Happy Hanukkah

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Happy Hanukkah to all my Jewish friends.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Gone, But Not Forgotten

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I found some pictures of family members that have left us, but are still remember in our thoughts. Hug your loved ones as you never know when they will leave you.

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Just A Little Peek

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Earlier today, I caught my daughter going through everyone’s stocking. I know she’s anxiously waiting for Christmas, but I had to again, tell her that she has to wait for Christmas day to open presents, and to also leave the stockings alone as they’re not all for her; she didn’t bother getting into hers, which is on the other side of the tree, with her name on it. I thought I had put them up high enough, but I’m guessing she stood on the back of the couch and got them down, then dumped them all out. I know she particularly liked what my nephew is getting, as she was wearing it. I had to tell her that was for Hunter, which she put back with no arguments. The two of them are really close, like brother and sister.

She still hasn’t found my new hiding spot for all the presents, thank goodness. Guess the third time is the charm, or maybe it’s the really heavy container I put in front of the closet door for good measure. If I have a problem moving that thing, she won’t be able to budge it an inch. Maybe I should knock on wood…*knock, knock, knock*…wait the desk is fake wood…

Each time she found my hiding spot, she would open all the presents, carefully putting the empty packages into the trash can, then run around playing with everything she got out. I wasn’t home when this had happened, or it would’ve been prevented when she got too close to where I was hiding everything. When I walked inside the house, she immediately rushed up to me and showed me what she got with all the excitement of a four year old. Of course I knew where she got the toys and inside I was screaming ‘NO!”, but on the outside, I was smiling and just agreed to let her have them. There was no way I was going to take toys away from a child with autism. So, I just simply found a new hiding spot for the next round of presents, twice.

I didn’t buy that much for her to open each time I had moved to each hiding spot, but now that it’s closing in on the big day, there’s no way she’s going to get into them now, Mommy is broke, er, I mean Santa is broke, so he put this heavy 20 gallon container in front of the door, hiding all gifts from small and crafty hands. I’m so lucky she can’t read this, lol!

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I was talking to one of my cousins, and we both agreed that peeking at our presents before Christmas, runs in our family, so I know I’m getting paid for my raising. My sisters and I would open our presents early. Our parents would put a few under the tree and it would bug us, not knowing what was in those wrapped packages. I had unwrapping presents down to a science. Steaming the tape just so and then peal it off without tearing the wrapping. Though once we got a peek at the contents, we weren’t at all happy, so when Christmas arrived, we weren’t all that excited to open anything. Let’s just say, kids aren’t all that happy to receive clothes for Christmas, that wasn’t what we told Santa what we wanted. So what happened? It wasn’t until later when we found out that our little scheme wasn’t much of a secret and that was why the early presents under the tree were nothing but clothes.

Well played. 

Now I know how to deal with that when my daughter gets a little bit older, but how to deal with her now is the fun part. I can’t even get her to leave the ornaments on the tree alone. She takes off with them, plays with them, then I can’t find the things when I notice they’re gone. Usually, they’re hanging on the Venetian blinds in the living room, but I guess she got tired of me taking them down and putting them back on the tree because they’re now MIA.

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Down the Loo It Goes

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My daughter has a fascination with the toilet, but only the one at home. Something about throwing something into the porcelain potty, mostly one of her toys or her toothbrush, then pull the handle and watch it disappear. Is it the disappearing act that allures her? If so, I could pull up David Copperfield on youtube and have her watch him for a few hours. Or is it the sound of the water being sloshed around the bowl, before it is drained out, or watching the bowl fill back up with water again? I’m not sure what it is about the thing, but it seems to call her attention to it and for some reason, she has to throw something in and flush it down.

I usually come running once I hear the flush, only making it in time to hear her gasp and yell out, “Oh no, my toy!” I repeatedly tell her that I can’t rescue whatever it is that she flushed down the loo, it’s gone forever, but this never helps. It doesn’t help to put her in the sad spot (a certain spot in the house where she sits when she’s in trouble). I’ve put door knob covers on the bathroom door, but the door handle is too small for the cover and she can tear the cover apart.

Usually she’ll toss something into the loo that will pass all the way through, but there’s been a few times she’s thrown in something a little bigger that won’t fit through the loopty part under the bowl and becomes lodged, clogging it up. After having to remove the toilet from the floor a second time, I decided to buy a lock for the toilet itself. I just hope that whomever walks into the bathroom isn’t in a big hurry and let’s me give them a quick instruction on how to unlock the toilet so that they can use it.

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The first lock was a cheap ($2.97) latch that sticks onto the toilet bowl and lid. It was the only one this store had, so I bought it and took it home to try it out. You have to have the right toilet for this or it won’t stay stuck on the thing and even small hands could remove it without any trouble at all. My toilet wasn’t the right toilet for this one and I could NOT get the thing to stay on it, no matter where I placed the thing. Time to go to another store…actually, look online first, then go to another store. The second lock was just a little more pricier ($12), but it works. Plus, there’s no worry on whether someone forgets to lock the lock or not as it automatically locks itself back into place, the person who last uses the toilet just has to remember to shut the lid in order for said lock to do its job.

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Time for a few test runs with the miniature version of me. Oh yes, she’s not called mini me for nothing, I’ve flushed my share of things down the loo, usually those things belonged to my mom, like her contacts for instant and in the early 80’s those things were pricey.

I was about to start cooking dinner, but decided it was time for her to sit on her little potty first. She’s still potty training. She sits down and I walk away, but casually peek around the corner and watch her with curiosity. I see her look at the big toilet and see that she notices the new lock I put on there. She reaches for the lid, but can’t get the thing opened. Suddenly, she glares at it, knowing her fun has been had. I giggled, did a mental jump for joy, then walked away. No more flushing things down the loo, no more calling family members over to unclog it. Maybe I can stop buying her toothbrushes in bulk.

Halloween week is the best week

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Every year for the past three years, I always find some event to take my daughter to during the last week of October. I usually call it Halloween week, as every event we attend is primarily Halloween based. This year, we found something to do for each day, during Halloween week, starting with Sunday, the 25th. My daughter enjoys this week as much as I do as it allows her to meet her favorite superheros or favorite characters at each event we attend. Plus, she can where her own superhero costume to each of these events. Not to mention, most of these events pass out candy and have bouncy houses.

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This year she wanted to be Captain America for Halloween, but she didn’t like the costumes they had just for boys. I just so happened to find her a Miss Captain America costume at one of the specialty Halloween stores in Little Rock. I think this was her most favorite costume so far, besides the blue and pink supergirl costume that I bought her last year.

Every year we attend Spook City, which is a trick-or-treating event held in Benton, Arkansas. The city blocks off the streets around the court house and all the shops and stores in that area set up a table, tent, or game for all of the kids to partake in. They always have bouncy houses and train rides and sometimes there’s a climbing rock wall. For the past three years that we have been going, Batman has been there. But this year Captain America made an appearance, along with Batman, Frozen’s Elsa and Anna, and a few other superheros.

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My daughter, dressed like Miss Captain America, was over excited when she met Captain America, that she kept jumping and shouting with happiness. She also gave the same reaction when she met Elsa and Anna as well, not to forget singing a few lines of ‘Let It Go’ for them.

The greatest thing about these events is that my daughter doesn’t have to worry about expecting any loud noises, such as the 4th of July or any parade that has motorcycles and firetrucks driving along in the procession. All and all, it was a great week and we’re looking forward to doing it again next year.

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A Walk for Autism

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Last month, my daughter and I signed up with her preschool to walk for Autism Speaks, held at the Clinton Presidential library in Little Rock, Arkansas. I know there are some negative comments out there about Autism Speaks, but honestly, I haven’t seen any other Autism organization doing anything like this event. There were quite a few well known Arkansans speaking at the event, such as the governor’s wife and a well known news anchor, Craig O’Neill. There were also a few brilliant children with autism that got up and made and spoke about living with autism, followed by a little girl who sung the national anthem before we headed to the starting line.

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They had many games and booths set up sharing information about autism and all the places a child with special needs would be welcomed, such as summer camp, pediatric preschools, dentist, doctors, etc. There was a huge tent with many different healthy snacks to choose from. Even our very own Coleman Diary set up a tent and passed out milk and juice.

As my daughter and I headed towards the starting line, I could see from the crowd of people around us, this was a huge turn out. Many people wore matching shirts, showing their team spirit for a loved one with autism. I was truly excited to be a part of this. Not only was I here, helping raise awareness for my daughter’s autism, but I can see from the large number of people around me that I am not alone.

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There are thousands of us out there, trying to speak up for our children, that autism is real and just because our children have it, does not mean that they are any different from those of us that don’t have it, it just means they are unique, but oh so very smart, clever, and very brilliant!

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I’m still here

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Hello readers! I know it’s been awhile since I’ve been on here. I’m a junior in college and find it is quite harder than the last few semesters I’ve been through. I have at least two years left before I receive my bachelors degree in anthropology. I’m looking forward to that moment.

Meanwhile, I’m still looking for an agent or a publisher to pick up my manuscript – young adult urban fantasy novel. I had revised it once more, adding over 11,000 words, making it over 54,000 words total. I feel much better about it this time around, than when I thought I had first finished it.

I had started querying agents a few weeks ago and had received a few no’s, but a few of them were really, really good no’s, the type that keeps you motivated in pushing on, the no that makes you realize that agents really do read your query letters, the type of no that has you believe that you’re so close to getting someone to represent your work.

For all those writers out there, looking for someone to represent your work, don’t give up, no matter how many emails you send out. There’s someone out there waiting for you, you just have to keep searching for them.

Four more weeks left in this college semester and I’ve started working on my next writing project.