Spring Break Phone Pix Dump

We actually did a lot over the two-week break.

The child had a bad case of the hives, got really sick, and also lost another tooth, but he rallied for the best parts of his vacation.
He had no trouble inhaling a basketful of candy on Easter morning.


The rest of our days went something like this…

lunch with Grandma
Inflatable World
Pump It Up
several different parks
a night at the downtown Marriott
egg hunts
I guess I’m too tired to remember anything else.
Enjoy the photos!

Oh, I almost forgot!
Husband got a new job.
(Insert great relief here.)
He started yesterday.
So far, so good!




















Insert bad family photo here (complete with chinless child and bug-eyed mommy):


I love this next one of my husband.  He’s more than a little freaked out by heights, but that didn’t stop him from enjoying our 11th floor view of the bay and the bridge.




The pools were beautiful.  The smaller one was walk-in warm in the morning.













Next on the agenda?
Back to school this morning and then to the kid’s salon for a long overdue haircut!

What did you do?


#14 – Things I sorta already knew…

but learned again this week:

  • If I let the child mix the colors, the cupcakes will have dusky purple frosting and his fingertips will be blue and red for several days.
  • If we get to Pump It Up right when it opens, the little boy will actually tire out and want to go before they make us leave.
  • It’s fun to make popcorn with your kid.
  • No matter how many fights I have with our insurance companies, there is always someone dear to me who is fighting harder and getting less.
  • I am not social with strangers.
  • Despite my best efforts, my default demeanor, facial expression, and/or assumed disposition are NOT sunny and welcoming.
  • I have the best two brothers in the entire world.
  • I want my mom to let me choose her next dog.
  • I love to read good books.  Kindred has surprised me.  It’s not what I expected.  I know the minute I finish the last page, I will seek out Butler’s other works.
  • I don’t like reading dust jackets or forewords or authors’ notes until I finish a book.  I go in blind, and either I’m engaged or I’m not.
  • It’s not possible to find the right loaf pan for my pumpkin bread recipe.
  • Our dishwasher is dying.
  • My son always leaves his fast food toys at the restaurant.  On purpose.
  • If I find a beauty product that I like, they will stop making it or at least stop carrying it anywhere that doesn’t charge $5.00 for shipping.  This goes for cheese too…sigh…Vons hasn’t stocked the Saga classic blue brie since I raved about it to my facebook friends.  And Leerdammer…best cheese ever…I don’t know where to get it locally either.
  • I go through thirft store withdrawals if I don’t get to one of them every few weeks.
  • My oldest cat doesn’t see as well as she used to.  Yes, Poupon, that’s a cat treat on the floor in front of you.
  • The little boy really never tires of his Legos.
  • I really hate carpet next to sinks and showers.  Gross.
  • Our cats shed enough fur to make another cat.
  • I don’t want another cat.  Especially not a fake one crafted from fur off the others.
  • The words “vacation” and “break” can be defined as a period of time in which mothers are required to work harder.
  • Everything really does seem better when you already know when your next chocolate is happening.  🙂

Happy Tuesday!


Jumping Autism

I took the little boy to Pump-It-Up again today.  Bless those people for adjusting their pop-in play times to coincide with the district’s scheduled vacation days.  My kid needs to jump!  And today, with that non-stop, windy rain outside?  Even more so.  Jump, jump, jumpity jump!

I brought my book and a thin pillow to put between my rear and the VERY uncomfortable benches in the jumpy room.  I got through a couple of chapters, but mostly I was distracted by my kid and his inability to judge social situations and the reactions of other children.

In the large round jousting jump, he grabbed up a giant puffy baton and whacked a little girl over the head.  She cried and got freaked out by the whole thing.  I didn’t see this happen and was embarrassed to get the account of it from her very nice dad.  Apparently, my kid rendered his kid incapable of further jumpy joy.  He held her on his shoulder for the remainder of the time we were there.  I tried to avoid them and keep a smile on my face, but it was difficult.

A few minutes later, my son crouched on the floor behind a lady holding a baby.  She was watching her older child climb the ladder up the big slide jump.  She didn’t know my son was planning to crawl between her legs.  Luckily, I knew it and stopped him short with a sharp reprimand, but I couldn’t keep the lady from whirling around with a quizzical look on her face.  She heard my barking “no, no, no!” so I had to explain.

“He was going to crawl between your legs,” I gushed.  “He has been doing that to everyone lately.  We’re trying to get him to stop.  He’s autistic and doesn’t understand social and physical boundaries.  I’m sorry!”

Too much.  I said too much.  The woman just looked at me like I was the one who didn’t understand physical and social boundaries.  Probably, I don’t.

There was another autistic boy there with his family today – mom, dad, a baby brother and an older brother.  His mom was very nice.  We chatted for a few minutes before their youngest hit his limit and they had to leave.  Her autistic son is just starting his long relationship with the school district and they are hoping he can move to our school sometime soon.  I will cross my fingers for them.

While that mom and I were busy chatting, my son climbed into the boxing jumpy.  When I peeked around the corner to check on him, he had one of the giant boxing gloves in his hands and was hitting another boy.  The other boy was sitting on the floor of the jumpy, crying in fear and defeat, his arm raised defensively.  His parents were trying to coax him out.

My son had no recognition of the boy’s tears and fears.  He only continued to bop the boy because it sounded funny.  I barked another “no, no, no” and ordered my son out.  I took him aside, I pointed to the crying child and explained that he had done that and needed to say he was sorry.  He understood, but his “I sorry” was too quiet for anyone but me to hear.

The last few minutes were calm enough and my little boy had a very good time, but I got melancholy sitting there.  My son is big now – eight years old and he’s strong and tall – so other parents are worried for their kids around him.  And sometimes the kids are afraid.  It makes me teary.  Psychologically, socially, emotionally, my son is just as much a baby as the four-year-olds around him.  He needs protection and guidance just like they do, perhaps more so.

The autistic boy’s mom mentioned a support group to me.  I haven’t really ever been interested in that, but I took her number anyway.  She was sweet and I liked her, so that is reason enough to consider it.  I know how it is to be that person – the one who finds something good in this difficult journey and wants only to share it with other moms.  I will think about it.  If I don’t decide to call, it will only be because my network of sympathetic mommies is already strong.

Before we left, I took the boy into the Pump-It-Up restroom.  When we emerged from the stall to wash our hands, I saw myself in a mirror for the first time since we’d left our dimly lit house three hours before.  I looked like a drenched rat – pale, unhealthy, red-eye tired, and badly in need of a haircut.

I slept horribly last night.  I’ve eaten really crappy food in the past two days, forgotten to take my vitamins and I haven’t exercised in a week.  No wonder I’m prone to melancholia.  I’m not taking care of myself!  😐

Such an easy fix though.  🙂  Just gotta get back on track!

Not much else to report.

Happy Wednesday!


Wedding, Museum & Jump

We went to a wedding over the weekend.  It was one of the best we’ve ever been to.

Congratulations, Michael & Jewyl!
We love you both and we had a great time.

Husband was a groomsman.  I’ll have to get a picture from someone so you can see the dreamy tux he wore – classic black with a latte brown herringbone vest – very stylish.

I wore the same thing I always wear.  You know, my wedding outfit. That purple blouse with black pants.

The big difference this time?

I spent 100 bucks on plain black, comfortable (albeit not too attractive) shoes.  Sooo, I got to dance.  Without intense foot pain.  Yea!  Husband and I boogied.  😀

Grammy spent the weekend with us and stayed alone with the little boy on Saturday.  Thank you, Grammy.  You are a lifesaver!

We needed a night away together.  This was only the third we’d had since the little boy was born eight years ago.  Sigh.

We had planned to sleep late on Sunday morning, but there were rollerblading elephants in the room above us, so that didn’t work out.  We didn’t mind too much though.

After a pancake breakfast and a quick trip to return the tux, we headed home.  I loved our weekend, but I was happy to see the little boy.

He and Grammy had blown bubbles, played on the computer and made music with water filled glasses while we were gone.

The three of us spent the afternoon playing, doing crossword puzzles and eating See’s Candies while husband took a nap.  (I think he was still trying to recover from the bachelor party weekend ten days before.  :D)

On Monday we all went to the New Children’s Museum.  I bought some discount coupons a few weeks ago, so that took the sting out of the price for us.  It’s normally ten bucks per person and ten more to park.  Ouch.

Luckily, the Museum was sparsely populated, kind of mellow and very interesting.  Great art.  Lots of fun for the little boy.

Marcos Ramirez Erre’s Toy An Horse greets you at the door.  It’s spectacular.  Seriously.  If I ever get a lot of money, I want to commission this guy to make one for my living room.  It has been a long time since I’ve been this overwhelmed by a piece of art.  Just the height left me almost speechless.  Almost.  The little boy walked right under it.  Best. Use. Of. Plywood. Ever.  You can even walk inside it – after you take the elevator up to its body.

We tried three or four times to get the child interested in Roman de Salvo’s Apex Chariots – probably the coolest rides ever.  He was apprehensive, but finally hopped on and figured them out.

He could have ridden them all afternoon.  Well wait, he sort of did.

It wasn’t very crowded, so there really weren’t any other kids waiting.  That’s a HUGE benefit to hitting this place on a weekday.

We also tried the climbing wall.  Well, the boys did anyway.  Grammy and I were happy to watch from the side.

There were giant puzzles in Ernest Silva’s Rain House. With no other kids around, the little boy got to finish all of them by himself.  We were on high alert for the tantrum that might have come had his efforts been thwarted by some well-meaning other.  He doesn’t do very well when another child follows behind, undoing or redoing what he has already done.  Lucky for us, that wasn’t an issue.

The Children’s Museum was a perfect rainy day destination for us.

We got caught in some late afternoon commute traffic on the way home, so Grammy got to witness a little boy meltdown.  He really has a difficult time when we’re not going sixty.  I have rearranged our weekday routine as much as I can to avoid stop and go driving, but Monday was kind of a fluke.  There was a fender bender in the left shoulder contributing to the craziness.  Once we passed that, it seemed to get better.

The boy recovered, so we headed to Miguel’s for a very cheese-laden dinner.  Yum.  So much for the road to vegan living.  Back in the saddle today though.

Husband was back to work and Grammy left early Tuesday morning, so I took the child to Pump It Up by myself.  Without my good camera.  Again.

He loves that place.  Here he is, reclining as the other kids bounce the house around him.

I would do that too if I were in there.

He climbed up to the top…

And slid down to the bottom…

I was sitting a few feet away on a very uncomfortable bench.  The little girl next to me puked all over the carpet as I was reading my magazine.  Nice.  At least it wasn’t my kid.

The Pump-It-Up guy cleaned quickly and without complaint. Good guy.

The whole incident gave me the germified willies, but I figured it was motion sickness more likely than some wretched stomach ailment that would hit our house next.  And since I spent the whole wedding weekend hopped up on sudafed because of allergies, I was in no mood to let fear back me into a stress cold.  So I watched the puking with a blank expression.

And then we went home.

Now it’s today.

So there.

Happy Thursday!


Buh Bye Summer

We were supposed to go to Legoland today, but we changed our minds.

Didn’t want to commit the time, the money, or the miles to the car.

Instead, we spent a painful morning at Pump It Up for a psychedelic-rainbow-black-light-disco-ball-rap-music-open-jump-session headache.

The old crappy phone takes horrible pictures, but you get the idea.

The little boy loved it.  He loved it.

I did not.

Neither did the Grandma sitting next me.  And the moms across the room, they didn’t look that excited either.

The music was LOUD, but all the kids had a good time.  😀

That’s all that counts, because tomorrow is school again.

When we left, the little boy was tuckered out, sweaty and craving chocolate milk.

We stopped at Ralph’s to get a few things and now we’re home, earlier than I expected, and without further commitment.  That feels very relaxing to me.

Now if I only had the motivation to clear the house of its post birthday chaos.

You know what I mean…that piece of wrapping paper under the table, the dead balloons in the corner, the Uncle Sam hat hanging off the banister…stuff.

The extra recycling items are the biggest problem.  Our can is full.  FULL, with four days to go.  😦

Now there are three paper Trader Joe’s bags shoved full and wedged between the wall and the trash bin.  Not so pretty.

Tomorrow.  Tomorrow.  Tomorrow.  Or the next day.

Today, I’m going to concentrate on the little boy.

And maybe I’ll stare at this flower that I just potted in the old ice cream bucket.

Happy Tuesday!