Friday, April 30, 2010

all in the family

It's been very familial around here, which is how I like it. First of all, we were given the wonderful, amazing and almost unbelievable news that my older brother Troy's lung cancer has done R-U-N-N-O-F-T. The hateful tumor in the upper part of his lung is gone. There is a questionable spot in one of his lymph nodes that will be biopsied and nailed with radiation if it proves "hot", as they say. So, yes, really brilliant, fantastic news.

My niece and her children (the above brother's oldest child) came to visit on Wednesday. Faith and Michaelie are such peas in a pod. Two smart, funny, weird kids within about a month of each other in age with the same focused interests and both homeschooled. (They both like Doctor Who, Phineas and Ferb, and the Warriors books.)

And tonight, two more of Troy's kids came to dinner and brought their main squeezes. I made a huge pot of cauliflower-chickpea-potato curry and maaaaan was it delicious. The meal was largely silent but for the sounds of gulping, and everyone looking drugged afterward as we all regarded our distended abdomens and belched softly. So. Freaking. Good. Any time you can make eleven people happy with one meal you've done Very Well.

And now G-Lo the little night owl is finally compliant enough to go to sleep without yelling at me, so off we go.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The play's the thing

[Watch Hamlet online](! David Tennant! Patrick Stewart! It is so awesome yall. SO AWESOME.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

warshin' with homemade laundry soap

I made laundry soap today. I don't think I've blogged about that here.

One to one and a half cups grated (non-moisurizing) bar soap (any kind)

One cup Borax or other powdered boric acid

One cup baking soda

Use one to two heaping tablespoons per load, depending on water level. I hope to make our own bar soap soon too and be completely old skool.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Okay, okay, okay!

What does OK mean, Mommy?

[What indeed](

The letters, not to keep you guessing, stand for "oll korrect." They're the result of a fad for comical abbreviations that flourished in the late 1830s and 1840s.

The abbreviation fad began in Boston in the summer of 1838 and spread to New York and New Orleans in 1839. The Boston newspapers began referring satirically to the local swells as OFM, "our first men," and used expressions like NG, "no go," GT, "gone to Texas," and SP, "small potatoes."

Many of the abbreviated expressions were exaggerated misspellings, a stock in trade of the humorists of the day. One predecessor of OK was OW, "oll wright," and there was also KY, "know yuse," KG, "know go," and NS, "nuff said."

Most of these acronyms enjoyed only a brief popularity. But OK was an exception, no doubt because it came in so handy. It first found its way into print in Boston in March of 1839 and soon became widespread among the hipper element.


Thursday, April 22, 2010

nature's whirligigs

Step one: Plant maple seed.

Step two: Wait.

Step three: Obtain copious amounts of maple seeds in springtime.

Step four: Fling in air.

Step five: Repeat steps three, four and five.

[Make an autorotating helicopter out of paper, based on a maple seed](

My name is feebeeglee and I'm a Facebook addict.

I've given up Facebook. When I gave it up for Lent I got so much more done during the day. Coming back to it the last few weeks has shown me that I really can't moderate it, so I'm cutting it out entirely. I read an article a while back about the addictive nature of Facebook and how each new update primes your brain to seek more, like a hit off a pipe. Yeah, that's me. So, no more!

But that means I'll be blogging more! Yay! I haven't been blogging because I've been waffling about photo storage and haven't wanted to upload pictures. And I feel like endless text is boring. But I'm going to soldier through that and just blog, pictureless, until I decide what to do.

We're building a new playset with some of our tax refund. Well, by "we" I mean "Sean". It's the biggest carpentry project Sean's ever attempted. It will look a lot like this:

Only with different kids playing on it, you know. I assume. Need to ask Sean.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Autism Awareness Month: Repetitive behavior

*This doesn't even touch on restricted interests, which goes hand in hand with repetitive behavior. That one gets its own post.*

Bede has never been a guy who's much into toys. We recently rediscovered his favorite (such as it was) toy as an infant: it's a device you can twist and shake that makes different dings and rattles depending on which part is manipulated. But Bede never did that; he just set it on the floor and spun it like a top. Over and over and over.

He went through a long period of playing with blocks, the classic kind that have alphabet letters printed on them. (That's how we learned he knew what they all were, and their sounds.) He would line them up on the edge of the table and scream when they fell, then try again. Over and over and over.

When he got a little older, he started to watch television. He was tyrannical with the DVD player, and made it impossible to watch anything but what he wanted to watch, which was invariably the same program. Disney's Very Merry Christmas Songs and Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas were the only thing on our TV for a year. Then the Cars root menu. Just the root menu! Over and over and over.

I have a theory about this sort of repetitive behavior (which has diminished greatly as Bede has gotten older.) I think he liked the utter sameness of one thing compared with the highly variable world around it. Was it the same movie if it was on when Faith was in the room? Yeah. How bout when he was eating pizza? Uh-huh. But wait, what if he was under a blanket on the sofa? If there were toys on the shelf? Yep. And so on. Over and over and over.

Up next: restricted interests - hyperlexia supreme!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Autism Awareness Month: Teeth

For Autism Awareness Month, I'll be posting about life with autism. Tonight it's about toothbrushing, which can be very difficult to accomplish with autistic children.

Bede has not had his teeth brushed for ten months. Yes, ten months. One night, I stupidly used an electric toothbrush and powerful mint toothpaste and he's been against it ever since. I offered about once every two weeks to try to get him to agree to it and it has been frantic, panicked NO. However, I thought that maybe the move to the new house would help since everything here is "new". I bought a new (non-electric!) toothbrush and some much milder toddler toothpaste and here's how it went.

Me: Hey, I got a new toothbrush for you.

Bede: No, not a toothbrush.

Me: Yes, a toothbrush.


Me: -gets toothbrush, adds microscopic amount of Tom's Silly Strawberry-

Bede: That's Mama's toothbrush.

Me: It's Bede's toothbrush.

Bede: NO. MAMA'S. TOOTHBRUSH. -pushes my hand to my mouth-

(*Notice he's not leaving, though, which is why I pressed on*)

Me: Okay. My turn, then, your turn. -skims own teeth with brush- Say, "Eeeeee"

Bede: Eeee - NO.

Me: It's okay. "Eeeeee"

Bede: Eeeee... -allows brush to touch his teeth and go back and forth for less than three seconds-

Me: Hey, Bede! Great toothbrushing! Way to GO, buddy!

Bede: (triumphantly) Good job! Toothbrushing! That's Bede's toothbrush!


It was SO HARD not to push my luck, and try to get him to open his mouth. But I know I can get there, and if I force the issue now, he might never let me near him with a toothbrush again. Over the next few weeks I'll do a little more each time, brushing twice or three times a week. I'll be simultaneously pushing him to do it himself. My goal is in six months to have a seven year old boy who can simply brush his teeth when told to do so.