Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween, birthday party, potty training and stuff

For the record, this halloween, I gave kids a choice between some Halloween party favors- plastic black and also white bats, sticker sets, and ms&ms, and then I offered a gourd for everyone since I have so many. Perhaps a third to half of kids chose something other than candy.  The bats were a total hit, and I supplemented with party favor gel pens when I ran out of bats.  When I didn't say choose one, kids usually went for the candy- or took both or took more candy. Just about everyone , including some parents were happy to pick a gourd.

My little star didn't want to go trick or treating... perhaps I explained it wrong, but he said that too much candy wasn't good for you. I smiled and agreed.  I have told him that, but I haven't exactly forbidden candy.  I just don't keep it in the house.  However, if we are out and he is offered candy, I certainly let him try it.  He seemed to like it when the kids came, and at one point got together some paper clips to offer.

This weekend we went to this birthday party that was held an hour away at a farm tourist market- that is they had farm touristy fun things there.  They had hay bales in a maze in a large hoophouse with ropes and swings hidden; they had a hoop house with a huge pit of corn, toys, and a slide.  They had a bouncy house.  They had a hoop house dedicated partly to decorating pumpkins.  

Another hit was a tractor train- a tractor pulls little barrels with seats, one for each kid.  My son HAD to ride on this, and when he finally got to do it, I got worried because, he didn't seem to understand until it left that I couldn't go with him.  It went a little too fast for me to follow, and it went kind of far away.  He left looking distressed and got back distressed.  The driver said he was happy in the middle, but I felt really sad that I had let him go.  I'm not even sure why I thought it was really safe- they weren't even wearing seat belts, and that tractor, like I said, was not slow enough for me to keep up with.  The kids could have tried to climb out... really, I was really glad when he returned.  I asked if it had been fun or he'd been scared, and he said scared.  Then again, he wanted to do it again.   We also had a hay ride, and there were goats and a miniature horse.   So the place was really nice... except the porta potty's.  Actually you couldn't have nicer cleaner porta pottys, but my little star was not going to use one!

And the party- well, it was a little fast paced- one activity to another where my little star could have spent a long time on each, and a complete meltdown when I found it out it wasn't "time" for the party to be taking the tractor ride when my little star wanted to- I'd even let him get in by then.  Perhaps there wouldn't have been a melt down if they had served food at the party.  Can you imagine having a party from 12:00-2:00 (and almost an hour drive to get there), and not serve LUNCH?  They just had cake- and that was well after 1 pm.  My little star licked the frosting and got it all over him.  Aside from that issue, it really was a pleasant place for the kids to play.  The little girl received gifts, most of them barbies.  We gave books, unlike everyone else.  The mother told me twice that the little girl loved books, but I can't tell if she was just saying that, but it was nice.

A nice unexpected thing about the party was that aside from the cake and purple drink, they did not give out any sweets.  I was expecting big candy halloween theme from the invitation that requested costume wearing, but this did  not happen.   Every other party we've been at kids have been given a bag containing some candy.

Oh, did I mention my little star wants a birthday party now?
So, how do I make sure its at a reasonable time (ie not nap time, and if its during meal time, providing a meal!), and have enough room to have a big play date... our house is  big enough for about three kids (including mine) and their parents, and we've already been to three parties of kids that are not necessarily his best friends (OK, my kid doesn't really have friends, so lets say my best friends- Ok, I don't really have best friends locally, but there are other people I'd want to invite.)  I'm totally understanding the having birthday parties some place out of the house that you pay a stack of money to rent out... that exist an hour away- we don't have anything here that I know of.

On the potty training score (if you want to read about that)...well he got messy underwear this weekend at breakfast after a messy diaper in the morning, part of three messy diapers in a row in the mornings, but he also managed to use the toilet at Wendy's- we had to go there after the party to get something to EAT rather than letting him fall asleep in the car.  At that point he had not peed in about four hours and it took him about an hour on the toilet, promise of sticker, and lots of water for it to happen.  Eventually we found the "pee switch".  I held my cool.  I figured I could wait as long as it took because I was NOT going to drive an hour with him in desperate need of peeing- and likely to fall asleep.  Additionally, he's also managed to use the toilet at home most of the time, and figured out how to poop into it-the stickers do seem to be of some interest, but I don't think he would do it just for a sticker if he really didn't want to try it. I say this because we tried stickers earlier and he was not interested, sticker or not.. He even managed to use the toilet to poop at playcare today... we think... and not take a nap.  So perhaps some progress?

After play care today, his teacher explained that my little star had a melt down before lunch today- he was exhibiting classic stalling behavior- apparently a new thing at playcare, but very common at home recently.  As far as I can tell, the teacher and I treated it the same way, so I feel better.  I thought it had to do with me not being assertive enough, or not treating it properly.  I assure you his teacher is assertive enough and is very good at knowing what to do.

My little star slept until 8:30 this morning.  Is it darker- yes.  Is he going to bed too late? maybe.  In any case we are having trouble getting out in the morning, partly because he doesn't want to go anywhere- especially playcare.  He'd rather be home with mommy.

Along with a ton of stalling, he also is starting to say thank you when I do something for him without any prompting.  Well, that feels nice!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Carrots and positive attribution

I think I've said how useless my garden is this year.  Still occasionally I bring something in that makes me happy.
These carrots are really big and fat.  I've almost given up growing carrots altogether.  Its not that much effort to plant a row or two of them, and if they happen to germinate, and I pay attention, thin them.  The things is, they are usually so small and weird that it seems like the effort to peel them hardly is worth the amount of carrot you get to eat.  These carrots that I just harvested are worth it.  Does that mean I need terrible conditions for the rest of my garden to get good carrots?
Here's the rest of the harvest:

You see there are a few small heads of broccolli, some green onions, a little parlsey, and in addition to the big orange carrots, some of the usual and a few yellow ones.  The yellow ones seem really weak, and I had to dig them out.

Well, at least the carrot size was impressive.

In other news...
Another parenting class (we are being trained to use Conscious Discipline) we learned about using the "skill" of "positive attribution"- that is you attribute positive motives to people's (your child) actions.  I've tried to do that quite a lot as as I get older, but somehow I missed out on a key aspect of this proposition.   The point is, not that you judge people in a good way- as I thought I was doing.  The point is that YOU STOP judging.  By giving them a positive motive, it allows YOU to treat them well, and doesn't matter at all what their actual motive was in the first place.  I never thought of it like that.  Its very powerful.

So, the food they served us for dinner at these classes is well, you know, institutional.  It's usually OK if you are not expecting vegetarian or gourmet.  This week,  however, it was pretty terrible- even the cake.  They had this chilli- like how can you mess up chilli?- but it just wasn't any good.  My son apparently ate mashed potatoes- he woke up so late from his nap that I didn't get a chance to give him a snack.  He didn't eat anything else, but it was nice to know he actually ate mashed potatoes.  In any case, he said he was hungry so we decided to feed him (and ourselves) when we got home, so he didn't get to bed very reasonably.

He was in this great mood the next morning after sleeping until 8 am!  When I picked him up from playcare I found him kind of in a crazy state.  He had not napped, and had not apparently eaten lunch (not liking the food, presumably), filled up on animal crackers at snack and not touched the apple (apparently he likes it peeled as I do at home.  I know how pesticide laden apple orchards are).  I don't think the animal crackers really agreed with him for he kept saying his tummy hurt until what finally came out of him almost clogged our toilet this afternoon.  I don't know why they serve animal crackers for snack, or why they would let him have as much as he wants without eating real food, but  anyway, I like his teacher and all.

Monday, October 17, 2011

not stomach flu and birthdays

We had this too-much-fun day on Saturday (me and my little star- my husband was too tired and overworked).   First we went to a Birthday Party at a mom's friend's house.  The little boy is only two... but that kind of makes him on par with little star socially I think.  Anyway, he was pretty excited about it even when I told him there would be no bouncy house like the last one he was at.  The part was low key- it was like a big play date- all the parents- even the fathers were all there, the kids were little so they mostly just hung out and played.  My little star got lots of junk food- not like candy, just teddy grahams, gold fish, crackers- really his favorite stuff.  He wasn't interested in the chili or some shredded cheese, but he also didn't even want to try a cupcake which had pretty appetizing frosting on it.

My little star predictably fell asleep in the car on the way home.  So I parked him in the driveway- the weather was nice to do this in, and went in the house, checking his status every so often. Well, I think I must have missed his wake up because he was very upset when I checked.  He's been napping in the car a lot this year, so I'm not quite sure why it upset him so much- he's never been upset before if it took me a few minutes- it takes him a while to awaken fully usually.  I felt pretty bad about this, perhaps I should stay with him next time.

Anyway, after a potty stop (he refused to use it even though I brought his own at the party) we headed off to the harvest festival, where he had a good time despite waiting pretty much forever for a "hay" ride.  He did awfully well waiting- I let him snack on some cheese, and he quite enjoyed the ride.  I really think we shouldn't have waited that long- kind of a ridiculous waste of time, but little star didn't really seem to mind much.  He also didn't want to run off from me to play with three of his "friends" from preschool who were within sight, but far across the field.  At the festival my little star, aside from the cheese I brought from home, ate exactly three pieces of candy- two gummy bear type things and one jelly bean.  I didn't foresee any problems.

The next morning my husband made us waffles- he always does this and they are really good.  My little star ate the waffles though more slowly than usual, and didn't touch the cheese I gave him to supplement- though he did eat some banana.

My little star seemed very tired that day even with just hanging around inside, so I gave him lunch of which he didn't eat as much as I expected, but enough, and I got him to nap.
After our nap ( I got one too- I have some sort of evil cold thing), I knew I had to do some lawn mowing, but that little star seemed too tired come outside without a meltdown.  Lawn mowing, because our batteries are dying takes about two ten minute intervals with the batteries, so I let him play inside while I did it.  He was fine after the first ten minutes- wow no melt down.  He was listening to his favorite tape "The Civil War".  I finished off the batteries, and he was fine when I came back in.  He was so fine- he lay there on his now favorite blanket that he must have with him, listening to his tape.  I began cooking dinner.

We've started with a timer to help make potty time more.... enforceable?  So anyway the timer went off and he went to the potty.  He said his tummy felt funny, and I said it would probably feel better after he used the potty.  So he sat on it; I went to put the pressure regulator on our pressure cooker.  I came back and he'd vomited... and then did it again.   What??  Did he have stomach flu?  Not that again!  He didn't eat anything funny TODAY... yes he had some other stuff yesterday, but that was a long time ago. Was I going to come down with it too?  Oh no, and don't we have this appointment with the psychologist about him tomorrow?  I can't send him to daycare with stomach flu!

On the plus side- he did it IN the BATHROOM, and not on the carpet, and not while I was outside.  Really this could have been a lot worse.  He didn't want to eat dinner and I did not encourage him.  He went to sleep early.  He slept through the night.  I went into him in the morning, and he began talking about "oil poop"- I think that's loose stool to him-and he did have a messy diaper.  Grr.  I thought we were done with that, but he had one the day before as well- not loose stool, but I was prepared for it this morning because if you have a stomach virus, it comes at both ends.

So I changed the diaper, and it was, lo and behold, not loose.  And he wanted to eat breakfast.  Maybe I could send him to playcare.  We started with half a banana, waited a bit, he seemed fine.  He ate the other part of breakfast.  He seemed fine, and I sent him to daycare... because really how much are they going to charge me for canceling an appointment (our first) at the last minute?  We barely got there on time.  We chatted with the guy and of course still know nothing because he has to see little star next week to really tell us anything.

I learned from the psychologist that a difference between Aspergers and high functioning autism is that kids with Aspergers wants friends and has them in the beginning but give up up on it later because they are not good at and have had bad experiences, but high functioning autistic kids never really wanted friends to begin with.  I'm really not sure where little star would fall (if he's even on the spectrum at all).  I asked him if he wanted a birthday party with other kids this evening and this time he said YES.  I asked him what the kids would do at his party... but he said they would poop (a word that is constantly in his speech lately.  I don't think he's thinking this through exactly- but he is enjoying the parties..even if he's not really playing with the kids.

I think they told him not to talk about it (poop) at school.   He said "don't use poop work" (I think he meant words). That surprised me since its actually developmentally pretty normal to do at his age.  Then again, it wasn't his lead teacher... if I can trust what he said (not really), but I'm pretty sure who would have said it, and if I think of it, I'll ask.  And, to be fair, I'm very tolerant, but after a while, even I get tired of this topic of conversation.

When I picked up little star at the end of the day today he was fine.  I am so relieved, no stomach flu.  Though... I still don't know why he was sick- was it really the party food and three pieces of candy.  I really didn't think what he ate was that bad... and why would it take so long to be problem?

And the other troubling thing... the psychologist informed us that our family doctor was taking another position in the county- one I'm really glad he is filling, but how can we possibly find ANOTHER doctor- he is our third one we've lost in our six years here.  My son has already had two different ones and he's not even four yet- and it wasn't easy even finding a good doctor that was taking patients.  It means another appointment to meet a new doctor.

Really, some people have a lot bigger troubles.  At least we have health insurance- did I mention my son never got enrolled in a dental plan, and we didn't know it until after we took him to the dentist.  Although we do have to pay for this... I'm not sure we've really lost anything by not paying premiums for almost four years and then paying for one cleaning.  We've just been lucky his teeth are good.

Friday, October 14, 2011

First try at mayo and cuddly things

I really really wanted mayonnaise with some leftover canned fish we have sitting around.  We've been getting tins of kippers- low on the food chain, sustainably caught and all that. We ran out of mayonnaise a few days ago, and the fish needs to be eaten already.  I thought there must be some kind of substitute that would serve the purpose, but ended up trying to make it.  It was surprisingly easy.  Despite putting in more salt than I meant to, it did end up tasting like it was supposed to- though it seems more runny than it should.  Anyway, I was satisfied that making my own was easier than expected, and seemed to work.  My one concern relates to the fact that I don't usually use raw eggs, so I hope there is no evil bacteria to worry about.  Maybe I'll try improving on my technique next time.

My little star is surprising me- he seems to be getting into his stuffed animals.  He's always had some, and sometimes takes them to bed, but its little more than passing interest.  Last night he was finding some animals he hadn't looked at in months, covering them up in blankets, and this morning he took one to school for show and tell... along with his blanket.  He's never really been into a particular blanket either except the kind you wear to bed.  Recently he's become very attached to a particularly soft lavender blanket I got for him before he was born... or soon after.  He keeps telling me how its cozy, puts in on himself, and brought it too school today.  I always thought it would help him to have a security lovey, blanket, animal, and always brought familiar things on trips, but really, he's never been that interested as far as I could tell.  Maybe things are changing.... but maybe now he's a little old for that?  Anyway, I like watching changes like this and wondering what it means about his development.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Meltdowns, school board candidates, and good news

1. My little star melts down most of the day.  Perhaps he is feeling an illness coming on- like I am.  He started at 6:20 this morning- tried and did not succeed in going back to sleep.

2. Quiet morning transferring music from a CD from old computer with CD player to my computer.  It was only one CD but it must have taken about half an hour to figure out how to do it.  Little star explores kid medical kit I got from rummage sale last month for science play space... or for him.  I hadn't really decided, and in either case, he gets to play with it- but today was the first day he was actually interested.  He loves stethoscope (too bad its a toy that doesn't do the actual thing), and blood pressure thingy. The hammer you use to get a reflex reaction is plastic and I was unable to get any reflex to show.  I kind of thought it would, but perhaps you have to know exactly where to hit. No melt downs for a while.
I began making little star a picture calendar, but it proved more difficult than I had thought... or more complicated.    I didn't finish- I couldn't decide if it was better to give a daily or weekly calendar, settled on weekly, but then put in stuff for each time of day, then got half way through and thought it was probably too much info for him, and then it was kind of late.  I suggested we could go look at progress on the house building, but little star would have to use the potty first.  Nope.  potty refusal.  I'd already had enough melt downs earlier, so we stayed in, and put off the potty issue until lunch.  More meltdowns around lunch.

3. Nap.  Little star actually went to sleep at a reasonable time despite no physical activity all morning.  I thought I would just go do that too because I'm not feeling well.  I was just drifting off when big huge mower pulls in next door and mows, and mowes, and mowes for the next half an hour or so.  Little star miraculously sleeps through it.  I don't of course. I am just beginning to maybe drift off again, and little star wakes up.  I drag him down to the potty (no melt down), but he's already wet.

4. Melt downs.  I mistakenly decided it was time to go outside and rake some leaves.  I get little star out without his shoes figuring he can put them on himself, since I know he can.  I rake, he hangs out on the porch and doesn't put them on.  I offer him a leaf ride in the garden cart, but he has to put his shoes on.  Utter melt down.  I come back from transporting the leaves.  Still melting down.  Eventually he gets his shoes on.  I give him a ride.  He wants a towel for his runny nose.  I tell him he can go get one- nicely.  Utter melt down, refuses to get it.  Eventually calms down, but still wines and wants towel but won't go get it, and I wonder who is going to call child services on us.   Another happy leaf ride.  Looks like he needs to use the potty.  Utter melt down, and I drag him inside, so the neighbors won't have to suffer anymore.  Eventually he uses the potty and I was glad I'd made him go.  He didn't want to come back outside with me, and it looked like it might rain soon.  He seemed happier, and played inside a bit while I mowed a little.  The batteries on our electric mower give us about five to ten minutes right now, and it began to rain anyway.

My son spent more calm time with the medical kit.  I sat with him.  I was feeling bad for letting him have such a long melt down while I got a few leaves raked.  There was another melt down about using the potty before dinner.  Things improved with dinner.  This was an early dinner- he was not starving.  I waited for my husband to get home so I could go to a meet the candidates for school board.  I guess he had some trouble getting done, so I got there very late.

5.  There were six school board candidates.  I heard from two and half of them.  They were asked about Ohio Issue 2- that's where Ohio's trying to take away union collective bargaining rights.  One candidate had to think pretty hard about what this was about, and then surprisingly said she and her husband were both union members- but didn't answer how it might affect the schools.  What really got me was the other question. It asked about Race to the Top.  Now, I don't expect foreigners to know about this, but I DO expect anybody interested in education, and especially people running for school board offices.  Race to the Top is a Federal program/contest to get school districts/states to do certain things to improve schools.  Ohio, was competing and I think won some funding to take part.  The reforms are controversial- rightly so- there are good and bad things about it, as I see it.  But not to know what it is???  Two of the candidates said they were not familiar with it!!    The last candidate sounded useful and knowledgable, but you have to be suspicious when he goes on about managing the biggest charity, but never mentions what it is.  My friend told me the charity was the salvation army.  Now in this district, the district of the Freshwater case... lets just say separation of church and state is kind of a big issue here.  Two issues that were not asked that we would have like to have known were their stance on that and about bullying, which apparently is a problem here.  Luckily my friend could tell me about all the candidates.  I probably should have just asked her rather than going anyway, or certainly better than going late.

6.  The head of the grant agency I applied to for the science playspace said our grant had been approved!  I'm like great!... now I guess I have to take it really seriously- I wonder when we (I) actually get the money.  I wonder if people will see that and get helpful again.  In any case it looks good!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Showing empathy? and the olden days

Exciting thing (for me anyway) this morning.  My little star made a little house with pillows (kind of new thing for him), and asked me to sit in it, so I did, and then I said I needed to go get my socks if he wasn't ready to get changed.  So he said he would get my socks for me- and he did!  I don't think he's ever volunteered to do something for me that I didn't even ask him to do- I don't mean like empty the dishwasher or do laundry- tasks he enjoys and doesn't always have to do- this was a very personal thing that he's never done before.  It was helpful.  It was empathetic.  It might have had an ulterior motive of keeping me there, but he had to leave to do it- and he had to think about what I said I needed to do.  Anyway I was excited to see this behavior since I think its been lacking.

My little star is also into discussing the "olden days" when there was no electricity, or gas, or plastic.  We have a lot of interesting discussions.  Funny thing is, although we have a book about the "olden days", the conversation really got going when I was discussing pop-up toasters, and I think I used the term olden days.  Then of course I had to backtrack on that since plenty of people, including my sister, use pop-up toasters.  We had a whole discussion of what the olden days really were, but sometimes we find ourselves using the term for things of the past... but things that wouldn't really qualify.

He keeps making things with "fire" (pretend) and seems to keep trying to contain it with a blanket, though I'm not sure that its a fire blanket intended to make it stop burning. I think the blanket is more like a container.  Not sure where he came up with this idea.  I think the whole fire thing is related to the olden days conversation.

He's also taken to enjoying my tailors measuring tape.  He wants to "measure"everything and see the numbers.... but now it seems have been turned into some sort of fire device.

Did I mention I had a great day with little star yesterday.  No melt down, pretty good cooperation, an actual nap at a reasonable time in the afternoon...
Of course today.... well at least he's at playcare today.

And now I get to do some cooking.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Slow day; frustrations of potty training

Its a slow enough day that my little star is napping.  We got him to bed a bit late last night... and that's all related to potty training.  In fact I really feel like my life with him is very constrained by his not being potty trained yet, and its a bit frustrating.  I can't take him anywhere very long because he won't use another toilet, and probably won't even use his potty if I deign to bring it.  And, even if he does actually do it, it stressed me out because I don't know if he'll do it.  Last night, and this has been happening a bit lately, we get him upstairs to get ready for bed, start (or finish) reading stories, and then he has to use the potty again.  Its not like I can say no.  I have started to not get his sleeper on.  And then how can you tell him to get off the potty when he says he's not done?  How am I supposed to know if he's done?  By the way, most of the accidents are now occurring at school.. cause I'm so good at taking him (and cajoling and making him sit) to the potty and not taking him anywhere interesting? Is that progress?  He still resists going, and he still don't take initiative to tell me when to go... but he's getting very transparent about needing to go.

Anyway, this morning we went to the Moms2moms meeting to discuss healthy eating... and just chat.  The kids hung out in the church nursery.  Yoni does well there for an hour and half, and then I rush him home to use the potty- he clearly has to go.  If he were potty trained I would probably take him for a walk around town, or maybe to a playground and have a picnic lunch.  But he's not. Instead we go home. We then check out the new house that is being built just behind the house next to ours.  We get the lovely sight of the portapotty outside our kitchen window.    Then again, building a house holds endless entertainment for a small child.  So far its not been too noisy at the wrong time of day... now that our windows are mostly closed.

My little star lost his shoe last night, luckily not in the leaves.  I would be so upset if he lost another shoe like that.  I do believe his new shoes fit better, and was really surprised to see it off his foot briefly.  He is loving playing in the leaves now that the weather has warmed up again and we actually have a bunch this year.  Not enough to, say, cover the garden, but enough for some fun for a three year old.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

My little star, Day of atonement

I suppose I'm supposed to write in my blog since I've been ignoring it for a while.  I've been doing other stuff. 

 I set up a small play area at local consignment sale of kids stuff.  That is, I brought a rug remnant and a table for our info and all sorts of cool "science" toys.  This was OK, but really it was in a very dirty place.  The kids liked it, but there was one who kept running away and his mom didn't seem to be supervising, and one who kept throwing the toys in even dirtier places- parent really not doing anythign about it.  However, the rest of the forty kids (over three hours) came and explored the toys, generally playing nicely.  Siblings were quite helpful with each other, and older kids got along with younger ones.  Also it was clear that the toys were more cool than the lolly pops two of the kids had brought- they kept trying to figure out what to do with them... and then got really sticky hands and that was a problem getting the toys sticky.  I guess I'll need wipes- its not a bad idea.  I'm thinking for a play space we should ask kids to wash hands first- or use wipes.  We'll say it will cut down on our cleaning- and make it slightly more sanitary for all.  Of course they won't all do it, but I think it would help.

We've been figuring out about my little star's weirdness.  I've seen a lot of kids playing this week or so (I was in and out of his day care a bit, and my little star is definitely not playing with them as they do with each other. .. This has always been the case to some degree, but its getting to be more worriesome.We had him observed by the mental health person at head start (His playcare is run by headstart though many kids are not head start subsidized kids), and filled out some screening tests.  Well, he comes under concern for just about all categories, particulalry poorly for attachment and withdrawn.  However, there was this spike where he passed typical kids- he has even less agression than typical kids- this is a good thing.  Of course it could change.  Then we got referrals to a local psychologist, and two places related to hospitals in Columbus.  One is an autism center.   So... yes, it does point to autism.  Funny how I was prepared for that... but I kind of expected there to be a bunch of other possibilities suggested, or that it wouldn't be narrowed down to that when no diagnosis has been made at all.  Funny how when you get referred to a center like that it feels different than when you say, it kind of seems like the things he exhibits are like autism and maybe he has that.  Its like your observations are completely validated- but you didn't realize you didn't want them validated until they were.

My little star has a cold.  Yesterday for the first time ever he slept until 11:30 am.  Granted he did not have a nap the day before- this suprised me since he usually does at playcare!  And granted he seemed to have fallen off his bed in the middle of the night and was up for a while as we helped him go back to sleep.  BUt even after returning from CA, he only slept until nine or so.  In his almost four years of life he's never slept that late for any reason.  Ever.  He slept through his light alarm coming on.  He slept through the replay of his going to sleep music.  And he seemed fine when he awoke, though slightly more tired than I would have expected!  We did some errands, and then he had a huge melt down before dinner- like you might expect if he hadn't had a nap.  Of course I couldn't give him a nap when he'd just woken up!
And then he melted down after/during dinner as well, so I didn't figure we should take him to Kol Nidre.  

I went without my husband, who was under the weather, and felt bad because they had a whole string quartet, and he would have loved it... though maybe he wouldnt have lasted that long.

Today I got him to services... oh around 11 am, and it was almost over.  He seemed very slow, but sat quietly til it ended.  I think we were only there about 20 minutes.  When I was growing up services lasted practically forever on Yom Kippur- past 1pm usually.  And on Yom Kippur, well, what else do you really have to do anyway?...if you don't have kids... and you don't take it very seriously. Like, I'm sure you are NOT supposed to use the computer today- but I do think taking stock and reflecting is very much Yom Kippur.

Anyway, today is the day of atonement, and, I believe, introspection.  But I dont' feel like I'm introspecting much.  Its mostly taking care of little star (husband still seems under the weather).  There are some things I should work on more- being lazy at times, selfish, focusing on the wrong priorities, not being generous enough,  those are probably the main ones.  I don't really have an atonement message... or a deep thought.  Perhaps some years you just go through the motions, feel the traditions, and maybe other years you can take more away from it.  But its a tradition you do every year, and it spart of you.  Each year builds on the repetition; every time you do it or listen to it, you become better attuned to it and it informs your whole experience of life; its part of you.  So its worth doing every year if you can.