I have moved over to WhittereronAutism.com. Please follow the link to find me there. Hope to see you after the jump! :)

Monday, August 31, 2009

This Lovely Life by Vicki Forman

Tackle It Tuesday Meme
Try This Tuesday

Remember the book "giveaway?"

Well I'd just like to let you know who won. However, first of all I must come clean and admit that I think that the drawing was grossly unfair. When I tell you who it is, read the name quickly and see if you make the same association that I do? Of course I can't be certain that he really cheated and the other two are no better as they share the same bias.

Do you know this little guy?

Isn't it awfully close to this "chapess":-

"Kirkby" So "congratulations" I'll let Vicki know but I'm doubtful whether her carrier pigeon is up to transatlantic. [Should have thought of that first]

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Garfield rules

Hosted by "Tracy" at "Mother May I," but the photo-picture below will whizz you right there with one click.


Yes, he had to correct my spelling!

Don't forget to add your name to the "book giveaway" as the winner will be announced tomorrow and spare a thought for "Nonna."

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Hey good lookin!

My children enjoy yet another year in the public school education system. Whilst the speech delays are still with us nevertheless they grow and change daily.

We arrive at the weekend after completing the first successful week, hopefully the first of many. It is whilst I am cooking lunch that my son accosts me in the kitchen.
“What what dear?”
“Wot is it being?”
“What am I cooking? Um.....a fragrant concoction.”
"Wot it is being?"
"Fragrant is another word for smell."
“What you be fragranting?”
“The smell or fragrance? That’s probably the Oregano, it’s a herb. Isn’t it lovely?”
“Wot is it being?”
“The other smells? Take a peek in the pan and a sniff. It’s either bacon, garlic or possibly the beans you can smell?”
“Beans, beans they make you smart, the more you eat the more you fart.”

And don't forget to add your name to the "book giveaway."

Friday, August 28, 2009

Growing up

Slurping Life

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My girls......11 is catching up with 28!

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Breeding perfection

Part of the reason for choosing the Labradoodle breed of dog was because the boys have eczema and asthma. We were advised that this breed amongst a few others may lessen the adverse impact of a new pet upon our already very complicated family life. To date, this evidence has proved to be true.

Our pet, Thatcher, has won us all over. No-one could ask for a more laid back puppy, huge yet gentle. He sheds like many other dogs but my toils with the vacuum are well worth it. Unlike the rest of the youthful household, he is not in the least bit phased by the whirring of the vacuum. He has already added so much to our family that I cannot imagine life without him any more.

We have adjusted to his little doggy ways and the occasional deep baritone bark of warning;- woof, it’s a squirrel, woof, it’s a human pedestrian, woof, it’s someone at the door. There’s quite a variety but we know them all. It is because we know them all, including the puppy whimpers of bad dreams and chasing deamons full speed whilst lying sideways on the floor, that I am surprised by an entirely new kerfuffle of a noise. I run to investigate the fearing the worst. I find the worst, my son wrapped around the neck of the hound that sneezes.

Most peculiar.

Half gag half whimper.

“Iz o.k. mom! I fink Fatcher has allergies.”

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Multitasking logic and instant confiscation

British people are often, quite wrongly, said to be scatological, obsessed with bodily functions and toilets. Sadly, this mis-apprehension is further advanced by Gillian McKeith, whose programme has recently arrived in the USA. I feel duty bound to dispel this myth, as quite frankly anyone who spends more than a few minutes in a bathroom is need of some serious professional help. As for people who have reading materials in their bathroom, they too need their head’s examined. No-one should have enough time in the bathroom to read anything more than ‘please wash your hands.’ Some people argue that they are so busy that they have no choice but to complete other tasks whilst closeted in the bathroom, or at least that was the executive’s excuse, he who insisted upon continuing dictation back in the days when people employed secretaries.

It’s not that I’m against multitasking. In principle, I’m all for it and do it frequently. I suspect we all do to a greater or lesser extent, indeed if we didn’t, we’d reduce our efficiency quotient by some quite horrible margin.

Cooks do it all the time, just in the cooking and preparation department. Sometimes they load themselves up and chat on the phone, listen to the radio, read the recipe book, do a few rows of knitting while the water comes up to boil, plan next weeks menu, fold the washing……well maybe not, but you get the picture.

However, instinctively I some how know that there are limits, although I’m not terribly sure where the boundaries lie. That said, I know with a degree of certitude that some things should not be combined, such as knife throwing and swimming. Who wants rusty knives? Then a few other things spring to mind such as using a chainsaw and doing anything else at all. It’s just not on. Some tasks just require the usage of too many brain cells to permit distraction or the consequences are dire.

In my son’s case it is a different order or magnitude. Broadly speaking, I think it is safe to say that neither are into multitasking. Both prefer mono tasking, preferably without end if it is a preferred ‘task,’ more especially so, when the task is an electronic game.

Hence it is with a certain amount of awe when I find him in the bathroom. I see something that I have never seen before. I see something that I cannot imagine anyone ever doing. I find him sitting in the bathroom doing what most of us choose to do alone, together with his Gameboy and a carton of Goldfish crackers, eating, playing Mario games and…..well……doing. Forget the Gameboy! Eating and doing are not tasks I could ever imagine occurring at the same time. I realize that I have had a much more sheltered existence than I ever thought possible because no matter how hard I try, I just cannot envisage doing likewise. I am tempted to squeak something irrelevant like ‘Hygiene!’ but I realize I am silent when he blinks up at me, “wot?”
“I er….you shouldn’t…….can’t……don’t want to……”
“Go away. I am needing my privacy.”
“But…..eating and toilets aren’t a good match dear.”
“But I’m saving time.”
Somehow I don’t really like to make further enquiries, in part because I already know that in his mind eating is always either a chore or in the alternative, a complete waste of time. I can feel a social story coming on.

Maybe it’s just a male thing?

Don't forget to add your name to the "book giveaway" and spare a thought for "Nonna."

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

One Man's Meat

5 Minutes for Special Needs

If you enjoy caption competitions and photographs, you may wish to nip along to"DJ Kirkby" over at "Chez Aspie" and test your brain power.

Don't forget to add your name to the "book giveaway" and spare a thought for "Nonna."

MckLinky Blog Hop

Monday, August 24, 2009

Quick Fix

Tackle It Tuesday Meme
Try This Tuesday

I somehow thought I would have more time, but I don't. If you, like me, need a quick solution to the ever hungry masses, try re-introducing dessert to the menu, both a filler and a bribe for the very average meal. My difficulty, or one of them, is how to add this whilst we have two diabetics in residence. There are lots of diabetic and other healthy alternatives but if I make two versions of the same thing I can guarantee that no-one will take the diabetic option. [I know, I've already tried that] As I'm still keen to encourage my "little chef" with something mouth watering, we've compromised. Bite sized desserts. These little parcels taste a bit like pain au chocolat, but don't take my word for it, give it a go yourself.

You will need:-
1 packet of puff pastry thawed to room temperature
Some Nutella
Parchment paper on a cookie tray

Unfold the pastry and cut into nine even squares
Put a dollop [teaspoonfulish] in the centre of each one
dampen the edge of the square - brush with water
pull up the corners to form parcels and squeeze tight
bake in a pre-heated over at 425 degrees for about 12 minutes

Leave to cool for at least 5 minutes on the parchment paper [if you transfer them they will glue themselves to whatever you put them on / in

It you place them closer together you could probably cook them in a toaster oven outside in the garden to avoid heating up your house.

Don't forget to add your name to the "book giveaway" and spare a thought for "Nonna."

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Sunday, August 23, 2009


Hosted by "Tracy" at "Mother May I," but the photo-picture below will whizz you right there with one click.

Just call me snap happy.

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I think it would be fair to say that he's developing his own 'Garfield' based character.

When I reminded him that school started tomorrow [today] he said, in Garfield mode in a tone of dripping ice:-
"Sigh........oh what joy! I'm so FUR Get FULL."

I guess he's mastered sarcasm.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

And on we go - typical sibs

My daughter bounces out of Middle School orientation to greet us, beaming. She walks a few steps ahead with her little brother whilst I guide the spinner. I am extremely grateful for the extra wide path as he circles and lurches between bushes filled with bugs and cement pavers full of cracks. He has another year to familiarize himself with the new territory, vicariously, before he joins his sister at the very same school. He is silent and busy and not making much progress as the other two dawdle, waiting for me to get a grip. “Hey look at that!” she points.
“What is it being?”
“Dere is being litter out of dah Middle School. Dey are not nature lovers?”
“Gross. Dya know that’s called a cigarette butt?”
“You mean……Middle School is dah litter and dah Nature hater and dah rude!”
“It’s not really rude when it’s a cigarette butt……is it Mom?”
“Hmm I suppose not. I’m not sure really, we’d need to ask an American.”
Surely better than dog end or fag end?
“But we is being dah Americans Mom!”
“He’s right ya know.”
“Hmm indeed.” I hold one by the shoulders as I watch the other one ping, just as if he’s been touched by a cattle prod as he sparks into action, “I know!” he bellows in robot mode, “Ban dah butt! Ban dah butt! Ban dah butt!” We watch him, arms up, full bounce as he chants his new cheer. His sister looks at him, from him, to me, from me to him, rolls her eyes as a drift of Middle Schoolers pass by and giggle. It’s a knowing look, wise beyond her years, half resignation half beam.

And don't forget to add your name to the "book giveaway" and spare a thought for "Nonna."

Friday, August 21, 2009

Boing, boing, boing

Slurping Life

Get the code:-
Cut and paste
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One heck of a fun day!

I just wish I'd had the video to hear those squeals......all the way up.....and all the way down.....again and again and again. Now that's my kind of proprioceptive input.

In addition today, if you have a spare moment or are looking for other autism sites you may with to nip along to "Nurse Practitioner" where you can investigate a "list" of diverse sites about "autism."

And don't forget to add your name to the "book giveaway" and spare a thought for "Nonna."

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Tongue twister

I make breakfast for the masses and listen to my son chat to his sister. He’s at the age where baby teeth fall like confetti. The tooth fairy has been banned from our house as no-one enjoys night time un-invited prowlers.

Currently we enjoy a two-fold extravaganza during all conversations, a backdrop of singing Axel F, the theme song from Beverly Hills Cops, as well as the added bonus of a new form of oral punctuation. Everywhere there is a period, a full stop, my son adds ‘bing, bing, bing.’ As with most new bursts of development, it can be a little disconcerting at first. The theme tune is sung in tune whilst the other person talks, to sort of fill up the empty air space. I don’t really understand how his voice can sing and yet he can also hear what is being said to him at the same time. I suspect it’s just another of those self calming techniques to aid concentration.

“Does my teef look cute, bing, bing, bing?” he asks with his very best wheeling voice.
“A bloody tooth is not cute. Why would I wanna look at that thing?”
“I’m gonna call him Max, bing, bing, bing.”
“You’re gonna name your lost tooth?”
“Yeah and I am give my self a new name too, bing, bing, bing.”
“Alright….tell me already?”
“I am being called Bucky…….Bucky dah bucked toothed part cat, bing, bing, bing.”
“Sure is some kinda awesome title.”
“S’not a title. It’s…….a way of being, bing, bing, bing.”
“Maybe….but that’s not something yur gonna be able to repeat in a hurry.”
“Er… Bucky dah bucked toothed part cat, Bucky dah bucked toothed part cat, Bucky dah bucked toothed part cat, bing, bing, bing!”
“Geez! What was I thinkin!”
“You wer nt fink in, bing, bing, bing,” he adds in robot mode, ‘nev er un der est I mate dah cat part, bing, bing, bing.”

I swear I shall never again complain about the Pokemon and Mario Brothers tunes.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Exclusive – you can only find them in one place, I’ve checked

The back drop to my life is a constant stream of little ditties, scripts on the whole. It’s like wallpaper, always there but not particularly noticeable once you’ve grown accustomed to the pattern. Because they’re collected from such varied sources, the ‘voice’ changes. It’s a bit like flicking through radio or television channels, variety. Here we have TIVO for many different reasons, mainly parental censorship and a need to avoid all advertisements. But now we have "Nonna" in residence so we also have adverts.

I try my best to hold a coherent conversation with "Nonna," very early in the morning:-

“Wot you do den?” she asks, bleary eyed in the kitchen.
“Just getting a jump on breakfast,” I bellow since it is unlikely that she wears her hearing aid at 5:10 in the morning.
“Bananas…….an excellent source of Potassium.” echoes from the family room.
“It is dark. Is it night time or already is it dah morning? Where iz dah clock?”
“Over there, above your head, it’s just gone five in the morning.”
“Price line! Knee Go Tee AyTor.”
“Why you ave dah television on?”
“I don’t……..well…….the radio is on. That’s probably what you can hear.”
“Make a U-turn if possible.”
“I tink I watch dah BBC. You can turn it on for me…..please?”
“Are you sure, it’s still very early. Would you like to wait a bit, maybe later?”
“Dya wanna have music in your soul?”
“Wot time you say it iz?”
“Early, very early in the morning. You don’t usually get up this early.”
“You are making breakfast or dinner?”
“Love! Show me the love.”
“I tink I am confused a bit because it is dark still.”
“Hmm, maybe go back to bed for a while. Do you want to take a coffee with you, some tea?”
“Thanks so much! You’ve been a great audience tonight.”
“No. Thank you. I tink I shall just read. Ave you seen my book?”
“Elusive acid spitting Mongolian death worm.”
I pause in my book search and turn my attention back to my son.
“I beg your pardon? What did you just say?”
“Which bit is it that I am just say?”
“The last bit.”
“Elusive acid spitting Mongolian death worm?”
“Yes. That bit. What is that……exactly?”
“It is exactly…….in my imagination.”

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

First Birthday

5 Minutes for Special Needs

Puppies one year birthday.

If you enjoy caption competitions and photographs, you may wish to nip along to"DJ Kirkby" over at "Chez Aspie" and test your brain power.

And don't forget to add your name to the "book giveaway" and spare a thought for "Nonna."

MckLinky Blog Hop

Monday, August 17, 2009

An equalization programme

Tackle It Tuesday Meme
Try This Tuesday

I have no time to tackle anything right now, or rather to post about it.

Suffice to say that I am busy reorganizing my kitchen cupboards to take account of a couple of changes.

One change is that we have my "Mother in Law" living with us, a person of diminished stature.

The other change is that the boys’ stature appears to have grown exponentially the last few weeks. Not only have they grown in height but they have more than mastered self help by clambouring up onto the counters to retrieve something out of reach. I wish to avoid another new exchange. All exchanges are conducted at 50 decibels because Nonna frequently forgets her hearing aid. The new exchange is where Nonna yells at my son to get down and he yells back that he is actually helping.

“Get down from dere you little monkey!”
“I be help you big monkey!”

p.s. Please note, as my son pointed out, "Nonna" does not really look like a curly frog. What can I say, I was in a hurry!

And don't forget to add your name to the "book giveaway," and spare a moment for "Nonna."

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Confused.....you will be

Hosted by "Tracy" at "Mother May I," but the photo-picture below will whizz you right there with one click.

Just call me snap happy.

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He's coming along very nicely indeed!

And don't forget to add your name to the "book giveaway," and spare a moment for "Nonna."

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Pet Play date

This is a sketch of the area in the garden that we cordoned off for the dogs.

A photograph would have been quicker but then you'd also see the mess, so this is the cleaned up version.

This week we have Bella, Thatcher's sister visiting us.

She's littler but the same age, and clipped. In the first sketch above, I see a neat square that will give her time to acclimatize, but I don't see with a dog's eyes.

This is what a dog sees:-

What a twit I am. Come and visit "Nonna" to view more ways in which I demonstrate "twitishness." That really should be a word.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Dress Code

Slurping Life

Get the code:-
Cut and paste
from this little
boxy thing below

The old yardstick

The new metre

Well it is summer and hot, so this will do very nicely thank you.
[by his own fair hand to boot!]

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Back to the Future – the weight of the world

We chat on the way to the supermarket in the car. It is a proper chat because it is not about Pokemon. Who ever thought that we would ever enjoy a casual chat! The casual chat has been instigated by me, because I wish to distract from the imminent torture of the supermarket. It’s a thoroughly delightful new tactic. The chat is also prompted by the Brain Quest Third Grade (3rd Edition). As they are about to enter 4th and 5th grades in the Fall it is obvious that they are both well below grade level academically. When they were little, the answers were easy but the words were difficult. Now the answers are elusive but the words flow much more freely. All too often I find that as one thing advances another recedes, it’s a trade off. I believe it’s quite common. You can see it in "John Elder Robison’s" book called “Look me in the Eye.” When John was little he had extraordinary talents but as an adult those skills were unavailable to him. The chat comes to an abrupt halt.
“Lets not talk about it any more.”
“Why dear?”
“Coz I don wanna talk about dah future.”
“How come?”
“Coz I worry about dah future.”
“What is there to worry about?”
“My babies.”
“What babies?”
“My children.”
“But you don’t have any children yet.”
“I know and I’m worried I’m not gonna have any.”
“Why won’t you have any?”
“Coz of dah married bit.”
“The married bit?”
“No-one’s gonna wanna marry me.”
“Oh no, you’re quite wrong there. I’m absolutely sure that there’s someone out there for you, just the right one.”
“But I can’t do it.”
“Er…..do what dear?”
“Dah slow dancing.”
“Slow dancing! I don’t think that’s very important. Not everyone likes to dance. Anyway, you’re so good at fast dancing and robot dancing. Lots of people like that too.”
“Dya think?”
“Indeed I do!”
“No…..dya think dat…….one day when I am all grown up dat I will be being……a…da, .a… da, …..a…da…...”
“Be what dear? A dad?”

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Get with the programme

After losing "11,000 words" into the ether I am more than severely miffed. So I’ll just share a quicky whilst I play catch up.

I’m not sure if it’s an American thing or a Californian thing but I think the whole world recognizes it. You have to imagine a teenage girl, an American of course. She is probably dressed in whatever is the current fashion for teenage girls and wears a whole heap of attitude. It’s an attitude full of confidence and entitlement. It’s encapsulated in a Bratz doll but I believe it’s universal. These young women have a few stock phrases which they exchange with other young women of their ilk. They all understand each other although these few phrases may seem like an overly brief shorthand to an older generation. Can you see it? Can you hear it? Are we on the same page?

So, I come bounding down the stairs and bowl into the kitchen where I see my son standing on the counter in bare feet, legs astride with both hands clutching a cereal bowl. I am just about to launch into my well worn and slightly tedious script when he cuts me off. I hear it, a little voice with a big attitude, “hello! Need a lil help here!”

And don't forget to add your name to the "book giveaway."

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Back up

5 Minutes for Special Needs

Yesterday I had a bit of a flip out when I found I'd lost 11,000 words from my file.

But no longer.......new external hard drive!

If you enjoy caption competitions and photographs, you may wish to nip along to"DJ Kirkby" over at "Chez Aspie" and test your brain power.

And don't forget to add your name to the "book giveaway."

Monday, August 10, 2009

Take a walk on the wild side

Tackle It Tuesday Meme

Try This Tuesday

The Scribbit Message Board

I don’t know about you but at this time of year I like to kick back a try a little escapism in my summer reading. So I’d like to challenge you to step into someone else’s shoes, just for a couple of hundred and sixty three pages. Generally speaking my first choice would be a whodunit, preferably one I can solve myself well before the end but not too soon after the first few chapters. That’s my kind of escapism from what I am apt to call ‘my miserable existence.’ Although I call it that, it’s because I love a good moan and I am so exceptionally good at it too. I could take up grumbling professionally, a second career and then rub my mucky hands on the glass ceiling when I bump my head on it. That said, every once in a while you come across a life changing story, like Vicki Forman’s ‘A Lovely Life, a memoir of premature motherhood.’ If you should happen to come across such a story it can be sobering to realize that it’s not a story, it’s true. If you read a true account of someone else’s life, even if you are an expert moaner, it may just be that you might gain a different perspective on your plight. I did. Will you?

If you would like the chance to win a free copy of Vicki’s book, signed by the author herself, all you have to do is read the “review” over “here” and leave a comment there, or here as the linky thing is bust. I’ll send them all along to her together with the winner’s name to be announced on Tuesday 1st September. You could invite your chum to join in too, you know the one, the misery guts who never has a good word to say about anything.

Wouldn’t that be subtle?

This might be a good one to stumble or tweet to help spread the word, should anyone feel so inclined?

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