Thursday, August 2, 2012

A Few Words Mean A Lot

As summers go this has been a good one in spite of the rocky start.  Amanda didn't miss a single day of school last year due to illness but in the month that followed she suffered a severe head cold, an infected spider bit and salmonella.  But she got through them all like a champ and the last few weeks has been enjoying every single day.

I've enjoyed the summer as well.  Last weekend was my 25th high school reunion and Tina and I were able to enjoy a pair of nights out as adults.  That hasn't happened since my 20th reunion.  One of the nicest things to happen for me as I reconnected with old friends from my awkward teen years was briefly talking to a friend who lives out of town.  She sees all my posts on Facebook, most of which have to do with being Amanda's dad, and she said, "I love your daughter as much as you do."  That warmed my heart.

Like all parents, I worry about my child's future.  But, being the parent of a PDD child the worries are compounded because she will always need assistance, guidance and protection.  Just knowing there are other people beyond my close circle who care about Amanda and people like her helps me cope with the stresses brought on by the facts of my child's life.

Thank you Marty, for your kind words.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Just a musing

I was getting dressed this morning and looking at myself in the mirror and I was thinkingf, "If there was a way to go back in time and not eat all the cheeseburgers that I have consumed in the last 20 years I would look better for my 25 year high school reunion.  But I would be so miserable that I probably wouldn't attend."  

Very little is more therapeutic than a really good cheeseburger.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Teenage defiance

Yesterday I experienced yet another first with Amanda.  This is how it went down.  We had just finished lunch and Amanda went and sat on the couch and I went to my bedroom.  From the living room I heard Amanda ask for a pudding cup and I said, "No."

This was not the answer she wanted and she said, "Come on Dad."  And again I said no.

I promise, not a minute later I walked into the kitchen and I catch Amanda putting a spoon in the sink and holding an empty pudding cup.  Her answer was, "Uh oh.  Don't tell Mama."

I said, "Mama isn't the one who told you no, I was."

Amanda kind of laughed and said, "Not scared of you."

Monday, July 9, 2012

A Good Day

Amanda comes to work with me most every morning during the summer.  It's a practice that started some years ago and one that doesn't look likely to change anytime soon.  Especially now that she helps so much.

Every morning she helps me straighten my office up from the day before because I don't bother doing it before I leave because I know we'll handle it in the A.M..  Then she helps my mother and sister sort the mail.  Then she helps either accounting or order entry/reception.  That is, unless she wants to sit in with her BFF Heather and just gossip.

Today was an interesting day because after she helped me with my office she realized my mother and sister weren't coming in and Heather wasn't here.  So she simply helped take papers back in forth between order entry and the receptionist.  A few minutes before it was time to leave for lunch I went down stairs and heard her talking to a freight salesmen.  Amanda walked up to him and explained that she worked at JCM, gave him her business card and talked about the convention we just returned from.  The receptionist asked Amanda where the convention is going to be next year and Amanda accurately informed her that it would be in Denver.

The thing that I loved about this three minute exchange was Amanda prompted it all and said things in a way that was more mature than just a few weeks ago.  The interaction she gets with the adults in my office is the best therapy she could have and I know I am blessed to be in such a situation to provide it for her.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The school year ended more than a month ago and all I can say about Amanda's 7th grade year was she got her money's worth.  She matured so much in the new environment that it is nearly impossible to list all of her new abilities so I won't really try.  What I will say is this, she has become the most delightful person I have ever been around in my life.  She is considerate and animated.  She is loving and animated.  She has become quite the conversationalist and did I mention ANIMATED?

By animated I mean this little person is aware of what she is doing and is going for maximum effect.

Like today, she told somebody at my office, "Texas Rangers won last night."  He replied, "No they didn't, they lost in extra innings."  Amanda threw her arms in the air and said, "You asked the wrong person."  He said, "I didn't ask you, you just told me."  Her final reply, "Don't even start it."

Last week in the pool I had the fountain turned on for the first time.  It's a basically a sprinkler that throws an arc of water.  It can be adjusted so that it shoots high across the pool and and rains down.  Our entire time in the pool I had it on a low setting and Amanda simply stayed under the falling water for thirty minutes or so.  When it was time to get out of the pool I set the fountain on the higher setting so it would cool the water that will otherwise boil.  Amanda sees the water raining down and yells, "Hold on a minute!!!"  She then swims out to the middle of the pool and floats on her back for about five minutes and says, "Oh Yeah!!!  That's the stuff!"

And finally, Monday night we had three kids over while their parents went out for the evening.  The six year old girl is precious but the two year old is well, well she is two so she is pretty much like a badger with rabies.  The three are in Amanda's room with the door closed and they are laughing and playing.  The kids parents show up and I'm talking to the dad and now the sound from Amanda's room is akin to the monkey cage at feeding time.  The six year old comes out and tells her daddy that the two year is about to tell on her but she only did what she did because the little badger was being mean to Amanda.  The daddy tells the two year old to come out of Amanda's room.  As the child leaves you hear Amanda exclaim, "OH THANK GOD!!!"

And that is what I say too.  Amanda has surpassed what I have ever dared thought possible and she is only fourteen.  These next few years are going to be awesome.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012


We went through a fairly long period of time where Amanda had a hard time falling asleep at night. She simply would not relax and lay down. So finally we tried an old remedy that I had forgotten worked as well as it did. I started reading her bedtime stories.

When she was younger we read Dr Suess and other funny stories. She loved when Tina would read ARE YOU MY MOTHER?

But with the modern age, we got away from that. She would watch movies on her TV or iPad. Night after night taking longer to fall asleep. Needless to say, it got to be a dreadful time.

But about two months ago I grabbed Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone off the shelf. It took two months but we finished last week. Some nights I would read ten pages while other nights only a couple of paragraphs. She reaches over, closes the book and tells me to leave so she can sleep.

We started The Chamber of Secrets a few days ago and are still on chapter two. At the rate we're going I have bedtime figured out until she is about 30

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Latest

There isn't enough space on the Internet to detail all of the changes that have gone on with me and mine since the last post, so I'll explain the most significant accomplishments.

At Thanksgiving Amanda sat through her first movie in a theater. It was the new Muppet Movie. She LOVED it. We quickly downloaded a number of other Muppet movies to her iPad and she spent the next month in love with them.

Then Christmas rolled around and we went and saw The Chipmunks: Chipwrecked. She feels about this movie and the two other Chipmunk movies like I feel about the Lord of the Rings trilogy. She even went back the next week to see it again with just Tina.

Then I made the mistake of downloading the soundtracks to the Chipmunk movies. Did you know, there ain't no party like a chipmunk party because a chipmunk party don't stop? Tina and I are very aware.

Tuesday we asked her to please turn it down, it was driving us crazy. Amanda's answer was. "Don't talk about my Chipmunks like that, you don't understand." Okay, she is a teenager.

We tried to throw her off a little by taking her to see A Joyful Noise. She liked it and has the soundtrack to it as well. She sings Man in the Mirror from it rather well. But my baby girl needs to dance, and that means CHIPMUNKS!!!

And just so you understand where all this music is coming from, Amanda has an iPhone 4 synced to a Jawbone Jambox. 85 decibels of ALVIN!!!

Speaking of her iPhone. I like to FaceTime call her from work after school. The problem with this is she is so near sighted that she holds the phone right up to her eye to see me. It's like I'm talking to Salron from Mordor.