Thursday, April 02, 2015

reagan's first decade

muppets+maps+the color green+a pinata=success

you can't go wrong with this combination and reagan. 
our family is doing small, at home birthdays this year, which is a far cry from some of our extravaganzas in the past and i'm ttttffffpppphrilled(said with spitting) about it. 
reagan requested a kermit the frog cake and i wanted to explore new chocolate frosting options. i found a GREAT one that only required one small change from the other version i normally use. instead of add the cocoa powder last, i mixed it in FIRST with the butter, before adding anything else. then i added powdered sugar, whole milk and vanilla as per usual. it was fantastical. 
the rest of the kermit process was pretty easy and i even splurged on a food safe marker for the eyes. 

we had the small festivities on a sunday evening with two families that reagan particularly enjoys. he surprised all of us by reading a story to his guests. i was especially surprised since the boy hates reading, but he loves to perform. he simply cannot ignore the call of the stage.

for his actual birthday we ate a few leftover cupcakes that i bought for his class from the special kneads bakery in town that was specifically opened to cater to the employment needs of special needs individuals. i can't even type that without tearing up at the wonderful thing they are doing. only about 11% of autistic adults are employed and often not full time or to their capability so three cheers for them for head up the special needs employment revolution.

this past week was the DREADED pinewood derby. lucky for me, our current troop spent an entire evening cutting out the body style so all that was left for reagan(ME) to do was sand and paint and reagan(I) can do those things. 

the night of the derby, after i had done all that i could do to create an acceptable car, one of our dear scout leaders took it upon himself to do some last minute adjustments and created a pinewood super car. reagan didn't lose a single race and he gets to compete in the district competition in the next few weeks. go reagan!(ME!)

from the pictures, he was obviously thrilled. 

it was after 8pm and that is when reagan shuts down for the evening. 

more blurry pictures! i ordered a new camera download cord and the first time i tried to use it, my camera stopper working! hurray! i think it's in cahoots with the computer printer and the garage door opener because none of them like to work for me either.


Friday, March 06, 2015

the week i almost can't remember

this is a loooong post. spoiler alert- everything works out in the end.

a long time ago in a land far, far away i had preeclampsia and reagan had to be born 4 weeks early. so, on the night of monday, february 2nd, when i woke up at midnight feeling like death warmed over, i felt like i had an inkling of what was happening as history repeated itself.
i thought i was just hungry or had terrible heartburn or that i was simply suffering from pregnancy insomnia, but it was worse than all that. way worse. a little voice in my head told me to google preeclampsia and HELLP syndrome. when i had preeclampsia the first time, a few months earlier a good friend of mine also had a premature birth when her preeclampsia had progressed to hellp syndrome and i could hear her voice in my head, "i just didn't feel well and i knew something was wrong" and i couldn't ignore the same feeling. so, i googled and webMDed and matched up with every symptom until about 230am and i was so exhausted i could finally fall asleep. i talked myself out of waking thomas up and having him take me to the hospital because i didn't want it to be a hassle. i know, i already wasn't making sense but i knew i had an appointment at 9am the next morning so i tried to hold out for then. when i woke up, i actually felt a ton better, but my feet were so swollen i could barely squeeze into flip flips and i hardly pull my pants up over my gigantically swollen legs. i waddled to the doctor and i took my urine test and told them all i was feeling and my preeclampsia premonition. i had significant amounts of protein in my urine but my blood pressure was still normal so they sent me home with a home monitoring kit which is basically a giant jug to collect all your urine in for 24 hours. then you're supposed to keep it in the refrigerator, next to the meat you are thawing for dinner! yum! i went home, put on my jammies and laid on the couch for the next few hours. which is i guess what i did but i have very little recollection of. i was mostly unconscious, and not in a restful way. blythe sensed something was up because she just sat next to me on the couch. she didn't pull a single stunt. i didn't even feed her lunch. i also didn't go to the bathroom a single time, which was an indicator of how quickly my kidneys had gotten overwhelmed. i went from numerous pregnancy potty breaks my entire pregnancy to nothing more than a bottle cap full in the weeks leading up to the big event. i'll spare you the really gruesome details, but everyone needs to go potty all the time and it should be yellow. yellow is the only acceptable color. 
i was still thinking i would get over it when i started violently and uncontrollably vomiting. and then i realized the time and remembered to pick up the kids from school. which is one of the worst decisions i've ever made. my brain was absolute mush at this point, i couldn't stay awake, let alone sit up and i decided to drive my gigantic mom-mobile yukon(named Cornelius) an hour round trips to two different schools to get the big kids. i got an inkling of how terrible decision to drive was when i told scarlett to "keep talking to mama while she's driving so that she can stay awake". after i picked up reagan, i finally called the doctor's office. they told me to head up to the hospital. i called my good friend, heidi(it's not confusing at all) and asked her to watch my kids while i went to the hospital. then i laid down again and passed out until she had to let herself into my house. i was still determined to drive at this point but she convinced me to let her take me to the ER herself. we all loaded up in her van and then the violent vomiting started again. reagan thought it was fantastic and exciting. since i hadn't eaten since midnight the night before, i thought it was kind of horrible and painful. thankfully, since she's a mom, heidi had several grocery bags in the van for my use. and use them i did. heidi dropped off my kids at her house and we headed to the hospital i think it was comical at this point because i'm barfing and heidi has her head out the window of her van trying not to barf at my barfing. 2 heidis in a van barfing but trying not to and not barfing but almost barfing. did you follow? it was very meta. 
so, after the usual hullabaloo about actually getting admitted and continued vomiting, (but in official hospital barf bags with a ringed opening for your comfort) i was taken upstairs with a blood pressure that varied from 165/87 to 195/87 in a 30 minute time period. so, pretty bad without being dead but almost wanting to be. 

i looked like this:
i was annoyed at thomas for taking such a terrible picture of me with it being sooooo blurrrrry, but then i realized, that's actually how bad i look right now. 
i was kept overnight because they were trying to get me to last until friday, when i would be 34 weeks pregnant and hersch would be just that much healthier. i was injected with the GIGANTIC baby lung development steroid in my hips and hoped and prayed for good news. on wednesday morning, i had a visit from a high risk ob/gyn and his high risk ultrasound tech. our prognosis was a bit grim; i was probably in hellp syndrome which is bad, my blood pressure was not improving, my platelet count was going down, my kidneys and liver were not functioning well and the toxins in my body had nowhere to go. hersch was actually doing pretty well considering his environment, but he had stopped growing sometime in the previous few weeks and was undersized for his age. he had to get out quick. we tried to weight a few more hours, but then my no-nonsense nurse burst into my room with the news that i was on the chopping block within the hour. and oddly enough, this was the first time i was really unsure and upset. because of the c-section! i'd never had one before so i was scared! i'm i'm a good baby pusher outer! that's one of my few talents! these wide hips have a purpose and not just for hitting doorknobs! but, i had no choice, neither hersch nor myself would endure a lengthy delivery. so, i called a couple of friends and arranged childcare, school pickup(one elementary secretary gave me grief about not coming in a signing appropriate change of child pickup paperwork. for real) and told thomas to get here stat. he made it, and old lady shaved me and practically everyone at the hospital saw me naked. if ever i wish i had been able to do a few extra squats and lunges, it was then. while the actual c-sectioning, thomas held my totally numb hand and we chatted about the upcoming walking dead episode with the anesthesiologist. and then herschel was there. and it was amazing. because he was there and even in that much chaos and fright(because we weren't out of the woods yet) the Spirit was there and so was herschel. he was pretty mad about things, but i was able to kiss his little face before they whisked him away.

after i was done in recovery, they wheeled me into the nicu to see him. and then i almost threw up again when i saw him. i'll tell him about that someday. gurneys are a wild ride.

after a few days, my crazy swelling went away. it was such a change, that when i went to see herschel a few days later, they asked me who i was and how i knew the simpson family. and when i said, mother, everyone did a double take. 

i had to stay in the hospital for about week until all my kidney and liver function returned to normal, which was a process. i couldn't eat for 3 days and that doesn't help with the brain crazies. i was hopped up on a magnesium drip which is why i still can't remember much of anything. i was taking about 20 pills a day and i was known by the color of my urine, sweet tea brown, and the size of my giant purple bruise on my c-section incision. you may all call me, sweet tea heidi, from now on. i've always wanted a nickname. it was all quite painful and i bow down to women who have had multiple c sections. 
i had to rest a lot because preeclampsia doesn't just go away with delivery. i was on bedrest for about 3 weeks after delivery. i found a great article on preeclampsia that explains the process really well and mentions downton abbey. bonus for you. click here. i'm the lady sybil character in case you were wondering.
 the biggest plus about recovering from preeclampsia, besides not dying and not being pregnant anymore is that food finally tastes good again. i hadn't eaten more than cereal for the last month. i was even getting really excited for the baked sweet potatoes and activia at the hospital.

biggest biggest plus is my sweet little loves is here. 
he's still in the hospital but he's grown to 5lbs 1 ounce and he's doing great. he's still having a few issues due to prematurity, but he's the toughest little cuss i've ever seen. but what do you expect from a baby named after herschel walker?

this is his occupational therapist. she helps him get strong by doing exercises with him that will help him mimic pushing against the walls of the womb. modern medicine is a miracle.

this is just part of the circus that i enjoyed when i got home. my mom and sister both took turns visiting and helping. what would i have done without them? heather even brought her whole family. this is all the girls waiting for reagan while he's at his piano lesson. i ate so many frosties too.

i'm sure i'll remember more later. but the most important part is that everything worked out. 

Sunday, February 08, 2015

date night in baby jail

As far as ideal date circumstances go, I'm sure friday night in the nicu with a heavily drugged, heavily swollen, high risk post natal mom with a makeshift ice pack constructed out of ice and a preemie size diaper strapped to her stomach ranks pretty low on most people's must do lists. But lucky for Thomas,  I was able to help him check off that dream. I don't need much when I'm with Thomas. I didn't even have to wear a bra.

I wore my nicest, baby poop colored hospital gown for the occasion.   

we capped off the night with big cups of pebbled ice. It was heaven. Thomas spent about 20 minutes googling heavy duty, at home, hospital quality pebbled ice maker for our next ananniversary. He always promised we'd have it all!
the best part of being married to someone is doing nothing with that someone and it's one of the best times you've had in a long time.
hersch update- adorable. likes to pull out his canulla and his feeding tube. Kicks and flings his arms when he hears dad's voice. Recoils in horror at mom's cackle.

Thursday, February 05, 2015

all that is good in the world

I had a baby 12 hours ago!  A premature baby even.
I have not properly bathed, shaved, brushed my teeth, removed my contacts or even washed my face in what feels like daaaays and I'm still sitting on top of the world.
Almost everything has been an ordeal of epic proportions, which I will painstakingly and minutely record on another day, and not at 1:30am.
but I do want to record how happy and wonderful I feel. Nothing went smoothly. My health status fluctuated from minute to minute, from scary to worse. I wasn't allowed to walk. I had no overnight bag. Baby Hersch was the easiest member of the party.  
But no big deal. I ultimately had one of the best days ever.
I saw so many people reach out in service and love to my family.
I had several silly text conversations with my reliably fun, sarcastic and ready to entertain and inform convotextionalists friends. My sweet husband made all school and homefront things happen, even taking a conference call with Blythe on hand(or lap). Just thomas walking in the room made everything feel better.
The Spirit was attending to me through so many mediums and great things happened. 

Herschel Ezra Simpson
February 4th at 1:47pm
3lbs 9 ounces
born at 33 weeks gestation,  7 weeks premature

Saturday, January 31, 2015

yo, adrian!

my january pregnancy update:
i watch rocky over and over and over because encore shows at least one of the 6 iterations each saturday night. that's how lame i've become. each saturday, thomas usually does work at night and i sit on the couch with my feet propped up and then i tear up at random times during the movie. like when rocky kisses adrian for the first time. or when rocky gives the speech about going the distance, 
"Cause I was thinkin', it really don't matter if I lose this fight. It really don't matter if this guy opens my head, either. 'Cause all I wanna do is go the distance. Nobody's ever gone the distance with Creed, and if I can go that distance, you see, and that bell rings and I'm still standin', I'm gonna know for the first time in my life, see, that I weren't just another bum from the neighborhood."
and then there are the requisite dog, baby, and life insurance commercials. so, my face looks like a perpetual crying, blotchy, swollen sumo wrestler. i've always wanted to be asian, but i was thinking more along the lines of daniel larusso's girlfriend in karate kid part 2. 

other january non-pregnancy news:
anywhooo, thomas was able to see georgia wallop lousiville in the belk bowl. i teared up when i got this picture from him because i was so happy for him. he even had to be told to move back from the sidelines. dreams realized. i bought him some new jeans to complete a belk bowl outfit, but he was not very excited about that.

the big kids wanted to stay up and watch the game and find dad on TV. they didn't last too long and i went and slept in my bed because i have no interest in sleeping on the floor ever again for the rest of my life. 

this child still lives here:

scarlett has been letting me practice "fawncy" braids more and more on her hair. we have something extra special planned for valentine's day. 

scarlett made the all A honor roll. the girl cannot spell to save her life, but she is so naturally inquisitive that apparently that is not going to hold her back. her favorite is science. she's especially interested in the ins and outs of male pattern baldness, so the future looks bright. 

we made it down to the georgia aquarium this morning. that place is 'spensive! and like everything in atlanta, it was crowded. i waddled to try and get sympathy from passersby, but to no avail. my kids still had to wait in line like everyone else. 

it was pretty incredible. lots of sharks and fish and whatnot and like my father before me, i read the boring informational placards and learned that the georgia aquarium is the largest in the world and that they have a special sea otter rescue program for baby otters who get separated from their parents. so, naturally, i cried a but a bit about that too. 
i felt kinship with, maris, the beluga whale who is pregnant and due in the spring, just like me. she was pretty lithe and i figure i would be pretty lithe too if i was swimming all day, instead of resting and watching rocky. i have kept up with running 3 miles a few times a week, but it's more like shuffling and gasping in public. then once a week i take a barre class which has to be hilarious to watch because i am clinging to my barre for dear life because my fred flintstone feet cannot support me any more. 

speaking of fred flintstone feet:
grosssssssss. they look like rocky's face at the end of rocky 1,2,3,4, and no one cares about 5, or rocky balboa. 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

florida christmas spectacular

before we left on our trip to florida for christmas, i made sure to put my nice camera download cord in a "safe place" so that i would know exactly where to find it upon our return. i'm not sure why i didn't put it in my regular spot, as that would make the most sense, but i decided to make things hard and try and lose my cord for fun. all together now, "pregnancy brain"!!!

we had so many trip highlights, but the ones i have pictorial evidence of are busch gardens and honeymoon island. unfortunately, the theatrical extravaganza that was reagan's fire safety puppet show reloaded, complete with 8 songs, including the addition of selena gomez's, "if you're ready, come and get it" is not included. let's all hold a fast for the camera cord location. 

anywhoo, since i obviously never going to find it and i can never download pictures from my camera ever, never, ever again, i may as well record what i can with my camera phone pictures. it will be a weak substitute. i don't even have a picture of my dear sister or mother. probably because we didn't get frosties together this time and pictures and frosties go hand in hand like long, flat william's family bottoms and empty calorie choices.

we went to busch gardens on christmas eve. it was so fun to be there as a family. 
that's ATHENA BLYTHE up on the suspended bridge with thomas. no big deal, mom. 

blythe's example gave scarlett the courage to accomplish the same feat.

the dads took the big kids one some fun roller coasters and aunt heather and i took the babies to see the elmo show. heather and i sang the loudest. because we are so obnoxious.

blythe had more than a few moments of tantrum. waiting in line was a pain, buckling up was a pain and going in through the entrance is for mere mortals. i had to chase blythe many times when she decided she was done waiting and was going to take any chance she could to get on a ride. 

  final busch gardens thoughts
*a bird pooped on my shoulder. at least it wasn't my hair
*they had HUGE, lazy 12 foot alligators about 10 feet from your face
*we got free tickets from heather's neighbor and that saved us about $250. boom.
*pregnant women are the best spot in line savers. what else are we going to do?

aunt heather and uncle daniel have a real live alligator lake in their backyard. uncle daniel took the kids fishing and all that outdoorsy stuff while i nursed yet another sinus infection and thomas took conference calls from the hotel room. (poor thomas spends every christmas putting out legal fires. everyone should go to dental school. the law is a jealous mistress.)

uncle daniel is the best. hands down. fishing. treasure hunting. specialty drink preparation. specialty cheese plate taste test preparer. full body beach burials. he's the party starter. he'll get things going.

aunt heather and uncle daniel have started the tradition of elaborate treasure hunts for my kids. this was was complete with maps, clues and real live buried treasure under and X in the sand. 


because i know it's downhill from here, i took a swim suit pregnancy picture. i am woman. in spandex.

 on our return trip, we stopped for lunch in waycross with thomas' mother. scarlett was ready for her 90s engagement portrait sitting on a hay bale in the barn. 

final note, if i was to go looking for crystal meth, a drive through certain parts of north florida might send me in the right direction. sketchy. 

Wednesday, December 31, 2014


so, my face has been a little crazy since athena blythe was born. after each pregnancy i've had some discoloration but it has eventually faded after about 6 months to a year. lucky for me, after this last go around, my melasma has persisted into permanence. i'm sure it didn't help that i was spending copious amounts of time outside between running and outdoor classes and taking the kids to the pool. i tried to use sunblock and wear hats and sunglasses as much as possible, but i was becoming increasingly self-conscious about my face. i could tell when people were looking at my skin and not my eyes. it's a bit unsettling.
can you find- 
the gorbachev-like mark on my forehead?
my i-wish-it-was-kool-aid mustache?
the dead almost kardashian sister look in my eyes?
check! check! check!

granted, i feel a bit selfish and shallow complaining about my melasma when it could be so much worse. flesh eating bacteria for starters. but, my lofty pipe dream is to NOT wear makeup in the summers. it's call hotlanta for a reason. 

i normally avoid buying thing from people like the plague. i am cheap. i do not enjoy spending money. but, my dear friend, holly, sells rodan and fields products and her results were great and people were always coming up to her to order more and rave about their transformations that after one particularly gruesome workout and day at the pool where i looked like someone had driven a truck over my face, i decided to take the plunge. the rodan and fields reverse system is not cheap. it's way more expensive than i even thought i would spend on my face. my walmart makeup might feel left out sitting at the same lunch table as my rodan and fields products. would they be friends? it's pretty in pink and breakfast club and every other molly ringwald movie ever made all over again! social hierarchy distortion! 
i kid. i kid. 
here's my before:

could not even muster a half smile

and here's after 60 days:
after about 30 days, someone at church asked me about my gorgeous, smooth skin! i turned to look for the person behind me because i couldn't believe they were talking to me. 
i still have some discoloration, but it's very slight! i'm a normal person again! i'm pleased as punch. worth every penny. it's recommended to reorder every 60 days, but i always still have ample product left over at that point. i use my reverse both morning and evening, and have only ordered twice. 

things to note- 
in this picture, my skin is still enjoying the residual effects of my birth control by being extra clear and zit free. my glorious birth control pill, which also enhances my mood and makes me less stabby, but apparently doesn't actually prevent pregnancy. God works in mysterious ways. 

and here's my face with full makeup:
the power of makeup contouring! amazing!

but really:
i simply couldn't make a normal face. blame it on pregnancy but we all know i actually prefer weird faces! my face is exhausted, but my skin glows!!! i'm starting to get some preg puff and redness, but i'm happy as can be with my face. hallelujah. 

*this was not a paid endorsement. because blogs full of paid endorsements are super annoying and disingenuous and i'd only like to be accused of being annoying, not disingenuous.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

simpsons 2014 year in review

since this is the 2nd year in a row that i haven't done a christmas card and letter, i at least wanted to record some sort of year in review letter on ye olde blogge. 

2014 was HARD with many not fun happenings as we would like. we moved states on short notice, we said goodbye to meatball(he's living with a new family upstate with a big farm and lots of places to play, wink wink), the kids did several school switcheroos, thomas worked many, many more hours than should be humanly possible and traveled more miles than the oscar meyer wienermobile, and the rest of us missed him terribly but and ate lots of scrambled eggs and frosted flakes while he was away. the one plus for me was much less cooking. the kids have very undeveloped culinary palettes. 

thomas, the pillar of our home, continued his work as executive vice president  and chief legal officer of certus bank. he is still waiting for his dream job of university of georgia year round football commentator-at-large to open up. in january, thomas will be starting a new position back in private practice here in the atlanta metro and we are all looking forward to less travel and more thomas.

heidi, as the triumphant motherhood martyr, i spent the year busily nurturing and rearing the children. i tried to ignore them, but they were relentless! sometimes it's hard to say at the end of a year what you spent the majority of the time doing when it mainly consists of putting out fires and ensuring that everyone has adequate food and water, but it's important work. for the first half of the year i had really great looking deltoid and quad muscles and for the second half of the year i consumed a lot of frosted flakes to ward off pregnancy nausea and decongestant pills to keep from suffocating during my sleep due to pregnancy congestion. glamorous. 

reagan, our familial adhesive whom everyone loves, was surprisingly resilient with the move and the subsequent school changes. he's a champion of his circumstances. things are often difficult at first, but he is the picture of perseverance. at school in south carolina, he enjoyed running club, buying lunch on pizza friday and cleaning the church building. here in georgia, i signed him up for the school choir because of his love for music and his adorable little voice, but he absolutely hated it. he did enjoy going to lego club, even though i don't think he played much with the legos. he also likes going to cub scouts, but mostly for the social aspect, not the scouting aspect. go figure. 

scarlett, our delight of weird delights, is a fount of curiosity. i think it was the most difficult for her to make the move as she missed so many of her friends in south carolina, but she's really started to find her georgia niche. she's doing very well in school and had a key role in the school choir musical. scarlett is definitely avant garde with her personal style and loves to arrange her room and create outfits and is certainly not afraid to mix patterns. she has recently taken a liking to creating home designs and creating interior decorating plans on the internet and that thrills me to no end as i am a terrible barbie doll and baby doll play counterpart. 

athena blythe, the sweetest, crankiest monster child you'll ever meet, loves her one on one time with mom when the big kids are at school but looks forward every day to the time when we go pick up "buddy" and "sissy". she has an affinity for mickey mouse clubhouse, much to my everlasting chagrin, super why, strawberries, clementines, nutella sammiches and cannot get to nursery fast enough on sunday. she actually runs away from me and down the hall all by herself in her great haste to play with the other kids. she may or may not be a good big sister. the jury is out. 

baby herschel, our fourth horseman of the apocalypse, has an ETA of march 20, 2015. though he is still on the inside, we all have felt his presence in our family. he was a complete and utter surprise, but we are all very excited about him joining our family, especially big brother, reagan. i'm dreading the actual childbirth process because it's terrible, painful and rather messy and it's the sort of task that's difficult to farm out, but i guess it must be done as i do not foresee a future as a feature on a TLC program as the woman who was pregnant for 46 years. 

2014 is one for the books. we're grateful for so much. we spent a wonderful christmas holiday together in florida and we look forward to the new year, new opportunities and a new baby. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

fun reagan is the best.

december 1, reagan started a new, self-contained autism classroom at a new school. mid-november, we had a meeting with his school team to update his IEP and figure out what the next step for reagan's education plan should be. reagan's kindergarten teacher used to always call reagan a "puzzle" and she was absolutely right. he's bright but holds all the information inside of him. his current teacher had 30 kids in her class and didn't feel like she could spend the time she needed to working with him. so, he was reevaluated, again, and it was determined that transferring to a new school environment would be a more beneficial placement for him. except for the fact that all the administrators forgot he is AUTISTIC and change is very difficult for him. thomas and i were both hesitant at first at putting reagan in a self-contained classroom. your neuro-typical children and my neuro-atypical child need to be together. they both have things to learn from each other. social awareness goes both ways. however, we were in agreement with the district that changing his school placement could be the best thing for him educationally, but reagan would be the ultimate decision maker on whether it would work. you can't force an autistic kid to do anything without it affecting every other aspect of his life. the vice-principal at our IEP was absolutely incredulous that we would allow reagan to have a say in the school transfer. for a man who spends a lot of time around kids, he certainly didn't act like a man who spent a lot of time around kids. forcing is an absolutely effective way to parent. you should watch me give athena blythe a bath. force has it's place. however, force and autism are oil and water. we were going to encourage reagan in any way possible to try to the new school, but we also have been his parents long enough to know that you have to let your kid think it is their idea in order for things to go more smoothly(also works in marriage!)
we spent about 2 weeks coaxing reagan into the idea. the first suggestion went over like a lead balloon. he spent all afternoon crying about the prospect and a solid hour sitting on my lap, clinging to my neck. i sort of reveled in it as this level of emotional connection is VERY unusual for reagan. he normally only clings to me for comfort out of abject fear of something(often a dog outside while he's playing. he's especially wary of a chihuahua on our street who roams around while wearing a sequin sweater. dogs in sequin sweaters are unnatural and freak me out too). otherwise, i am the macaroni and cheese maker and the car driver. (randomly, last night, he did say "i love you" to me at bedtime. he does that about as often as halley's comet rolls by.) we did multiple new school drive-by viewings. we met with his new teacher. we spent an afternoon playing at the new school playground and riding bikes at the parking lot. we counted 18 planes that flew overhead and i took that as a VERY positive sign as reagan loves a nice airplane sighting. we talked about the various car line changes that he would experience and the school start and end time changes. scarlett would remain at the previously assigned school, which was sort of a kick in the teeth, but pulling her for reagan's needs again is just one less thing i want her to talk to her therapist about someday. she'll transfer to his school next year. it's hard for her too because their recess times overlapped and she would always seek him out on the playground so they could play together. ironically, the new school is geographically the closest to our house(less than 2 miles) yet still not our officially zoned school, so i'm on the lookout to buy or rent a house in that school zone for ease of scarlett's registration in a very crowded district. bonus, thomas loves when i am in house hunting mode. imagine pregnant house hunting mode! with reagan attending the new school, drop off/pick up and car line at two schools takes about an hour. TWICE A DAY! being an adult is just what i thought it would be like. fun, fun, fun! all the time! enough of that pity party.

reagan finally conceded to the change and he had a little going away party with his former class. then he went immediately to a little welcoming thanksgiving party at his new school. what our schools need are more parties and more sugar is what i always say!

reagan with his former autism liaison, miss burger, whom i liked to call miss booger, because it annoyed reagan. 

and reagan's former teacher, mrs. fletcher. she was a gem, but 30 students, including 6 autistic kids is a bit much for anyone. i would not blame her if she had a secret chocolate chip stash in her desk(like ME!) to help her cope. 

the change has been a little bumpy but reagan keeps working at it. reagan has been there for 2 1/2 weeks and he had a lot of new anxiety to work through and the return of some old anxiety friends too. new bathrooms in public places can be very daunting. common core math that his own mother can't figure out is very annoying to him too. the new boys in his class have been very welcoming and i think having only 7 boys total in the class has been a nice, quiet reprieve for him. extra noise bugs me too. he (mostly)readily completes his work and he gets all sorts of help with things he struggles with. it's hard to say after only a short time, but i think we may finally get the academic success that i know he is capable of. we have even started weaning off his medication. fun reagan is able to get his work done and robot reagan can hopefully go away forever. fun reagan is the best. i'm ashamed to say that "fun reagan" is the best nickname i could come up for him, as i pride myself on being an expert nicknamer, but "fun reagan" is the really the most apropos. 

last night he did ask me, "mom, when will have have girls in my class again?"
(autism in girls has a much, much lower incidence rate.)
"i don't know, reagan. maybe there will be a girl in your class next year?"
"i hope so. i just love girls."

it's nice to know i'm included in that.