Around Here | Weekend Words + iPhone Photos

One of my professional/personal goals right now is to work during the week and not on the weekends - at least not be in my office and sit at my desk like I do during the week.

There's usually lots of good things that happen (stories to tell) when I meet that goal.

On Saturday I roasted vegetables and a chicken.

The biggest excitement of the weekend was Simon eating everything on his plate without major drama at being presented foods that are not his daily favorites. He ate regular portions of roasted chicken, carrots, and potatoes (vs. the two bites of chicken, one of carrot, etc that we usually encourage). There was no falling out of his chair, no talk of "dieing foods," no digging in to protest with tons of whining (all of which we are all too familiar with).

Initially he wasn't happy about it, but it didn't escalate like it has so many times before.

We sat at the table, the four of us, each with the very same things on our plates.

It was cause for a little celebration.

I think for me one of the biggest things I was celebrating is that it feels like we are starting to be able to reason with him. I'm not sure if that's really what's happening, but it feels like it might be happening. It's one of those things where you almost hold your breath as you wait to see if it's a pattern or a one time thing.

While he was eating it (and while we weren't making a big deal out of it) he said in his matter-of-fact-manner, "Mom where did you discover these foods that I will like?" I told him they were foods that Daddy and I liked and that we thought he would like them because they taste good...and that we don't have any plans to make him eat anything we don't like.

Whatever the reason for this awesome little breakthrough, it was cool.

We celebrated with chocolate ice cream.

I also washed and folded loads of laundry. In our house laundry usually comes out of the laundry room and onto the couch for folding before being put away upstairs.

We made a Target run for some essentials (and a pack of two small artificial lighted trees that were $10 off). Heading out in PJ's and sweatshirts is an easy way to get out the door. We made a pit stop on the baby doll aisle (those dolls move when you walk by them and Anna can't get enough) and the Lego aisle.

We talked about Santa and wishes and making a list and we waved bye bye to the toys.

Anna and I had a little adventure over to Goodwill to scope out the basket selection and came home with these glasses that were $.99 a piece. Significantly better price than the ones I was looking at online earlier in the day.

There are many other stories from this weekend including a really good one about a baseball glove that I'm saving for another day. There's a story about Simon not telling the truth (and as a good friend and teacher told us the other day, that's actually a good developmental sign). There's a story about Anna doing some awesome pretending playing "jump" with a little Dora doll in her Anna-sized kitchen. There's a story about Chris working way too hard. There's a story about me not wanting to wish away the toddler times that are sometimes frustrating and exhausting. There's a story about Simon watching the movie Hook and loving it. There's a story about the two of them sitting at our table on Sunday morning looking through the toy ads. There's a story about how I like having a college football game on in the background in the middle of the day on Saturday.

I love the stories that come from just being here and doing the basic stuff of our lives.

I love weekends at home.

49 thoughts

  1. abbeyviolet

    2010-11-08 11:07:13 -0500

    That is a great story! So happy for you!

  2. Rebekah Pontow

    2010-11-08 11:09:30 -0500

    Wow, what a great step for Simon! I love weekends when there are so many stories to tell that you just can't get them all down at once. Beauitful stories and pictures.

    I was wondering Ali, do you watch Parenthood on NBC? They are really spreading the word about Autism and the struggles parents go through.

  3. Tammy

    2010-11-08 11:30:20 -0500

    Thanks for sharing these wonderful posts about your life and family. It truly reminds me to observe and appreciate the everyday things. I feel inspired :)

  4. Cindy Key

    2010-11-08 11:35:41 -0500

    Our laundry also makes the trip from laundry room to couch. My sister told me about the Flip-fold and now the laundry actually gets into the dresser! Treat yourself to the set of two - i adult size & i kid size. I gave them to a friend of mine with six kids & they no longer have piles & piles of clean laundry everywhere. I promise, it's a Mom-saver!

  5. Melissa

    2010-11-08 11:50:38 -0500

    Ali, my family (close and extended) have all gotten used to seeing me take photos of random things - finally. I used to get a lot of "WTH are you taking a photo of THAT for?" looks AND outright questions. Now they've just "accepted" and I think that they see me as more than a little eccentric.... but I'm okay with that because one day my kids will see that I was documenting Real Life - not just the pretty events that scrapbookers are *expected* to capture.
    Oh - and I have 5,000 (yes, you read it right) pix on my iPhone as a result.... it's pretty much replaced my p&s camera. :))
    Thanks for today's post - I love reading the comments just as much as your daily posts.

  6. Karin Podolski

    2010-11-08 12:10:22 -0500

    Love this post! There were some great deals at Target on Legos this week, right? I will take any $ off Legos - even if it is only $5 :)....We looked at those dolls that move when you walk down the aisle, too! I wonder if they would make noise when wrapped?:)
    Have a great week!

  7. Sally

    2010-11-08 13:03:32 -0500

    I have a nephew (turning 11 soon) who seems to face some of the same challenges as Simon (I believe his actual diagnosis is "mildly autistic.") When you share stories about Simon with his favorite clothes, or about certain situations escalating, I am reminded about my nephew. He has indeed turned a corner in his life & his personality is really beginning to emerge. As you stated about Simon - it seems that you can REASON with him now & that things don't escalate the way they once did. I am excited that you are seeing these changes in Simon. From the stories that you tell - I can tell that you & Chris are awesome parents. You are all blessed to have one another & I know you count the little daily blessings. It is a wondrous thing to watch our children grow - but even more so when you see them growing past challenges and struggles. You are reaping the rewards of the time & "effort" you spend with/on your kids. =)

  8. annette

    2010-11-08 13:18:20 -0500

    Hi Ali,

    I have the same "food problem" at my house with my 10 year old. Last night I made pasta with red suace, instead of "spaghetti" noodles I made rigatoni. BIG mistake, it wasn't the same as before (whine). I laughed as I read your post, remembering the times that I do present him with something new and he just eats it without the same scenario you described. And yes (fibbing) does rear it's ugly head with our kids too.... It is a great developmental sign. :) Lots of positive things going on around your place... Sounds like you had a good weekend. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Heather

    2010-11-08 13:28:45 -0500

    "Life is what happens to you, while you're busy making other plans" - John Lennon

    Very happy for your son. My little niece is severely autistic (can't communicate at 5 years old). We are happy for the smallest of improvements and consider anything a blessing.

    Thanks for sharing.

  10. kimbee

    2010-11-08 13:31:54 -0500

    Wonderfully written re cap of your weekend and it's more meaningful moments and memories.. I would copy and paste this, word for word, to one of your beautiful pages and call it awesome..

  11. Kirsten

    2010-11-08 13:35:39 -0500

    I love reading your stories that include Simon because I have a 10 yr old with autism, and it's so nice to be able to say "me too!". At the dinner table the other night we had Shepherd's pie. Ie. foods that touch with a sauce. Matthew agreed (finally) to try a bite, but warned us..."If I die, phone the police and tell them to arrest who made this" :D
    Does Simon worship chicken nuggets like Matthew?

  12. ale

    2010-11-08 13:44:00 -0500

    i love how you make us see the beauty in ordinary life.
    thank you, ali!

  13. Jennifer S.

    2010-11-08 13:59:10 -0500

    Life really is grand if you can take a step back and watch it unfold! I can relate to the milestones you see in Simon, we have gone through them also with our sons. It can be frustrating, yet rewarding at the same time.

    Enjoy the everyday!

  14. Theresa

    2010-11-08 14:23:47 -0500

    Loved this post. My son is not diagnosed with autism, but he has some of the behaviors that are on the "spectrum." I know EXACTLY what you mean about the battles over eating different foods and it escalating into a big drama. It is so nice that Simon is showing growth in this area . . .

  15. Megan

    2010-11-08 14:46:46 -0500

    sometimes it is not because of any other label than 'being 8.' Your weekend sounds a little like my weekend. And now I know we're practically neighbors...I run on the sidewalk of that last picture you just posted. :)

  16. Carrie/scrapchick

    2010-11-08 15:11:40 -0500

    All I can say is - I just love this post. I'm a bit choked up now. Just so sweet and in all the moments.

  17. jennifer

    2010-11-08 18:05:25 -0500

    love the car shot...and it's comforting to know we're not the only ones with some major dinner's hoping for some of those moments in my house! :)

  18. Sarah

    2010-11-08 23:21:27 -0500

    What a beautiful slice of life!

  19. Callie Swank-Lee

    2010-11-08 23:36:58 -0500

    what a beautiful story....

  20. Debora Prass

    2010-11-09 08:06:07 -0500

    This is my goal too, to work only on weekdays. And it is so amazing how LIFE happens when you just take time to live it.

  21. Brenda in Sunny SoCal

    2010-11-09 12:10:32 -0500

    I still can't get my kids to eat their veggies, congrats on a calm dinner....

    PS: around here is illegal to hold your phone in your hand while driving, how about over there?

  22. Cinnibonbon

    2010-11-09 13:17:42 -0500


    I haven't been over here for a bit..but I'm so glad I stopped by. This is one of my favorite posts!!!! I love your joy in tell us there are so many stories left for you to tell.

    Love what you've done with the Halloween journal, that would never occur to me. While I've followed you for years in the December daily's ..this would be a great additions. Thanks for the inspiration.


  23. Alison

    2010-11-09 16:54:48 -0500

    Hi Ali!

    Hook is a classic! My brother was obsessed with it as a kid, sat there watching it dressed up like Hook with a black scarf over his head for the "hair" and his hand shoved into a play tool light (the kind that hangs by a hook). He would cry when the croc falls on Captain Hook and kills him, so funny...

    - A

  24. Erin B

    2010-11-09 21:51:33 -0500

    I always love your everyday life posts. Love the photos, especially the pajama one and the stories. Not telling the truth is definitely a good developmental milestone for Simon. I am always telling parents of special needs kids that little bit of information. I've got a student in my classroom right now who is all of a sudden throwing little fits, it drives his mom crazy (and me too sometimes) but it's the first time he's ever asserted his own opinion. Up until now, he's always gone along with whatever was asked of him (for the most part). I like seeing these typical behaviors, even if they aren't desirable in the long run.

  25. Debbie P

    2010-11-09 23:48:04 -0500

    I love that the camera on the phones have improved so much over time.

    Happy Week!!

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