Wednesday, March 30, 2011


We are two-thirds of the way done with various evaluations for Little Dude to get him re-started in special education services here in Pennsylvania, and to get him set up for Kindergarten. We have spent a lot of time sitting in munchkin-sized chairs, while Little Dude showed off his scissor skills and identified letters and numbers.

He's always disappointed that they don't want to hear him count past twenty. What's up with that?

Another activity that's involved in these evaluations is having Little Dude look at pictures, and say what's happening in the pictures. The speech therapist flips the pages in the book, asking questions, and Little Dude is supposed to explain the action, such as it is. I mean, it's not like explaining the intricacies of the Jedi Battle level in Lego Star Wars, but whatevs. He participates anyway.

Today the explanations went like this:

Speech Therapist: "What is the girl doing?"
Little Dude (bored): "Riding a bike."
Speech Therapist: "What is the clown holding?"
Little Dude (with a shudder): "Balloons."
Speech Therapist: "What is the boy doing?"
Little Dude (visibly perking up): "Crying! I know why he's crying! Becuse of the clown on the last page!"

Seriously, I almost peed my pants. Okay, I may have actually peed my pants a little but it's not my fault, my bladder's been stomped on by four babies and frankly those Kegels just don't put everything back exactly.

Other than that, the evaluations were pretty routine. Except that Little Dude was acing everything. He should still qualify for speech therapy. When the speech therapist asked him what he likes to play, he said "Lego Star Wars." She thought he said "little dogs." So obviously, we'd like to work on that clarity. Because it's extremely important to Little Dude that you know that he loves Lego Star Wars and hates little dogs.

In terms of physical therapy, he may qualify for periodic consults. He's pretty up to speed on everything, except that he might freak out on the stairs when there's lots of other kids in the stairwell. That's probably not so much a genuine motor issue as it is him not wanting other people to touch him. I think he believes that other kids are so unpredictable that they might just shove him down the stairs. I guess that's one of the things about autism -- he just doesn't know what other people are thinking, and it scares the crap out of him.

Speaking of crap, no one has any suggestions on what the heck to do about the potty training situation. So far, bribery has been only moderately successful. The boy can hold it for just about forever, so it probably won't be too much of an issue in half-day kindergarten, but still, it's an issue for me. He can't figure out how to poop on the potty, and I can't figure out how to teach him. Our next meeting is with a school district psychologist, and I totally plan on taking advantage of that and picking her brain on this topic.

And then there's Occupational Therapy. This is where the bittersweet comes in. His skills are where they need to be, at least for now, so he doesn't need any OT. This is the whole point of early intervention: you try to solve the problems early, and then the kids catch up. Is he caught up, because we've worked so hard, and for so long, and now the OT issues are gone? We don't know. His teacher, the OT, and I will all keep an eye on him throughout the school year to see make sure he continues to make progress.

It freaks me out, to see any of his supports fall away. As much as it was like a knife though my heart the first time someone said the words special education to me, full-on mainstreaming now worries me.  I want him to have that cushion.  I want him to be protected.  It's not what he needs, though.

We'll be putting into place all kinds of other supports in terms of an IEP, accommodations, and transition planning. And I know this is how it's supposed to work. He is gaining skills, and needs less help. He still can't put his own sneakers on, but I realized today that he can blow his own nose. And that's huge.

At one point I sat in the hallway of the kindergarten, and watched kids go by, headed to the bathroom or the front office or the nurse. And while I marveled at their independence, I also noticed that their hair was messed up, their pants were on twisted, and they're all generally goofy and awesome.

Just like Little Dude.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Top Ten Things I'd Do With $319M

It looks like a group of seven New York state employees won that $319 million jackpot. Which is extra-awesome for them since New York's budget is so fouled up, they probably wouldn't have had jobs much longer.

I don't play the lottery, but it's fun to think about what you'd do with $319 million. I mean, that is a LOT of dough. Even after taxes. Even divided among seven co-workers.

You could do a lot with that. It probably wouldn't be enough to make Dora just stop it already, but still, there's potential for great things.

Obviously, I'd make sure college is covered for the kids. I would buy our way out of our lease and buy a bigger house. I would hire someone to clean said house, and also someone to take out the recycles on Sunday night because I can't seem to remember until the truck lumbers by at the crack of dawn on Monday.

What else would I do?

10. Hire a homework supervisor. Requisite skills: Infinite patience, tolerance for end-of-day fading of Adderall effectiveness, thorough understanding of long division. Actually, I would hire four such homework supervisors, because I think homework in this house would overwhelm just one tutor. Each kid would have their very own taskmaster.

9. Our elementary school would suddenly find itself with unlimited occupational therapy resources.

8. I would probably stop eating ramen noodles. Or at least eating them this often.

7. I would pay some reasearchers to stop researching the fact that girls are less likely to be appropriately diagnosed with ADHD and autism spectrum disorders, and start researching better ways to help parents, teachers, and medical professionals identify and treat those girls.

6. Likewise, I'd get some researchers on the stick about what the hell works NOW for our autistic children. I know we all want to know what the hell causes it, but my kid already *has* it. There's some great ideas out there, and there's also some really whackjob crackpot stuff too. Parents are winging it, and our kids are the guinea pigs. I feel like I get harder information from Bill Nye the Science Guy than I get from the collective "experts."

5. I would totally have an Internet connection so I could stop writing these posts from my phone. I can't say I'm missing cable all that much, though.

4. I would create an endowment to pay for psychotherapy for my children, my children's children, and so on. Because being rich won't change genetics.

3. I would buy new loaf pans. Mine are really beat and tend to rust. Annoying.

2. Three words: Lego. Shopping. Spree.

1. Laundry would quickly become a fuzzy, distant memory for me. I'm sure that somewhere, some day I would catch a whiff of rancid sweatsock, and the memory would come back, fleetingly. But then it would be gone again because I would be distracted by my perfectly-pressed and sweet-smelling children.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Drowning in Anxiety

I know this probably sounds like a really crappy thing to say, but my kids' anxieties are wearing me the hell out. Even though they're all thrilled to be back home in Pennsylvania, they're still adjusting to new classrooms, new teachers, new routines.

There's also the added dimension of the loss of their grandfather. Although all four kids are deeply affected by my father-in-law's death, the Peanut Butter Kid has been the most emotional, crying at random times and worrying about me and the Professor. One day last week, she lost it right before we left for school. She pulled it together, but then broke down again as we got to school. It was a rough morning.

Cookie in particular has been struggling with day-to-day anxiety, so we're looking at setting up a 504 Plan at school for this. It would provide her teachers with some tools to help keep her calm and learning during the day, and give Cookie the security of knowing that everybody's on board with the plan. Even without a formal plan in place, though, her teachers have been amazingly supportive and helpful.

Regardless, I took her to school sobbing on Friday. She broke down when she realized that one side of a homework paper hadn't been done. (The horror ... the horror.)

While we're working on her issues at home, and starting back into therapy this week, the whole situation is exhausting. Something about watching my daughter suffer with the same anxieties I have struggled with just tears my heart up. It's a multi-faceted pain: as her mom, I feel the pain she feels; as a person with a history of mental illness, it dredges up my own dark times past.

I don't know that there's any remedy for this, or if there should be. I'm glad that I can help Cookie talk about anxiety by genuinely empathizing with her. And I'm not a social worker or counselor who needs to keep professional distance.

I'm her mom. By definition, I think, that means I'm going to be affected by her emotions in a multitude of ways. Sometimes it will be elating; sometimes it will wear me the heck out.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Putting My Oxygen Mask on First: Treating my Adult ADHD

You know what's totally awesome? Me. On speed.

After six months of contemplating my evident ADHD, I finally got my shizzle together enough to go get formally diagnosed by an actual doctor. I started medication today and feel terrific. I don't feel wired or jittery, I just feel like a large cloud of static has been cleared out of my brain.

Granted, it was my first day on the med. Maybe tomorrow I'll develop headaches and bipolar symptoms and sleep disturbances.

But maybe not.

Maybe I'll have another day where I get a whole bunch of crap done. Today I paid bills and hung up coat hooks -- two tasks I had been procrastinating for too long. I also did six loads of laundry AND folded AND put away. I had to stop doing laundry (sadly, six loads did not complete the task) because I realized the utility sink had become clogged.

And then I emailed the property management company about the clogged sink. Immediately. Not four days later when we run out of clean clothes again.

You know what I didn't do today?

Go upstairs to get a load of laundry, get distracted by unpacked boxes, open a box, peer inside, decide I don't know where to put any of that stuff anyway, feel guilty about the unpacked boxes, do a half-assed job tidying one of the kids' rooms to assuage the guilt, realize I desperately need more coffee, come downstairs, avoid making eye contact with pile of mail on the kitchen counter, drink fourth cup of coffee, spill coffee on myself, remember to do laundry, go down to the basement, realize kitty litter needs to be changed or else I cannot spend a single second more in the basement, scoop out litter, throw out litter in outside trash can, scrub hands, realize I have to leave right now to pick up kids, remember laundry seven hours later when I'm lying in bed.

Yeah. And that's with me "self-medicating" with caffeine. It just occurred to me that maybe my "pregnancy brain" was just me off of coffee and Diet Coke.

The thing is, like most parents, I'm great at putting my kids' needs first. I make sure they get to their doctor's appointments and get the treatments they need. I kind of suck at taking care of myself, though. Why did it take me so long to get this ADHD diagnoed and start on some meds?

Well, sure, there's the whole ADHD thing itself. But I also need to look at the fact that I let my own mental health fall to the bottom of the priority list, and that's probably not going to make me the parent I want to be.

I can't even say that I finally went to the doctor because I was ready to take charge of my health. I went because my ridiculous caffeine intake is bringing back those painful breast cysts. I suspect I'm part camel, and my body stores excess Diet Coke in these cysts in case of drought. Anyway, when it hurts to put on a bra (and going braless is SO not an option), it's time to make a change.

Today I started taking generic Addreall, and I only had two cups of coffee and half a Diet Coke. Considering that, with few exceptions, I've been chain-drinking coffee and Diet Coke since I was thirteen, that's no small feat.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Grief, Children, and Autism

This past week, my father-in-law died. He was a man who was well-loved, and who lived a good life. He was a World War II veteran, a school teacher, a writer, an artist, a father, a grandfather.

Our kids adored him. This is the first time they've lost anyone close to them, and it's tough. We're doing all the things we're supposed to be doing to help them, but it's one of those parenting moments that you're completely unprepared for and is exquisitely and uniquely suckish.

The kids are responding as kids do -- or anyone, really. There is heightened anxiety, and then everything is fine, and then we're laughing, and then someone's behavior goes down the crapper.

How much of this is the grief and how much is that things are generally out of whack, I don't know. My husband was gone for a few days last week to be with his father and his family; his absence threw the kids off, let alone the reason. There are times when they seem to be trying on different responses to the loss of their grandfather, looking for the one that fits them best.

And then there's Little Dude. At first he did not seem to react at all to the news of his grandfather's death. Except that maybe he was losing himself more often in spinning Lego minifigures in his fingers. And there are differences in his behavior: he's more irritable, more frustrated, quicker to melt down.

There isn't much out there about helping autistic children deal with death. The few articles I found online seem to have all ripped each other off and been cribbed from one small scholarly paper written in 2001 to help special ed teachers prepare autistic kids for a loved one's death.

Every one of the available articles mentions how  in one school, some special ed teachers helped an autistic boy with a terminally-ill father process the father's inevitable death. The teachers bought a whole chicken at a butcher shop and brought it to school to show the little boy. They named the chicken "Charlie." (Every article mentions this detail.) They explained that Charlie the Chicken was dead and then they buried it and put a cross on its tiny little chicken grave.

I am totally not doing that.

First of all, Little Dude's grandfather has already died.  This isn't something we can prepare for, it's something that's already actually happened.  Also, as sad as we are, there's no way anyone in our family could conduct a roaster chicken funeral with a straight face.  Plus, my kids once tied a leash onto a plastic play-kitchen chicken and named it Chicken Bob, so that adds to the weirdness.

Secondly, we eat delicious chicken in our house.  It seems like naming a chicken something other than "Dinner" and burying perfectly good food outside in the yard is only going to confuse Little Dude more. 

I would just like to point out that this is totally typical of the "WTF" non-advice advice that you get as the parent of an autistic child. While role-playing can help lots of kids prepare for life's weirdness, I'm 100 percent sure that this chicken gig would put me over the edge of insanity.  And that's pretty much the extent of the advice out there.
In fact, if you Google "autistic children, grief," what you get is a metric f-ton of articles about parents grieving over their child's autism diagnosis, and almost nothing about helping an autistic child process grief.

I emailed my friend Amy about this lack of helpful information. Amy, who writes the hilarious blog Pregnant Chicken, also has a son with autism. Her response was:

Figures. The more I read about autism, the more I want to punch someone in the face. It will more than likely be the next person that tells me I have to watch Parenthood because "one couple has a little boy with autism" or that I need to watch Dr. Oz because he's doing a show on autism. I know they are trying to help so I just nod but it's like someone pulling along side me in a boat as I'm swimming across the ocean to tell me they make something called "water wings."
And that is why I love her.

I tried different variations of my Google seach -- searching for autism and loss (found articles about autistic kids who wander off), autism and bereavement (more on Charlie the Chicken), and autism and death (scary-ass stories about autistic children dying).
As is so often the case, we're winging it, judging moment-by-moment what will work best for Little Dude.  We are including him in all the conversations we're having with his older sisters; talking about our favorite memories with their grandfather and looking at photos together.  We're talking about what it's like to feel sad, and respecting that people express their sadness in different ways.

Mostly, Little Dude is craving time with his own daddy.  With four kids, it's always a challenge to make one-on-one time work, but we're doing our best.

I'd love to know what has helped other children -- particularly special needs children -- through the loss of a loved one.  Please leave your suggestions in the comments section below this post.  No suggestion is too weird (not even burying chickens) or too small, because every child is different.  You never know what might be useful to another family. 

Maybe the next time someone Googles "autistic children and grief," they'll land on this post, read your comments, and find something that helps.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Happy Happy

So, we're still poor. The Texas house is scheduled to go to closing April 15, but until then we're eating an insane amount of pasta. Also, we can't really spring for a real Internet connection. I'm posting from friends' houses and the library and McDonald's. This entire post is being typed on the itty-bitty keyboard on my phone. I can't put anything in bold or italics because I don't know how to highlight text on my phone. Every time I try, I mess it up and get too annoyed to deal with it.

Regardless, I have rediscovered my love of Ramen noodles, and the kids are reading tons of library books. So thumbs up for being poor! Yay! It's totally like we're Amish or Laura Ingalls or something. Little Rental House in the Suburbs. Except for the Wii, the DVD player, and the smart phone. So maybe we're not *that* poor. More like temporarily inconvenienced.

Plus? I'm so freaking happy. I'm home. The girls are back with their friends, in their old Girl Scout troop, in their old school.

Ahhh ... their school. It is not without its challenges. It is a financially-stressed school serving a population that is truly diverse: ethnically, racially, religiously, socioeconomically. And it. Is. Awesome. It doesn't have the highest standardized test scores in the county, but that's certainly not for lack of effort on the part of teachers and administration. What it does have is a nurturing environment, a curriculum that challenges every student, and seriously amazing, devoted staff.

When I asked about 504 plans for ADHD and anxiety, the school social worker got right in touch with me to explain the process. She asked if we could wait a couple of weeks to schedule the meeting to give the teachers some time to observe the girls and be able to make suggestions for accommodations. Ummm ... okeydokey. I (heart) suggestions! (In the meantime, the teachers are working with us, without the 504s in place, to make things smooth for the girls.)

And then there's Little Dude. I've already met with the Special Ed Coordinator for the district to discuss options for Kindergarten for Little Dude. The district has an autism support classroom, but given Little Dude's verbal skills, the feeling is that there's no reason the district can't provide appropriate programming, support, and therapies in the mainstream classroom. Thhe Special Ed Coordinator was ah-may-zing. She had all kinds of concerns, questions, and ideas. She sent me the link to apply for "wrap-around" services through the state. (This is supplemental insurance that we should qualify for regardless of income.)

I left the meeting elated. Honestly, it was just delightful to go to a meeting where our son's education -- and his whole being -- were the top priorities. I didn't leave feeling like I needed to look up Pennsylvania education law. I didn't leave worrying about the coming year. I left feeling like we had tons of options and a great team in place.

I'm not writing this to brag about the Little School District That Could. I'm not writing this to dis our old school, and certainly not to compare Texas schools to Pennsylvania schools. We had some *great* teachers in Texas.

I'm writing this to say that public schools can and do work. Our school has tons of parental involvement, and that goes hand-in-hand with the great teachers and caring administration. It's kind of a self-fulfilling prophecy: we all seem to believe the kids and the school are *awesome,* therefor it is true.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Winner - ADHD Fidget from Pitter Patter Stitches

The winner of the giveaway of a custom-made ribbon-tagged lovey from Pitter Patter Stitches is Melissa (commenter #36). Melissa, please email me at!

Sorry this post isn't all duded up with links -- I'm typing it on my phone and I can't figure out how to highlight text on my phone.

Suck It, Milestone Books

My apologies to those RSS Feed subscribers who got a half-assed version of this post in their email.  I hit some kind of magic keystroke combination that made my post automatically publish before I was done writing and editing.  And then the Internet gave me the finger and I lost my connection, so it took me a while to delete it, fix it, and re-post it.

During my first pregnancy, I positively devoured pregnancy books.  Mostly I devoured cheeseburgers, but also pregnancy books.  You know how delicious they are, with their recipes for fat-free, high-bran muffins and all.

By the time I was on my third pregnancy (and fourth baby) I had pretty much stopped reading them.  At that point, I had a grasp on what was imporrtant (labor pains) and what wasn't (which week the baby starts to grow fingernails). 

I had also kind of stopped reading all the parenting "milestone" books.  It turns out your pediatrician will ask you what tricks your kids can do.  If your kid isn't doing a whole bunch of age-appropriate tricks, the doctor will refer you to Early Intervention for a free evaluation in the comfort of your own home.

The What to Expect books would have been more helpful to me if they had mentioned that.  Although I suppose that would have negated the entire purpose of their book, so I guess it figures.  It's not really the fault of the people who write those books -- after all, they're writing for the masses and masses of people (who apparently really do exist) who have typically-developing kids.  And by "typically-developing" I mean those mythical children who hit every milestone as prescribed by Dr. Spock himself.

Those books would also have been more helpful if they had told me to expect my twins to scream and cry incessantly due to severe reflux.  Or if they had given me a heads-up on how that reflux, which was caused by difficult-to-diagnose T-cell allergic reactions, would cause them so much pain they wouldn't sleep through the night until they were two. 

Now, with my middle child, I was expecting all that crap, so we had the allergies diagnosed early on.  Ha ha, milestone books!  Suckers.  Except I didn't expect her not walk until she was seventeen months because her feet are curved and her shins are twisted.  Damn.  Bring on the physical therapy.

And then there's Little Dude.  There is pretty much nothing in any of those books that applies to him.  Was I expecting to still be struggling with potty training when he turned five?  No.  On the other hand, I didn't expect him to enjoy multiplication at that age, either.

Suck it, milestone books.

For me, the books just caused stress.  All four of my kids have been advanced in some things and delayed in others.  It probably mostly averages out to typical, but they've all needed the help of some kind of professional at some point -- whether it was occupational, physical, or speech therapy. 

This week I've been asked to participate in a panel discussion on parenting for my mothers of multiples club.  I hope there's other moms participating who have normal-er kids than me, because I am freaking useless to give advice to anyone with typically-developing kids.  If someone wants to know how to get their full-term twins to bump up from sleeping six hours a night to eight hours at a stretch, I have no idea what to say to them.

On the other hand, if someone wants to talk about their baby projectile vomiting like something out of The Exorcist, or about some funkadelic mystery rash the baby has, or about how ridiculously hard it is to potty train, then I'm all over it.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Giveaway: ADHD Fidget from Pitter Patter Stitches

Note: Comments and contest are now closed.

Did you just hear that chorus of angels singing?  That was the sound of the Etsy artist behind Pitter Patter Stitches agreeing to give away one of her creations to one lucky reader!

The customized, ribbon-tagged lovey that was made for the Pork Lo Maniac really does help her get to sleep.  I'm not promising any miracles, but I can tell you that since she got her lovey, she has not come looking for me at night to tell me that she can't fall asleep.  So there you go.

The Pork Lo Maniac is obsessed with all things Asian, so Pitter Patter Stitches designed the lovey, pictured below, just for her.  It has the Chinese symbol for "go to sleep" on it!  The mommy who makes the loveys is an elementary school teacher, so she has all kinds of awesomesauce ideas.

To enter to win a custom-made ribbon-tagged lovey for your little fidgeter, leave a comment at the end of this post!  I'll use a randomizer to select the winner!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

My Son Hates Elmo

Because we don't have cable, we've been rifling through our old DVDs, and watching a weird amount of Christmas videos.  We have a few Sesame Christmas videos from when the girls were little, but Little Dude was never super-interested in Sesame.  At the time, I did think it was a little odd ... I mean, what little kid doesn't like Sesame? 

Later, I assumed the lack of interest in Sesame was due to its shocking lack of light sabers.

However, it turns out that Little Dude hates Elmo.  More specifically, Elmo's laugh.  Apparently it's like nails on chalkboard to him.

More sympathetic, I could not be.

I definitely have a lot of the same auditory processing problems that Little Dude has.  I have vivid memories of feeling like certain sounds were screaming at me.

Seeing Little Dude's reaction to the Elmo Saves Christmas video reminded me of that.  And it reminded me of seeing a very small Little Dude turn his back on Sesame Street.

Little Dude is not one of the kids who suddenly became autistic -- who was typically developing and then lost social and verbal skills.  Little Dude has always been this way.  It's just that when he was 12 months old, he couldn't tell me that Elmo's laugh was the most irritating thing ever.

Now he's almost five.  He can tell me that Elmo's laugh is "horrible" and hurts his ears.

I bet if I had known that when he was one year old, it would have freaked me out.  Kids are supposed to adore Elmo.  My daughters all loved Elmo like he was the Pied Freaking Piper.  The Peanut Butter Kid had an Elmo shirt that she handed down to Little Dude.  He liked the shirt, but he still didn't really want to watch Sesame Street.

I thought he was just disinterested.  That he was just not that into television.  He was so busy stacking blocks and lining things up -- we thought maybe it was just a "boy" thing.

Worst part? If you had asked me, I would have said he liked Elmo just fine. I kept putting it on, because it seemed like what I was supposed to do.

What the hell? Why on earth would I try to get a kid to watch television?  Sure, it's PBS.  Sesame Street is awesome. 

But still: it seems like if your kid isn't interested in Elmo, that should be okay.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

My Excellent Advice to a Bored Child

So yesterday we got TWO offers on our house in Texas. We took the better of the two offers (duh) and are keeping our fingers crossed that it all goes through.

This is terribly exciting news because it means we will, in due time, be slightly less poor. This will mean, in turn, that maybe we can save up some money so I won’t be quite so freaking stressed out about money all the time.

That would rock.

However, I have to say that being in this situation is kind of good for my kids. Not that my kids have ever been spoiled (I hope), but I think it’s okay for them to understanding that we need to be extra-careful with money right now. It’s okay for them to see me planning meals around the grocery store loss-leaders, and to generally know how to scrimp. It’s a life skill.

It’s also okay for them to not have cable.

So far, only the Peanut Butter Kid has dared to say “I’m bored.” I think it’s because Little Dude is perfectly satisfied with a box of Legos, and Cookie and the Pork Lo Maniac have already learned that I am entirely unsympathetic to the “bored” predicament.

When a child, fully capable of reading (and writing) chapter books, says to me that she is bored, I simply comment that it must be a bummer.

If she asks for suggestions for what to do, I will tell her to read a book. If she says that she doesn’t want to read, I will suggest all kinds of excellent and exciting activities, such as:
  • Clean your room.
  • Clean my room.
  • Alphabetize your books. (Your choice: by author or subject.)
  • Use the thesaurus to find ten more interesting words for "bored."  Do any of them have alternate meanings?  Alternate spellings?
  • Fold laundry.
  • I can quiz you on the multiplication chart while we fold laundry!
  • Moisturize my feet.
  • Dust all the low moldings and chair legs. You’re shorter than me so it’s easier for you to do it anyway.
  • Count how many interesting things you can find wedged under the couch cushions. Are any of them sticky? What do you think those sticky things used to be?
  • Compare and contrast the dust bunnies under my bed vs. the dust bunnies under your bed. Collect all the dust bunnies as evidence.
  • Devise a solution for toilet training a child with a motor planning deficit and sensory issues.
  • Geography Quiz: Name all the state capitals we have driven through in the last eighteen months.
  • Draw a diagram explaining how to re-load the toilet paper roll. Explain the diagram to each member of our family.
  • Two words: Kitty. Litter.
Not surprisingly, Cookie and the Pork Lo Maniac are never "bored."  I have a feeling the Peanut Butter Kid is going to catch on quickly, too.
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