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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Ups, Downs, All Arounds

Knock on wood, in many ways this summer is going well. Janey has been happy for the most part, and we have had some good times as a family---times where we actually all enjoyed ourselves without one of us having to constantly be keeping Janey happy. She was happy along with us. We went to the beach, we went to Janey's new favorite restaurant Old Country Buffet (which used to have edible food, but I guess they can't afford it any more, but Janey loved the unlimited bacon bits and Chinese dry noodles), we had some times just playing with the cats and laughing all together.

The biggest shocker is Janey using the potty MUCH MORE! Lately, it's like all of a sudden she figured out how to actually sit down and urinate. She could always hold in the pee, but didn't seem to know how to release it when she wanted to. As I kind of always figured it would go, she just does it on her own terms---walks into the bathroom and uses the toilet like she's been doing it all along. In the last 4 days, she's probably peed in the potty 10 times, which beats her previous lifetime record by about double. I hope it keeps up. I wonder how it will be when school starts, as she is not usually open to suggestions as to when to go. She just walks in and goes when she needs to, and I doubt she'll have an easy time telling teachers when she wants to go. But that's a worry I'd have loved to have a year ago.

Summer school seems to be going very well! I've continued my incredibly lucky streak with good teachers, and her teacher and the aides in her room seem great. Janey is happy to go each day, and can barely bring herself to look at me long enough to say goodbye when I leave.

The downs are mainly the couple hours after school, and before Tony gets home. The boys are in summer programs and so aren't there, and I am just plain worn out, from heat or not sleeping or other things. And Janey is in rare mischief mode. The other day was a classic. She took a jar of Cherry Kool-Aid, almost brand new, and proceeded to try to make some Kool-Aid for herself by pouring it into (dirty) glasses and pouring soda into the glasses, in the brief time between when I looked up to see her happily watching TV and when I looked up a minute later to not see her. I ran into the kitchen and was met with a scene that looked like a crime scene---gloppy wet piles of Kool-Aid powder everywhere, Janey covered from head to toe. She is incredibly quick. I did a few experiments lately with faking looking away, and she is purposeful---she runs straight to what she wants to get at, like the liquid soap in the bathroom or her brother's Nintendo or the cat food, or just the sink, to turn on the water full blast, or the fridge to dump things out. It's incredible. If it wasn't so hard to deal with, it would actually be impressive. I try so hard to keep her engaged, but she is restless---even a TV show or video or book or toy she likes only holds her attention for a little bit before she has to run around a little. I think part of that is just her and not the autism---Tony is like that too, without the mischief.

The all-around is just life going on. I am making a conscious effort to spend all the time I can with the boys. It is like a clock is ticking, and I know 3 years from now, they will both be gone at college (most likely). Some of the family times all together are feeling poignant. I wish I could freeze time sometimes, and enjoy this summer and the times we are all laughing and happy together forever. I know the boys will not be going away for good, but it's never quite the same. And so I want to make sure to give all my kids the attention and love and fun they deserve. And gradually, we are learning how to have that with Janey as a full-fledged participant.

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