June 4, 2017: Plague

Greetings from the House of Plague. Well, really it isn’t—I’m the only sick one. But still, I feel somewhat like death right now, so I’m being a little melodramatic.

Sam kindly gave me his cold, which seems to have turned into a sinus infection. Joy. Dr. Google tells me that most sinus infections clear without antibiotics within ten days, so I’m four days in now and just waiting to feel better. Because Dr. Google promises me that I will.

In the meantime, the world has not stopped spinning for my sinus infection, so we’ve been busy as always. For those of you wondering about the fate of the Porpoise—Chris’s bucket o’ bolts—it lives to squeal another day. The Blue Book value for the car is about $600, and the window repair was only $350 (notice I said “only,” because I’m trying to be all positive and cheerful!), so Chris decided it was worth it to repair.

I say “Chris decided” because I left it up to Chris. You see, I’m the one who chose the car—and I chose it because it was, at the time, reportedly one of the best used cars on the market. And indeed, it runs like a top. But Chris hates it and I have heard years of complaints, so I swore I would never again make a decision about any car he primarily drives. Thus, I left the decision of “fix it or junk it” up to him—and he chose to fix it.

Which makes one think that he really doesn’t hate the car that much, am I right?! I told him I didn’t want to hear any more complaints about the Porpoise, since he clearly has a soft spot for it!

Anyway, the dear Porpoise is still with us. And still duct-taped, because Chris decided he is only going to fix things that must be fixed—not minor inconveniences, like a side mirror held on by duct tape. So there you have it.

In other news of things fixed: my glasses are still sliding down my nose, after having them supposedly “fixed” by Lens Crafters. BUT, I went back and asked to try bifocal contact lenses, and I love them!! They do make my faraway vision slightly worse, but I can read with them on, so it’s worth the tradeoff! According to the lens fitter, bifocal contacts just aren’t that great yet—they’re still working out the technology to make them as good as progressive lenses in eyeglasses. But they’re good enough for me—much better than fighting with taking on and off reading glasses all day. So yay!

Also, I think we can officially say I’m getting old: bifocal contacts? And gray hairs are starting to spring up more than just one at a time. Sigh…

On Saturday, I took Sam to Music Therapy (despite feeling like my head might explode at any moment), which was rather a bust. Sam is a cooperative kid most days, but like anyone else, he has moody days where he doesn’t feel like cooperating. Today was one of them. So we lasted through about half of Music Therapy, and then I waved the white flag and left. We met up with Chris and Theo for pizza-by-the-slice, and then I headed back to Down Syndrome Connection for a meeting for Sam’s summer speech camp. It looks like he’ll be in class with a lot of kids he knows, so I’m happy about that! I can’t wait to see how he does this year, given that his verbal skills have progressed a lot since last summer.

Sunday we don’t have much planned, since I’m sick and Theo has a birthday party to attend in the afternoon. We’ll probably hit the farmer’s market and get some ice cream earlier in the day, but that’s about it.

We’re gearing up for the last week of school! I’m very sad about this, but not for the reason you might think. I know a lot of parents feel a bit overwhelmed with the idea of keeping their kids occupied all summer long, but that’s not an issue for me because since I’m self-employed, I’m able to work a ton during the school year and then take it easy over the summer. So it’s not like I’m trying to juggle full-time work and full-time parenting over the summer, which I admit would be quite stressful.

No, instead I’m mourning because this has been such a phenomenally successful school year for both boys, and I hate change when a routine is going well! Sam is graduating from preschool (wah!!! My baby is growing up!!), and I am going to be sad to leave. His school has been so warm and welcoming, and he has really bonded with the people there. And Theo…well, I cannot say enough about Theo’s teacher this year. In a word: amazing! She was just everything a teacher should be: enthusiastic, flexible, kind, funny, intelligent, creative, open to new ideas. And Theo responded beautifully to her. He really had an incredibly successful year, and while I’m hopeful that he’ll get another great teacher next year, I’m sad that he is leaving this one—and so is he! He really, really loves her.

But all good things must come to an end, and so it shall—and I’ll just be glad that he had such an amazing teacher for third grade. He has come out of this year with an incredible enthusiasm for learning, a new love of reading, and a generally positive attitude about school. Not once this year did I ever hear, “I’m sick of school! I don’t want to go!” He looked forward to it every single day. (He hates homework, but that’s another story. I hate homework too. I’m just glad he actually enjoyed the school days—and I can’t blame the kid for not wanting to do homework, after being in class for six or seven hours a day.)

We plan to celebrate the end of a very successful school year with a mommy-son dinner date to teppanyaki. (The Japanese style of dining where they cook on your table, like at Benihana.) Theo has been dying to eat at a “five-star restaurant,” as he says, and at the beginning of the school year, I promised him that if he worked really hard and had a successful year at school, I would take him to a nice dinner. The teppanyaki place isn’t five stars, by any means, but it’s certainly nicer than what we normally take him to, and I think he’ll have fun watching them cook on the table. It’s a bit spendy, so we decided that Chris and Sam will stay home—Sam isn’t likely to eat anything there anyway, and the idea of spending a whole dinner making sure he doesn’t chuck something on the hot table (or worse yet, touch it and burn himself) is not appealing. So Sam will get to have that fun experience when he’s older and less picky. 😉

The following week, Theo starts day camp, and Sam will be home with me, doing potty bootcamp! I decided to pull him out of preschool a week before his summer program starts so we could give the ol’ potty thing a try. We’ll see how it goes. I’m not expecting miracles, but some progress would be much appreciated! Theo is not a fan of this idea, though, because potty bootcamp involves Sam being naked from the waist down all day, and Theo doesn’t want Sam “making big old turds on my bed!!” He he he…point taken. Lucky for him, we’ll be primarily downstairs, where we have easy-clean vinyl flooring throughout, because I’m anticipating plenty of pee and poop everywhere as we attempt to make the transition from diapers to underwear.

In other words, avoid our house like the plague starting on June 12th.

On that lovely note, pictures!

I think I forgot to post this one from last Saturday—my poor, sick little bug fell asleep on the couch. He kicked it pretty fast, though. I wish I were so lucky!

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This was a meatball and asparagus dish over creamy rice. I rarely cook meat, being much more of a veggie person myself, but I made an exception for this recipe. And it was SO good!! Chris insisted that I keep the recipe so we can have it again.

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Last Sunday, Chris cooked and we ate out on the deck. He made the best sautéed greens I’ve ever had—they were perfection! And brussels sprouts with bacon. Also chicken-apple sausages, but I skipped those in favor of a larger portion of the greens and brussels sprouts. So yummy!

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The boys had fun playing in the backyard while we relaxed after dinner. Sam loves to crash into things, and Theo was all too happy to ride the car “bucking bronco style” while Sam repeatedly crashed into it!

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Sam also got a workout pushing Theo into spectacular crashes, much to Theo’s delight.

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Oooh, chilaquiles! I love it when our meal box includes this. It’s tortilla chips, black beans, and tomato sauce, topped with cilantro, avocado, queso fresco, and fried eggs. SO yummy!

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This one was fregola pasta cooked with zucchini, cherry tomatoes, and soft-boiled eggs. Very tasty!

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Black bean and zucchini tostadas with pickled red onions and radishes on top, plus soft-boiled eggs. I’m a sucker for eggs, if you can’t tell:

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More tacos! These were sautéed zucchini, mushrooms, and poblano chiles, with melted white cheddar on the tortillas. Yum!

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Sam in a rare moment of cooperation during Music Therapy:

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When you fall asleep midway through a snack of dried fruit. The headphones are construction-worker noise-cancelling headphones from the hardware store. Although Theo loves to make noise, he can’t stand to listen to noise not made by him. Rather than deal with constant complaining in the car (“Sam keeps chewing!” “I hate the sound of Sam’s toy!”), we got him these headphones to block out sound. And I think they make a bit of a white noise when he wears them, because they automatically put him to sleep nearly every time.

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Examining a lizard tail that fell off. He felt horrible that he inadvertently caused the lizard to lose its tail (he accidentally dropped a garbage can on the end of its tail), but he perked up when I told him that lizards can survive without tails. And then the tail became an object of great interest:

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Sigh… “Dad, I want a nectarine! Will you cut it up for me?” “I’m busy right now. Just eat it off the pit, like you would an apple, Theo!” “Okay, Dad!” And then this is what I find…five farmers’ market nectarines, only half-eaten each.

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