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Raising little Westies, and life as parent of a special needs son
I’ve been taking a few moments to review what I’ve written in the past, to think about, what I should be writing about both in the future – and right now. Because of course, right now will bridge what I have written about in the past, with what I want to write about in the future.
Of course, I will continue to write for myself. And hope that some of you out there will find value in what I am writing.
I’m not sure how normal this is, but it would really appear I must have a whole bunch of drop-in-once “followers” because my follower to like ratio is really quite terrible. I passed both 1000 likes in total, and 100 followers, within the last ten days. Over on other social media, I am back onto Twitter more than I have been for a while. While I’m not adding my own photos, I’m certainly active following other users on Instagram, and I’m making an effort to remember to use Facebook not as myself but as my page.
But, if I’m not sure why I’m online… is it still about Autism, or not? … then there remains somewhat of a problem.
If I’m here to be a consumer. That’s fine.
I think, though, for better or worse, there will be some politics flying around this space for the coming few months.
Local to my current home, and my intended home, and more broad election theme coverage (such as the National Disability Insurance Scheme, should any candidates or party mouthpiece bother to mention such a thing). Role on September, so I can return to normal scheduling!
Today was a bit of a big one at Westie Central. For the first day since I came home from working in Canberra, Bec had to work, leaving me with all three kids all at once. Which of course is a Big Deal for a dad, even though I’m one of the first to say if they are my kids it’s parenting not babysitting.
There has been far too much electronic time happening in our place since Christmas (or even since Magpie’s birthday). Yesterday I thought that Bec’s return to work was a perfect opportunity to do something about that. So the kids were put on notice that once I returned from my own run, they would be coming with me for a run. So I ran my lap of the suburb, did a few chores and we hit the pavement.
There is a very convenient landmark which is almost exactly 1km from our front gate, which is right on the path of a running track. So all of us headed for that landmark (it’s a bridge), me leading he way with BTB Fan and the dogs. Given the dogs had already finished about 8km, Howie was still eager to go while Lizzie was a bit over it. Yet in only a small fraction longer a time than my standard time, there I was at that bridge with BTB Fan and two dogs.
About a minute later up came Princess P.
Several minutes later again… Magpie finally staggered up. Grumbling about not being at home.
My understanding is the run home was quicker by all parties – except me, who at this point was pushing 10km for the day, and had mown the lawn as well…
Later we headed off to the pool. Both Magpie and Princess P had been told point blank that they would be requried to swim a lap of the full size outdoor pool, because with all the pool time they have had they have spent none of it improving their swimming. I take responsibility for that, but I will reqiure them to put some effort into improving the situation in my own way, if they don’t fix it themselves.
This was accomodated quite readily by Princess P. But somewhere it seems the message had not filtered all the way into Magpie’s head.
As a result… he was less prepared than I had thought he was.
So I had my first in-pool meltdown. In front of some of his school friends, as well as a lifeguard…. Which ended with him swimming his first ever lap of the Olympic pool, back-stroke. Well done mate! At which point I told him that he needed to do it “freestyle” (meaing “front crawl“), and we had another meltdown. In the pool. But again, I perservered, and he swum the lap in the stroke I expected him to use, albeit freaking out and grabbing the lane rope every three to ten strokes.
At the end of it all, he was glad he’d done it, though.
Later, I went through much the same with my littlest Westie, “swimming” (with me supporting his hips) two lengths of the outdoor childrens pool.
Not the best trip to the pool for us. We had been going so well before Christmas, too, but with our routine broken… it was as good an opportunity to establish the routine I need these kids to follow, if they want me to take them to the pool every day while it’s hot and I’m not working.
Stretching our boundaries will bring some growth. One way or another.
I would absolutely LOVE it… as would my son… if you could pop over to youtube and check out BestieBest3000. This is the work of my son Magpie, who turned nine years old only a few days ago.
Working on quite a low spec PC running Ubuntu, he has been working out how to do a wide range of tasks. How to find out what version of Java he has, so he can work out how to install Minecraft in user space.
What software he needs, to record screen movies.
How to then record what he does on the screen, so once he works something out he has his own video tutorial to watch until he can remember how to do it more easily.
How to upload his own tutorials to youtube, so he can share them!
I’m really proud of what he has done. So far it’s pretty simple videos… but I have real thoughts that with the way he is going with the latest, he is going to come up with some real surprises sometime soon.
Yesterdays post really belongs in the final category. I would really like to rabbit on about fitness enough that doing that here would probably be distracting or annoying. So… I’ve launched my fitness blog at Westie Fitness. So far it’s off the ground with an About page, and not much else.
So I hope I haven’t caused too much rucus with my app experimentation. From time to time there may be an announcement about the other page… but it will be low key!
I had considered another topic for tonight, but I will keep it brief. Tonight is about success – and my blog is continuing to kick my own version of goals, as I have just gone past 90 followers.
I hope that most of you are continuing to drop by and indeed my hits seem to be indicating this. I am getting ready to finish work for the year, so I am somewhat encouraged by both the continued interest in my work here, as well as the interest I am picking up on the job front (oops, I almost crossed into my planned topic there… 😉 ).
Would be great to have more of you chime into the creative process, and give me some thoughts, advice or feeback about… blogging, raising kids, raising kids with special needs, being in a long term relationship, working, working away from home, and staying physically active in an increasingly sedintary world!
And if I can make it to 100 before the calander hits a new year – it will be fantastic!
Me? Yep, I got ’em.
This week, I will pull out the old, battered, “life got in the way” card. I’m not going to brag, but I will say I have just worked 13 days straight and some of them involved working more than 13 hours in a row. Several days, I finished work, drove home, went to bed, woke up and returned to work.
Today, I managed to buy my son his birthday present. This involved lining up at a very popular (because it’s cheap!) store in Sydney, and buying him a headset for the computer. He is hoping to make Minecraft themed videos, featuring his character doing whatever it is you do in Minecraft, commentated by him. Not bad, for a bloke who has just turned nine years old.
Tonight, we celebrated both me being in the same city as my family, and my sons birthday, by hitting a regular haunt. It was great, but I’m exhausted.
I’m sorry, that I have dropped the ball on my blog-a-day. I’m also going to say up front that it’s going to have a few more missed days between today and 31/12/12. I hope your own count-down to Christmas is going well – assuming of course that the Mayans were wrong, and we all get to celebrate Christmas 2012!
Tonights post is dedicated to Magpie, who today was presented with an Academic Achievement award. While his classmates recieved awards dedicated to single disciplines such as reading and maths, Magpie’s award was for more generic “Academic Achievement.”
This is indicative of his broadly rounded abilities, and his ability to pick up and run with any topic – even the ones that may not be so interesting to him. It’s great that he is being recognised and rewarded for his efforts.
So, well done to Magpie! Great work.
My start to December is only a preview of what is to come. The rest of this week remains busy for me, both at work, and with Magpie due to be presented with an academic award tomorrow before celebrating his birthday on Friday. I will then have one more week of work before rapping up for the year, and heading home in time for my wife’s birthday on Christmas Eve.
We all know what happens on the 25th, of course!
Given our start to 2013, it may well be that we are hitting the road between Christmas and New Year – but that so far is still a long way away, so I’m not aiming to forecast that far ahead. And somewhere in all of this, I need to line up work for 2013 – either more of what I am already doing, or “opportunities with an alternative employer” as some might say.
But before that, I have a really busy day tomorrow – work in the morning, part of a training course in the mid afternoon, then back to work from 5pm “until it’s finished” hopefully again before midnight (but quite possibly, not). So for tonight, it’s a short post about how busy I think I’m going to be from now until we start 2013.