Monday, July 21, 2014

Undone By One Piece

So James and I are now both sick with a head cold. I *finally* found a way to get him his OTC cold meds & melatonin that will help him get to sleep and rest through the night (which gives me a chance to recover too). Now I am trying to keep him from being on an electronic device all day while I limp through some chores and try to rest.

The usual good solution, working on a puzzle, resulting in a whining stint because (horrors) ONE PIECE OF THE PUZZLE IS MISSING! He's put this puzzle together many times. I have no clue where that missing piece is. The puzzle came from the Dollar Store, so it's unlikely it's still in stock.

On a whim, I Googled "Missing Puzzle Piece" and ... wowsers - multiple web pages, two with links to the jigsaw doctor, who replaces missing pieces for a fee. Um ... no.

Usually James is very good about putting his puzzles away, so I really I hope I find that blasted piece.  I will probably end up making a new piece, the way his Dad did when he obsessed over the alphabet puzzle and THE LETTER U WAS MISSING.

Meanwhile, we played the SpongeBob Memory Game until James called a break.

I so want a nap now.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Peripherally Compatible

There is something relaxing about working on my laptop in the kitchen with James perched on my right, playing Angry Birds on his iPad that's propped up on the kitchen counter. He's checking out my blog post, I'm watching him explode through levels of Angry Birds.

Music is ELO through my online music account. We're all going through the cold now, and semi sleep-deprived. But we've nowhere to go and chores have been done. Rain is dropping fitfully around the county. It's a lazy Sunday afternoon. I'm doing stuff, but there's no big hurry. My buddy's by my side and we're hanging out together.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Sleep Deprived Morning# 2,842

Four thirty am wakeup. Augh. Colour me cranky and wilted.

Dude. You've got some
serious 'splaining to do - yarrr!
I was rousted from sleep and bed when James spilled water on his blankets, prompting howls they dry out Right. Now. Helped him rearrange his blankets and he refused melatonin, which would have helped him fall back asleep. He spent the next two hours humming & talking to himself in bed, punctuated with prolonged trips to the bathroom (that I had to get up and end when they ran past the 10-minute mark).

Past the usual time, he asked politely to play on his iPad ... which lasted twenty minutes before he started yelling at the new Angry Birds Game. Couldn't get him to stop yelling or change games. Finally took the iPad away, which resulted in a howling meltdown. HOWLING.

This is not like James. I know he is tired and fighting off a cold, but that is a distant thought when I need sleep as much as I did this morning.

Thanks, Steve!
So the way to deal with howling meltdowns recently: stay close by quietly and let him vent for a short amount of time. Talk soothingly. Let him know I hear him and get that he's frustrated and angry. Wait for him to calm a bit and then ask if I can give him a hug. Break the behaviour with a distraction, which this time was to come out and watch the video he'd gotten from the library: Blue's Clues. He had some breakfast.

James is doing much better now. He even came over and apologised twice for waking me up so early.  I am on my second pot of coffee. We're about to do the grocery shopping soon and he's looking forward to helping out. I am looking forward to a nap and an extra-happy Happy Hour this afternoon.

Epilogue: James just came over and felt my forehead, diagnosed me with the flu, and told me I should stay home from work and REST. Then danced away. Saved again by a sweet bedside manner!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Imaginary Matches

James does a lot of vocal scripting of things he's heard or watched repeatedly, usually from games or childrens' tv shows. His aide at school really worked his ability to take things in visually and give him some key phrases to use in social and school situations.

This morning, his more recent love of the Memory Game and scripting blended together in an unusual wakeup. Normally, James exits his bedroom and announces his intent to use the bathroom or ask to play on his iPad. This morning, he casually draped himself over the arm of the sofa and started matching imaginary cards, prompting me to play with "Your Turn."

We enjoyed flipping over nonexistent cards and naming really random things, occasionally matching things. It was a fun way to start our morning. Happy Friday!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Furry Pals

Yesterday I took James in for an evaluation at the Swain Center. His former caseworker at North Bay Regional Center had heard about James' wonderful social progress with his peers and discovered that he was eligible for a Social Pragmatic Skills course at the ever-fabulous Swain Center.

James remembered coming to the office from years back. He was doing well until some companion dogs came through the office and someone outside fired up a leaf-blower - then he freaked. Those are two things that make him very uncomfortable.

Even though I can tell James *wants* to like animals, their random, independent movement freaks him out. This is how James likes best to interact with animals right now:

For more images that speak volumes and to share some of yours, visit Wordless Wednesday!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Summer Reading 2014: Catching Up

Summer school is over for the year already. No cherries but plenty of plums to deal with in the back yard during a drought. I made plum jam for the first time! James is part of our wonderful library's Summer Reading Program. I did sign him up and he has been doing the reading, I just haven't been going to update his card - gah!

We are lucky to have an in-home daycare person who loves books and reading. It's actually her regular job when school's in session. Over a break-in period of several days, she recommended activities and books to read. The grammar series by Brian P. Cleary is a hoot and fun to read. It rhymes like Dr. Seuss and had brilliant illustrations.


What sets them apart for me is how well they visually parse sentences. In "Hairy, Scary, Ordinary," all the adjectives are in colour and the rest of the sentence text is black. The Nouns pop out in a sort of Technicolour riot across the pages of "A Mink, A Fink, A Skating Rink."


The self-proclaimed Word Nerd also has a marvelous website, which like the books is filled with the energetic and engaging illustrations from Jenya Prosmitsky. The content on the site is rich, and includes games and tests.

We're off and reading!