1. I’m happy to report that I completed the Blogging A to Z Challenge. Less than a week into the challenge I decided I wouldn’t do it again. While the alphabet prompts forced me to be creative, I found I just didn’t have time to write posts, visit and comment on the blogs of the other participants and keep up with the other bloggers that I already follow. After blah-blah-blogging for all of April, I had to take a break when May rolled around.
2. While I was abstaining from my blog, several cool/interesting/bloggable things happened. For example, last Thursday I headed up the street on a walk with the boys. At the end of our blog lives a former preschool classmate of Philip’s who is also autistic. He was outside with his mom and grandma, and a spontaneous play date ensued.
3. On Saturday morning, I picked up a new box of dry erase markers. Philip was quite thrilled to have fresh markers. These have a finer point than the ones he used to extinction, so his drawings have more detail now.
4. After our shopping trip, we went to a Family Fun Fair. We attended the same event last year with Grandma. This year, I was able to take Philip by myself, and we stayed almost an hour and a half. Philip participated in more activities this year, demonstrating an increased knowledge of a variety of craft and hands-on materials. He really seemed to have a great time.
5. During the fun fair and into the afternoon, Philip had a lot to say. With some prompting, he used his speech app to say “hello,” “bye” and “thank you” to the exhibitors. On his own, he used it to tell me he was hungry! To top it off, he also spoke, saying “bye-bye” in the loveliest sing-song, complete with waving. Later he said “ball” and “bubbles.” It was an amazing day for communication!
6. After stopping at home for lunch and rest, we headed out on Saturday afternoon for our weekly trip to the library. When it was time to leave, the car wouldn’t start. Peter had to meet us in the parking lot, jiggle some wires until the starter worked and then drive the car to our mechanic up near Cleveland. Since the shop was closed for the weekend, we had to leave it which meant I drove to Cleveland and back, too.
7. Philip loves to play with our mini-blinds. Unfortunately, his form of play involves their complete destruction. As a result, we lost all privacy in our bedroom. Peter had to run to the store Sunday morning and buy replacements. I can now change my clothes in my bedroom and sleep without street lights hitting my eyes.
8. One reason the play date was so great was it meant Philip had a chance to play outside. Over a month ago, we received the report based on the lead inspection conducted by the state health department. In addition to some lead paint in our house, the soil in our backyard is contaminated. Until abatement is completed, Philip can’t play in our backyard. After breakfast on Sunday morning, I took Philip to the field behind his preschool and let him run, run, run!
9. My parents agreed to watch Philip on Sunday afternoon so that Peter and I could go on a date. Philip had a great time building with blocks and drawing on Grandpa’s Kindle. And napping.
10. For our date, I convinced Peter to accompany me to the final performance by the faculty brass quintet at my alma mater. The brass faculty are all retiring this year. An interesting fact is that, except for the instructor I had during a semester abroad, every person I ever took trumpet lessons with was in the recital hall that afternoon-either on stage or in the audience.
11. When we got back home from our date, there was a goose in a dress sitting near our front steps. I immediately knew who had put it there. My best friend and I have both long marveled at people who dress up geese. Here is the conversation that took place upon our arrival home:
Peter: What the hell is that?
Me: I think (my friend’s name) put it there
Peter: You two are weird.
12. Does this qualify as irony? On Monday, I had to use a vacation day so that Peter and I could drive to Cleveland to get our car fixed. Philip was with us because his preschool class went on a field trip to the Cleveland Zoo without him. I had decided several weeks early not to include Philip in the field trip because I didn’t want to use a vacation day on Monday and drive all the way to Cleveland.
13. I drafted a list of thirteen things for this post the old-fashioned way: with paper and pen. Unfortunately, Philip took the pen from my hand, drew all over the paper and then tore it up. I have no idea what the thirteenth item was.