Summer Planning

Summer is right around the corner, which means parents (like me) everywhere are rushing to fill the days with activities that will keep their children active and engaged.

My eldest son (Q), like so many kids, is eager for school to let out for the break but will be bored out of his little mind after 2 weeks.  He will miss all of his friends and wish school was back in session.   So, giving him a handful of things to look forward to over the summer.

My youngest son (M), thrives on routine and the summer break is a massive disruption to his life.  He has his regular activities in summer, but they are spaced out differently and it throws things for a loop.

So, what’s on the agenda?

ESY

M will spend the month of July going to Extended School Year (ESY) for half-days Monday through Thursday to help ensure that he doesn’t lag behind on his skills in the fall.

Therapy

M will also continue his weekly 1-on-1 speech and occupational therapy sessions at The Autism Project.

Day Camp

M will go to a special needs day camp 3-4 days each week when he is not in ESY.  Q will go to 1 or 2 week-long day camps to spice up his summer.

Overnight Camp

The local YMCA camp offers shortened overnight camp weeks for new overnight campers, so we might sign Q up for that.  We are going to an open house to test the waters with him first.

Six Flags

We have season passes to Six Flags America, so we will likely spend some time in their water park area here in MD during the summer vacation.

Vacations

My husband and I will take a long weekend to get away from it all while grandparents watch the kids.  In August, we might take a whole family trip somewhere fun, like Hershey Park in PA or Rehoboth Beach, DE.

School Work

I will try to do some math, reading, and writing with Q especially over the summer so that he hits 3rd grade up and running in September.  He struggles the most with writing, so we will work on that.

General Fun

Fourth of July brings parades/fireworks and the Fireman’s Carnival Fundraiser to the area. We will bust out the sprinkler or water balloons in the backyard. We will go to local parks and playgrounds.  We will hit up a free Smithsonian museum in DC once or twice.  Watch some movies on the couch. Go on adventures around the area…just for fun.

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Research!

For those who don’t know me, I am a researcher.  No, that is NOT my profession. It’s just what I do. Research, organize, and plan.

I research all sorts of random stuff: where I would live if I moved to San Diego, what restaurants in NYC are kid-friendly, new recipes that I can make in the crockpot, storage solutions for tv wires, and much much more.

Here are my favorites:

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Good Without God

For those who don’t already know me, I am an Atheist.  To some people, that word invokes a lot of negative emotions. I find that this is usually because it is so contrary to their own personal belief system that they have difficulty understanding and accepting it.  While, I identify as an atheist, I consider myself a Secular Humanist.

Happy Humanist

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Among Other Things: Happy Half-Hours

Among other things, the bulk of my days are spent on freelance writing/editing, household chores, and child-related activities. It’s these other things that seem to make or break my days.  They are often ME moments I spend relaxing or doing something that I enjoy.

It’s easy to say you should find your happy, but it’s MUCH harder in practice to find the time, energy, and motivation for these activities. Here are a couple of ways I find my happy, but you do whatever works for YOU!

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One Month Ago Today

A month ago today, I quit my job to stay-at-home.  It’s been both exactly what I expected and not what I expected at all.

So far, my schedule has been pretty erratic.  I’d like to think that’s just because I haven’t established a routine, but mostly I haven’t had a chance to start to form one.  The last four weeks have been a mixture of inconsistencies between the schedule for the family and my own work. 

I’d like to hope that a typical schedule will gradually develop, but I am starting to think that anything resembling an average week went out the window a month ago.

For now, it’s just playing it by ear and see how things go.

 

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Intelligence

When I was a child, intelligence meant one thing: good grades.  If you didn’t get them, your parents likely had “words with you” about your performance as a student.  After my son was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) with language impairments and borderline intellectual impairments, I started rethinking the world of IQ and Intelligence.

IQ (or Intelligence Quotient) is a standardized test mean to assess human intelligence.  It’s also used to determine if an individual has an intellectual disability.  Sounds simple, right?

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On the Other Hand: A Lesson in Perspective

The way we view life and the world around us is unique to our experiences and personality.   It’s hard to remember and make the concentrated effort to change our perspective, but if we can manage it the results can be more than worth the effort.

It’s both as simple and as complicated as changing our dominant hand.  Only about 1% of people are naturally ambidextrous.  Many people, such as myself, can write legibly with both hands, but writing with the non-dominant hand often feels unnatural and takes more effort.  Most people can train themselves to use both hands, but this too takes a concentrated effort.

One of the pitfalls of being in the majority (in this case right-handedness) is that you forget about the minority (about 12% of people are lefties).  This allegory can apply to many perspective issues and has taught me to rethink the way I approach the world.

Continue reading “On the Other Hand: A Lesson in Perspective”

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A Poor Hand Well-Played: The Moments that Define Us

Let’s face it. In life, people rarely get dealt a great hand to play.  In most cases, if you end up with a semi-decent collection of cards, you thank your lucky stars and make the best of it.  It’s never all good chances and circumstances or all bad ones, but learning how to make the best of a tough situation in life is not just a survival technique…

They are the moments that define us.

One thing I always remember when I am dealt a poor hand, is that…

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Post-Holiday Vacation

The holiday celebrations are over. The gifts are all unwrapped. My house is still in chaos…time for a post-holiday stay-cation!

Christmas fell on a Monday this year, and while we would typically stay as long as possible in Michigan visiting family after the most rambunctious of holidays, this year we decided to drive home early.

Best decision ever!

I have become a huge advocate of the need for a break after vacations (even if you can only squeeze in an extra day!)

Why?

An extra day to do it all can make life much less stressful.

  1. Decompress! — If you have kids, you know that a vacation is a stressful, though often fun, adventure.  Your family makes lasting memories, BUT you also had to deal with all the drama of traveling, making a temporary home, and feeding your family while away from the comfort of your own kitchen.
  2. Stuff to Do — There is always STUFF to do after a trip. Unpacking, laundry, cleaning the car, preparing for the next day, grocery shopping, pick up a pet, water the plants, etc.
  3. Schedule Adjustment — Depending how far you traveled and what your family schedule was while into on the vacation, sometimes a day (or more) is needed to help get everyone back on their regularly-scheduled program before work/school begins again.

 

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