumpkin.

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I am really quite ready to usher in the Fall.

In fact, I can’t wait to see miniature pumpkins at the grocery store.

They make me happy.  🙂

That’s all.

Well…except for here’s my kid and my messy house:

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Happy Tuesday!

♥♥

Still No Armadillo

Remember Gourdy?

I got a friend for him today.

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His mustache reminds me of Snoopy’s brother, so I named him Spike.

He is Gourdy’s Uncle Spike.

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He makes me laugh.

I also picked up a few children’s books (big surprise).

I found two small Wilton cake pans too.

The pans are oval – perfect for making Easter egg cakes next spring – and they were a steal at two for a dollar.

The price was extended to me because the vendor was an acquaintance of my brother’s.

It pays to hang with a sibling who knows the sellers by their first names.  🙂

My favorite find of the day is this chippy yellow bundt pan.

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It was dirty and neglected when I found it.

It astounds me that people can’t be bothered to scrub a bit before tossing things into the donate pile.  Gross.  Sad.

I’m not sure how well it will actually bake, given the abuse it suffered from its previous owner, but I love it up there on the wall above my spice rack!

I will try it out over the holidays, for sure.

A few months ago, I bought a small red bundt pan that hangs on the opposite wall.

DSC00240It’s chippy too.

I love them both.

That’s all.

Happy Sunday!

P.S. Look at this:

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I tossed some leftover ground cover into a planter pot a few weeks ago.

I actually thought it was dead.

I guess I was wrong.

Happy Surprise.

♥♥

Carlsbad Staycation

Our room at the Grand Pacific Palisades had a view of the ocean.

It was beautiful.

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Unfortunately, the flower fields below were cleared for the season.

Instead of colorful blooms, all we saw was a lot of dirt and this big pile of manure.  Heh heh.

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Our room was downwind, but it wasn’t that bad.

The view went a long way toward making up for the “aroma.”

The little boy didn’t seem to mind.

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I don’t think the room is of great importance to him anyway.

He’s all about the water features and this place surpassed all of our expectations in that department!

The play area next to the family pool was great.

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The pool itself was walk-in warm, really clean, and fairly large.

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Because of its location right next to the water play area, I didn’t have to get out of the pool to keep an eye on my son.

The hotel also has a separate adults-only pool with a few lanes marked off for lap swimmers.

As a plus-sized mom with a splashy child, I appreciated being surrounded by families, and not by young fit singles or childless lovebirds.

Both pool areas have hot tubs too.

Despite some negative comments on Yelp, I gambled on this place and I was pleasantly surprised.

It doesn’t hurt that the service is excellent and that the restaurant on the property is a Karl Strauss Brewery.  🙂

I would definitely book a stay there again.

After husband left us to go to work in the morning, the boy and I checked out and headed down the street to the Museum of Making Music.

I wasn’t sure what to expect of this place, but I am so glad we went!

The museum is very small and only takes a few minutes to walk through, but it houses a remarkable display of unique and old musical instruments.

It is clear that the exhibits are lovingly cared for and designed with curious kids in mind.

There are buttons to push and music to hear and each room includes at least one instrument meant for visitors to play.

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My son enjoyed this immensely.

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The last room of the museum is entirely hands-on.

Even I couldn’t resist playing Twinkle Twinkle on one of the harps.

The boy loved this drum thing.

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The admission to the museum is only $8 for adults, $5 for older kids, and $0 for those under five.

I felt like it was easily worth that and if I’d remembered to do it before we left, I think I would have tossed a few more ones into the donation jar.

Overall, this was a very pleasant little getaway.

What have you been up to?

♥♥

To The Rude Mom at Vons Today

Dear Rude Mom,

When you blocked my way at the end of the aisle, I said nothing.

It wasn’t enough of anything to think about.

I was annoyed that you had seen me walking in your direction and that you responded by turning your cart fully perpendicular to mine.

But I don’t think you did that on purpose, so I didn’t take it personally.  And I did nothing to visually convey my annoyance.  Why would I?

I slowed to give you time to move the cart (which your deer-in-the-headlights son did for you) and then I passed you without another thought about it.

That is, until I finished the rest of my shopping and realized I had forgotten something on that same aisle.

I made a u-turn and walked back.

You were still there, staring at the same shelf, completely oblivious to the other customers around you.

Thankfully this time, your son actively pulled the cart to the side to make way for everyone else.

You couldn’t be bothered to do that yourself.

I walked by briskly, grabbed my item, and was heading out of the aisle when you decided you didn’t like me.

In a voice clearly meant for my ears, you said to your blank-faced son “Wow! Get out of HER way or she’ll just knock you down.”

You said something else that I didn’t quite hear, but it included the same tone and the words “her way,”  so I can only assume it was more of the same.

Nice of you to let me know exactly how you feel.

I am so terribly sorry that I interfered with your oafish pace, careless cart management, and stellar parenting skills.

Next time, I will curtsy and ask if there is something I can find for you.

Like a shred of common courtesy?

Yeah.  That.

P.S.

What I love about the end of the summer?

It’s hot enough to run the a/c and briefly freeze the house, but close enough to Fall that the a/c makes my kid want hot chocolate.

🙂

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♣♣

Babysitting & Playing Hooky

Babysitting the nephews today.

They are sweet and they make me laugh.

Kids say the greatest things.

From the seven-year-old:

“You smell like your house.”

“Me and grilled cheese sandwiches are like two peas in a pod.”

And my own child, wide-eyed when I told him I would be taking his cousins to the park in his absence:

“My chin hurts too much to go to school today.”

Hmm…

I’m a big softie and a huge proponent of family first, even ahead of school.

The nephews and I are picking him up a few hours early and going to lunch and a park with him, instead of without him.

They are only little once, right?

Right.

I haven’t written anything here for the past few months.

I guess I have been feeling kind of private and withdrawn, and this is not the place for that.

But these boys, all three of them, have reminded me this week that life is good and sweet and short.

And my favorite bloggers have continually shown that some of the loveliest, most interesting lives I know are lived right out loud, in front of the world.

I don’t have to be all that.

I can be something in between.

I can just be a good mom and aunt who writes now and then.

So what the hell, here I am again.

♥♥