Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

November 8, 2010

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.


  • 1.
    Melanie said…

    I just love the mundane in life. The every day moments. Beautiful.

  • 2.
    Suzette L said…

    So glad your weekend was so memorable in such wonderful ways. Blessings!

  • 3.
    Chris said…

    Thanks for sharing. Sounds like there are lots of wonderful changes going on at your house. Enjoy them all!

  • 4.
    dawn said…

    Thank you so much Ali for sharing this everyday normal weekend with the kids at home with us. I love how you see a story in everything and capture it and scrap it for later. Some of these things were our weekend also and I’m always so grateful on Sunday night when I go to bed and say my prayers and end it with thank you god for the small moments that were actually big this weekend. Sunday’s are my favorite because of these things. Can’t wait to see the layouts you will do with these stories. Have a HAPPY MONDAY ALI!!

    p.s. love that first photo and the toy asile photo

    p.p.s. say your story on Art can save lives, love how your life took a whole different turn and now we get to see all your daily inspirations.

  • 5.
    Allison said…

    Thank you for sharing your weekend!

  • 6.
    Tracy Rizzo said…

    My son has autism as well.I know exactly what you mean by waiting to see if its a one time thing. I actually took a picture of my son’s plate the first time he ate a different shaped pasta!
    I was over the moon when my son told me he was cold to try to get me to let him in my bed. Sometimes he even steps it up and pretends to have a belly ache hehe! Wonderful.
    Love the pick of the kids in their pjs! Way to go Simon for trying new things!

  • 7.
    madeline St onge said…

    Sounds like a perfect weekend to me Ali

  • 8.
    Anna-Marie said…

    I must confess that when I read your blog and Becky’s I find myself saying how do these women do it all. They have great kids, awesome jobs and clean houses. I find myself trying so hard to just get by sometimes. But as I followed it’s nice that you have shown the not so tidy side of life and it makes me feel better. I am continually trying to get better at handling all on my plate but sometimes I think I have gotten so far behind that I’ll never catch up, but there is usually something on your blogs that helps me realize no one has it all, no one has a completely clean house all the time, the most well behaved kids every second. Life is just messy sometimes and I really related to your piece about the food this weekend. We have a 5 and 2 year old and we are continually trying to get my older daughter to eat what we eat. It isn’t always easy but we keep trying and when we finally find a meal that works, it is cause for celebration. Thank you for posting about the little things in live, as a parent I find life is all about the little moments. I also relate to the whole not wanting to wish away toddlerhood, but I said since my 2nd was born that I LOOK FORWARD TOO but don’t wish away the time that she will be 3 and things will get easier. It’s hard to have a small one who needs your constant eye and though the struggles are different it is nice when you don’t have to have the eyes in the back of your head so much and they can communicate with you more effectively. It just is easier and after 3 years, anything that is easier is welcomed. I don’t wish it away but I look forward to it, especially now that we are less than 6 months away from 3. Grace is changing daily and getting more verbal, she’s starting to think about using the potty and I so look forward to those changes. But I do wish my 5 year old would slow down a bit she is changing too much too quickly, but such is the circle of life. I am just glad that I take all the photo’s I do and that I document at least parts of this journey we call life and I’m glad for video cameras that can capture more then my story can sometimes. Have a great day and thanks for the post!!!

  • 9.
    Ann said…

    So simple. So wonderful. Thank you.

  • 10.
    Denise said…

    Everyday moments are what make life worth living. I’m always telling my DD to not grow up too fast because we want to enjoy her being little. She says she won’t and I hope she remembers this all her life. Stay young at heart forever and you’ll be happy all your days. :)

  • 11.
    Lisa A. said…

    So happy to hear of your reasons to celebrate! Thanks for sharing with us!

  • 12.
    nicole said…

    do you mean a college football came of the number ONE team in the NATION?? yay! go ducks!

    • ….
      Ali said…

      That would be the one :) .

  • 13.
    Judy Webb said…

    You are a blessing to so many, me included, thank you.

  • 14.
    Suzie said…

    Life moves so fast. I’m so glad you’re taking the time to enjoy it and reminding us to slow down and enjoy also. Thank you!

  • 15.
    Linda said…

    I have a now twenty-three year old, who displays some characteristics of being “on the spectrum”. As a child Simon’s age…he was infamous in our extended family for being a picky eater. Fast forward fifteen years…Walter spent a semester as an exchange student in Botswana, Africa. One of my favorite memories of visiting him is..Walter eating warthog and springbok. Even children on the spectrum…grow older and develop more fully refined taste buds…the rub is…it takes time.

    I truly believe…the biggest perk of having more than one child…is realizing how quickly the time passes.

  • 16.
    Rebecca said…

    Simon eating everything on his plate? That’s not a little celebration – that’s a HUGE HUGE HUGE celebration. :) Hoping that it’s a wonderful sign for things to come…


  • 17.
    Stephanie M said…

    Would love to hear Simons story on not telling the truth and how that is developmental. My daughter did something against our rules over the weekend and adimantly denied it. Now I’m left to wonder how my telling her that I didn’t believe her will impact her trust in me. :(

    • ….
      Ali said…

      He tells us that he doesn’t want to/didn’t tell the truth because he was worried we wouldn’t like it (whatever it was that he was doing that we told him not to do – usually involves saying he brushed his teeth when he hasn’t or sneaking up to my office to watch something on the computer).

  • 18.
    Susan Ringler said…

    Wow sounds like a great weekend~ There are too few of those as they grow, Ali, so YES, you are so right not to wish away the toddler troubles. Embrace, embrace, embrace!

  • 19.
    kimmy said…

    Oh how I can relate to the victory at the dinner table… my son has sensory issues… feeding is a big issue. LOVE your candidness in sharing your heart in this area… I can celebrate that victory with you! love all the fall photos, too. ~ kim

  • 20.
    Joni said…

    Such a great weekend!
    I was reading this and cheering for Simon and for you & Chris – eating something not in his normal menu, wow! WE have the same issues at our house and dinner battles are NOT fun, but with age it does seem to get a little easier due to being able to reason! Hope he keeps up the GREAT work! Such small steps are HUGE!

  • 21.
    dawn said…

    Forgot to mention Ali that I’m happy for all of you that Simon ate and liked his dinner. Yes it is a big deal and cause for a celebration!! Good for Simon, he is growing up.

  • 22.
    Nicky from Canada said…

    Oh I love the PJ outing – we do many of those – especially early in the morning.

  • 23.
    Rebekah said…

    Ah the beauty of unplugging a bit for the weekend. Thank you for putting into words what I enjoyed this weekend myself…family time that brings about memories and stories!

  • 24.
    abbeyviolet said…

    That is a great story! So happy for you!

  • 25.
    Rebekah Pontow said…

    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.

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Morning Rebekah – I’ve seen it just a couple times. Need to DVR or watch it online.

  • 26.
    Tammy said…

    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 :)

  • 27.
    Cindy Key said…

    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!

  • 28.
    Melissa said…

    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.

  • 29.
    Karin Podolski said…

    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!

  • 30.
    Sally said…

    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. =)

  • 31.
    annette said…

    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.

  • 32.
    Heather said…

    “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.

  • 33.
    kimbee said…

    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..

    • ….
      Ali said…

      That’s my plan :) .

  • 34.
    Kirsten said…

    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?

    • ….
      Ali said…

      LOL Kirsten – Matthew sounds very much like Simon. And yes, he loves chicken nuggets. Simon has major aversions to things that are mixed together – just recently he will eat mac & cheese (at least a few bites but still not a main portion). He does eat cheese pizza (which is technically a touching food) :) .

  • 35.
    ale said…

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

  • 36.
    Jennifer S. said…

    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!

  • 37.
    Theresa said…

    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 . . .

  • 38.
    Megan said…

    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. :)

    • ….
      Ali said…

      We totally must be – that’s very close to my house :) . Do you run down to the river path?

  • 39.

    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.

  • 40.
    jennifer said…

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

  • 41.
    Sarah said…

    What a beautiful slice of life!

  • 42.

    what a beautiful story….

  • 43.
    Debora Prass said…

    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.

  • 44.

    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?

  • 45.
    Cinnibonbon said…


    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.


  • 46.
    Alison said…

    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

  • 47.
    Erin B said…

    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.

  • 48.
    Debbie P said…

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

    Happy Week!!

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