May 20, 2019

Home Improvement – The Next Phase


We are so not done with this stuff.  Nope nope nope nope nope.  *sigh*

The garage remodel/conversion was the most labor-intensive and expensive part of the project, but it was only step one.  The next step: rearrange the kids’ rooms so the teenagers have their own spaces, and the little boys bunk up together.

Step one of that process: take the last baseboard heater off the wall and replace it with a forced air heater, as we have with all the other rooms in the house.  Great-Grandpa came over to assist us in this project.

Well, the baseboard came off, the new heater was ready to install, when….

Okay, what you are seeing here is the space left by the baseboard.  The wires needed for the forced air heater are on the left-hand side, which is fine.  However, this is directly under the window, and there are additional studs supporting said window.  To make a surprise story short, we have less horizontal space to work with than we thought, so the heater we had all ready to put in… went back in the box and got returned to the store for store credit.

A vertical forced air heater will have to go into that spot, which needs to be purchased at a DIFFERENT store than the one we returned the horizontal forced air heater to.  *sigh*

So, not a huge problem that can’t be solved, but nothing seems to be simple and easy with these remodeling projects.

May 17, 2019

Flashback Friday


We seriously started the big house remodel ONE YEAR AGO???

That is what the garage looked like one year ago today, before the crew first showed, put the washer, dryer, and freezer inside the house, and started working.

One year later, we don’t have a garage anymore.

It seems like a lifetime ago that this whole process got started, not just last year!

May 16, 2019

Little Fishies


Tad is progressing very well in swimming lessons – to the point that he is actually on the final “level” of lessons.  His teacher is confident that he’s very close to finishing what they can teach him.

I am worried about transitioning him out of swimming lessons, honestly – they are so much more than swimming lessons to him.  Swimming lessons are the cheap version of sensory therapy for Tad, so we are going to have to strike a deal to keep him in the water.  But really, we need him to finish up, so that Thumper – who is attracted to water, like so many kids on the spectrum – can start learning water safety and swimming.

Rerun, on the other hand, is on level 4 (of 7) of lessons, which is pretty good considering that his lessons had been pretty inconsistent until this last fall, when Ane left regular lessons and joined swim team.  He’s not a confident swimmer yet, but he does love the water.

And Ane is going to be working at swim camp again this summer, preparing for swim team, and has been told that as soon as she is 16, there will be some kind of job waiting for her at the pool.

So, there’s the swimming update that you didn’t know that you needed.


May 15, 2019

Doing Our Bit For Autism Training


I always wonder, every time I get an email from the research programs at the Autism Center, if they will get tired of always seeing the boys do these demonstrations.  Well, apparently the answer is “no,” because we keep getting callbacks to participate.

This time, both Tad and Thumper were asked to participate in an ADOS (Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule) seminar.  Both boys have done this before, but this time, it would be in a full lecture hall.  Thumper did the lecture hall once before, when he was about 2 and a half.  But Tad would be running through the teen version of the test, and Thumper the young child version of the test, in front of a crowd of about 90, all taking notes on how to administer this test.  The ADOS is one of the primary standardized autism assessment tests available, and seeing a demonstration with a child on the spectrum obviously aides those learning how to administer and score the test.

Tad was a little more nervous than I thought he would be (a whole college lecture hall of people staring and taking notes on you?  Yeah, it can be a bit much), but he did well.  Thumper went in front of the crowd the next day, mic on, and ready to rock.

While I only peeked in briefly on Tad (I didn’t want to make him more nervous than he was, and having Mom watch him might have taken his attention off the doctor working with him), I was sitting up front while Thumper was doing the ADOS.  And when I say “up front,” I mean I was sitting in the fishbowl, too.  I was right off to the side, where everyone could see me.  And I had to jump in a few times because Thumper was mic’ed up, and the battery pack kept coming unclipped from his jeans waistband (it was on the heavy side).

Thumper also hilariously realized that he was being video-projected up on the wall so that the people in the back row could see, and decided to find out where the camera was… so he got right in front of the laptop camera that was doing the projecting and grinned at himself – causing several giggles – and showed off the eyelashes to everyone.  He also momentarily thought about hijacking the laptop to get on YouTube, but was thwarted by both me and the tech guy.

So, the boys gave back to science this week.  We keep on doing our part to help out the place that has given us so much help and hope.