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Thursday, November 25, 2010

this time it's not my fault!

Hellooo!  Anyone out there?

I'm back after a few weeks of major computer drama.  About six weeks ago my computer overheated and turned itself off.  I noticed that the hard drive was somehow up against a cupboard, so I moved it away and carried on as usual, putting the malfunction down to that.

Well, about two weeks ago, I came home to discover that, in my absence, the computer had turned itself off again.  More ominously, there was a bit of a funny smell...

In the spirit of adventure, or possibly lunacy, I turned the beast on again.  Within seconds (yes, literally) great clouds of dark grey smoke were billowing out of the back of the hard drive.

You won't be surprised to know that it was dead.  Very, very dead.

No, I don't have a lovely shiny new computer now.  In fact, we now have an old hard drive from Pacino's work.  It's mostly useless, and so very s-l-o-w.  The guy who connected it up for me (I'd paid him large amounts of money to tell me the old one was dead,. so while he was there I got him to save me a few days angst and connect it all up) told me that we really need to get a new one pronto, but this one will do for a time.  Luckily, because there's no new one coming for quite a while.  He also advised me not to overload it with too much "stuff", so I haven't bothered connecting the camera or anything.  So, boring blogs from me for a bit.

We didn't lose anything much, because I'd backed everything up a few months ago.  Any photos that we lost are still on the memory card in the camera, so all is well there.

I have so much blog reading to catch up on!  I've missed hearing about everyone's adventures.  So that's where I'm heading next, and I'll be back soon to fill you in on our news.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

a visit from the mad hatter

Apparently, our dogs needed hats.  So the Gig decided to make them some. She used her old jeans and some elastic that she found lying about stole from the Bear's party hat, and created hats.  For dogs.  Go figure.

Jasper, being the media tart that he is, wears his hat with pride and, may I say, panache.

Harlan (in the green collar), on the other hand, feels faintly ridiculous in his.  I can't imagine why.

 But the title of Hat-Wearer-Extrordinaire must go to the Bear.  Anyone who can look this sensational in a sparkly purple bowler hat gets my vote!
This was the best photo I could get.  After all, what's the fun of wearing a sparkly purple bowler hat if you're not running around in circles?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

time for a catch up!

Slacker McGee, reporting for blogging duty.

I'm still alive!  I just really haven't been in the mood for blogging lately, and we've been so busy that I've barely had time to anyway.  I'm really sorry that I left you all with such a negative post for so long, but I'm in a better mood now, so this one will be happier.  Not that I actually have any idea what I'm planning to write, mind you.  It's a sort of "fly by the seat of my pants" post.  Think of it as an adventure, if you will.

So where to start?  Maybe with our family holiday to the beach last month.  We had a ball, even though it rained most of the time we were there.  The Bear re-discovered his obsession with lifts (elevators), and we passed the time merrily away by riding in the lift probably 40 times every day.  Bear in mind that we were on the ground floor and didn't actually need to use the lift at all.  He lost all of his words that week, but did find one new one - "Ni".  Or, as we might say, "Lift".  Seriously, that was the only word he said all week.  But he said it so often that it took me a day or two to realise that he wasn't saying anything else!

The Gig had a great time swimming at the pool and the beach.  Who remembers those freezing swimming sessions as a child, with your parents wrapped up in winter woollies at the side of the pool, while you, teeth chattering and lips turning a fetching shade of blue, swore blind that you weren't cold?  You do?  Then you'll be able to imagine the Gig's pool time perfectly!

It was a lovely holiday, though not remotely restful or relaxing.  But now we're back to reality, which for me involves a lot, and I do mean a lot, of time in the car, ferrying my children from one activity or therpay session to another.  It seems that everything we do is on the other side of town.  Speech and OT are a twenty minute drive away, and the  autism siblings group that the Gig starts today is half an hour away, in good traffic.  Of course, it finishes right on peak hour...

We do have some sad news.  Our beloved little dog Harlan has heart failure.  It can be treated but not cured, and his life expectancy is probably about eighteen months.  We are very sad, but determined to make his life happy, if cut short.  He's eight years old, and heart failure is very common in Cavaliers, but it's still come as a shock.

I'm having trouble (again!) with uploading pictures, so I'll leave you with something to imagine instead.  The Bear loves Bob the Builder, and every now and then he brings me his Bob shirt, which shows Bob wearing a hard hat and holding a spanner, to put on him.  Then, he grabs his Bob hard hat  and Bob spanner, and runs down to the mirror in my room.  He puts the hat on, and holds the spanner in exactly the same way that Bob is.  Then, deeply satisfied, he looks at himself in the mirror.  That's how my gorgeous little boy plays at "being Bob the Builder".  How cute is that?

Right, the TV is silent, which means that the Wiggles is finished.  More worryingly, the Bear is silent too.  I'll see you later!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

ask no questions...

You could be like me, and ask the question you've been putting off for months.  You could think that you really want to know the answer; that you can cope with it; that anything's better than not knowing.

You'd be wrong.

I asked the question, and now I have to live with the answer.

It was a one-part question with a two-part answer.

Part one:  The Bear will almost certainly develop functional speech.

Part two:  He is unlikely to develop social speech.

In other words, he'll be able to tell me he's hungry but not that he's sad.  Or certainly, not why he's sad.  No social speech.

I've been lying in bed, unable to sleep, with that phrase running through my head: "No social speech.  No social speech.  No social speech."

And another thing.  Echolalia.  I'd been thinking it was cute, and quirky, if somewhat annoying at times.  But it has just dawned on me that when I say "Hello Bear" and he says "Eh-o Bear", it's because he doesn't know what to say.  It's such a basic instinct, to say hello to someone who says hello to you.  How can you not know what to say?  "Hello Bear".  No social speech.

There's more I want to say about this, but I can't quite sort my thoughts out.  (No social speech.  No social speech.)  

I'll be back soon, with my happy hat back on, I promise.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

big boy bed

In about twenty minutes, the Bear's brand new big boy bed will be delivered.

We hadn't planned to get him a bed quite this soon.  We liked the fact that he is contained in the cot, and that for whatever reason, my climbing monkey hadn't ever thought to climb out of it.

But on Monday night, I made a discovery.

It was about 6pm, and the Bear was in his room.  I thought I'd grab the opportunity to try to read him a story.  (I know, I know, what was I thinking - the Bear doesn't listen to stories.)  I sat down with him on my lap, and read "Each peach pear plum, I spy - Bear, what are you doing?  Come out from under the co..." 

And that's when I saw it.  The base of the cot was sagging, just a bit.  I pulled myself up from the floor, using the cot as leverage in my unfit way, and the base sagged just a wee bit more.  "Oh crap", I thought.  I lifted up the mattress and saw, not a cot base, but a collection of kindling held together by more kindling. "Oh, crappity crap crap crap!", I thought again.  

I can only assume that the Bear had been practising his new-found skill of jumping.  A lot.

So we made a frantic phone call to Aunty S, who lives round the corner, I threw the kids into the car, and we went round to borrow their travel cot.  

By the time we got home, Pacino was home as well.  While the Gig entertained the Bear, Pacino and I effortlessly assembled the travel cot swore, shoved, swore some more, had a tiny tiff, and eventually got the travel cot assembled.

And the next morning, the Bear and I went shopping for a new big boy bed, which has just been delivered as we speak.  I'm not putting it up until Friday, because I need to put the baby gate up at his door first.  Also, the Bear will be at daycare on Friday, and, to be honest, I'd rather not have his help.

A big boy bed.  My little baby Bear.  Excuse me while I cry.

Friday, August 20, 2010

the old grey mare, she ain't what she used to be

Soon, I will be the amazing woman who baffles hairdressers the world over.  You, dear readers, will be able to say, "I knew her when..." 

When my hair wasn't completely and irreversibly grey.  When I had a bit of chestnut, chocolate brown, blonde, boring brown, red, black (that was bad).  Before my hair changed in an instant from lovely, glossy, freshly coloured gorgeousness to wiry, stressed-out grey.  The sort of grey that says "Brand new semi?  Foils?  Pshaw! I'll see you your semi and I'll raise you some stressed-out Mummy GREY!"

So what's causing this freakish phenomenon? 


You had to ask?

Well, it's been coming on for a while now, but the defining moment was on Wednesday morning.  I went to the loo, leaving the Bear deeply engrossed  in Bob the Builder.  On my return, a bare sixty seconds later, he was up on the kitchen bench, playing with something.  On closer inspection, I realised that he was playing with the cover of the phone point.  In fact, he'd taken the cover off (how, I'll never know, as it was allegedly screwed on; the screws are still there) and was playing with the pretty little wires inside!!  Not only that, but he'd taken a picture off the wall, removed the hook, and put the (metal) hook in his mouth!!  

Playing with electrical wires while chewing a metal hook.

There's no hairdresser alive who can deal with this sort of grey.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

call me

The Gig wants a mobile (cell) phone.  Pacino and I have told her that she has to wait until she's at secondary school, in about eighteen months.  But she wants one now.

Last week, on the public holiday, we took the kids out for lunch.  It was a lovely meal, apart from being completely bombarded with phone talk by Miss Eleven.  (It's a safety thing, Mum, if you're ever late picking me up; it's so I can let you know if I have something on after school; it's so blah blah blah...)  Her arguments were actually very well-reasoned and carefully thought out.

Which made her all the more surprised when we still said no!

I did, jokingly, offer her a phone like my mum's - ie, very basic, no camera, no internet access - you get the picture.  But no.  Apparently, that would be more embarrassing than not owning a phone at all.  

Basically, the Gig wants a phone for the show-off factor.

So we finished lunch, came home and relaxed.  I  picked up the Gig's handbag, and, curious about why it was so full, yet so light, opened it.  Inside was Ellie, the Gig's beloved soft elephant which she has had since babyhood.  And nothing else.

That's right, folks.  The same pre-teen who so desperately wants a phone is the same little girl who still takes her Ellie with her at times.

A phone?  Not yet, I think.