Saturday, January 5, 2013

A Day in the Life

Yesterday was a pretty average, normal Friday for us. I've always found these kind of posts very interesting, so I thought I'd share.

5:00am +Jason Shepherd's alarm went off. He got up, got dressed, had breakfast, made his lunch, and left for work.

6:00am Jason's work day started. He works all of 5 - 10 minutes from our house.
            +Liam Shepherd's alarm went off. If he was well rested, he would lounge in bed and read or work on his American School homework. He has a cold and didn't sleep well last night though, so he just rolled over and went back to sleep.

7:00am Liam and my alarms go off. This time, Liam gets up and starts getting dressed.

7:10am I wander downstairs and make sure Liam is up and moving. He's usually in the shower or getting dressed by now. Sometimes he falls back to sleep though, and I'm his safety net. Liam grabs a bite to eat (usually an egg and something carby like toast, a frozen waffle, a banana, etc), and heads to the local Public School.

8:00am Liam's Algebra I class is starting. He tries to get to school early (sometimes as early as 7:30am) though, so he can hang out and talk with his teachers and the other staff, and say a quick "hi" to some of the other students.
            I wake Cora up. She always whines, but the past few months she's actually started getting moving after only one wake up call. She moves slowly, getting dressed, feeding the cats, cleaning the litter box, brushing her teeth and doing something with her hair. She's really into her hair. Then, picking the perfect hat to pull over whatever hair style she just crafted.

9:00am Liam is home by now. Cora is ready to start her day. Liam is hungry again. He usually makes some eggs and english muffins for himself, his sister, and me. I make up what we call "Vitamin Juice" for us to drink with our breakfast. That's a nourishing infusion that is nutritionally similar to taking vitamins. Only, it doesn't upset our stomachs like pills, tastes yummy, and I can adjust it daily based on our habits and needs. I tend to drink it throughout the day. Everyone else has a cup at breakfast, and more if they are feeling run down during the day. After breakfast, Liam goes in his room and works on his Algebra homework. Cora goes in her room to work on whatever she's working on that day. She wrote a 35,000 word story and ate through Teaching Textbooks Pre-Algebra and Rosetta Stone's first level of Spanish recently. It's going to be a few months until we can purchase more Spanish, and she has asked that we enroll her in American School, too, instead of buying higher levels of curriculum for her. American School operates at a painfully slow pace, though, so it will be late January before she gets the materials for her first class. Until then, she creates digital art, practices singing with her favorite songs, knits, crochets, dresses up the cats, plays with her toys, and reads for fun.

10:00am Liam is back at the local Public School for P.E. He walks to and from each time, regardless of the weather. It's only 4 blocks from the house. Cora is out interacting with me again. Maybe helping with some chores, or asking for help on some project of her own.

11:00am Liam gets home from P.E. Jason has just gotten home because he has a half day on Fridays. He works 9hrs per day M-Th, and 4 on F. If Liam hasn't finished his Algebra, he does so. Then he works on the American School program. He brings out questions for me to help with, and quizzes for me to grade. At least once per week, he has an Exam too. These I don't have an answer book for. I look them over the best I can, and we discuss his answers. Then we scan it (in case it's lost in the mail or something) and he prepares it for mailing.

12:30pm Liam stands in the doorway of the dining room, holds his head, and declares, "ohhhh man.....I have brainfry." Then he walks to the kitchen while telling us (or the air, if no one is around), "I need something to eat." Cora stealthily appears in the kitchen about this time to either ask him to make her some lunch, too, or offer to make something for both of them. This week was special though. One of Liam's friends offered to buy him lunch. So, he rushed off to meet his friend. Since they were meeting at the library, Cora joined him. She had books to return, and check out. Plus she and Liam's friend enjoy hanging out, too.

1:00pm Liam's new mattress arrived. This was a belated Christmas gift that has just had one shipping issue after another (or should I say "suffered from being shipped via FedEx"). The latest estimate had said it would arrive the previous day, so we weren't completely blind sided. We brought it in, and were going to set it up in Liam's room. We opened the door to find that his definition of "Did an extra good job cleaning my room" meant trash, books, papers, and dirty laundry everywhere. Luckily, he was still goofing around at the library, so we called him back and asked him to clean and vacuum properly before we set up the new mattress. Cora came home along with him. She made herself a tuna salad sandwich (Jason just made up some tuna salad and put it in the fridge), some pickles, and an apple for lunch.

2:00pm Jason realized I hadn't had any lunch and dropped some microwaved left overs in front of me with instructions to eat. If he or one of the kids doesn't remind me, I won't remember to eat until dinner time, usually. I have "task initiation" weaknesses and would mostly live off of Vitamin Juice if others didn't interfere. Every other Friday, Liam has a standard appointment. He meets his friend at the library. They return books, check new ones out, goof around, then wander out into downtown to goof around some more until it's time to go to their Archery Club meeting. If one of them has some extra pocket cash, he buys lunch for them both. This week, his buddy had earned a Subway gift card for some achievement, so he bought.

2:30pm Cora started walking to the Archery Club meeting. It's about 6 blocks away, on the same street we live. She always has the option of being driven, but generally prefers walking.

3:30pm I started calling the kids. They're both supposed to call to let us know when they arrive somewhere, if they are going to leave, and if they run into problems on the way. Neither Jason or I had heard from either of them in an hour. Warm ups started at 3, and the meeting had just started. They had both been there since the doors were opened shortly before 3 and both forgot to call. They're both very apologetic. We were supportive and positive and don't harp on them or mention punishments on the phone, for fear one or both would become unmanageably upset at the meeting. Consequences can wait until later.

4:30pm The meeting is over. The kids called and asked if they could stay late to practice and hang out with their friends. We gave permission.

5:00pm The kids called to let us know they're coming home. We asked if they'd like a ride, and they both opted to walk. They were both being super respectful about keeping us informed. We decided that our brief earlier discussion seemed to have been enough correction. So, we let the matter go.

5:30pm The kids were home, and Jason and I were on our way out. It's date night for us. We reminded the kids that, other than the meat that's marinating, we have a whole kitchen full of food they can make for dinner. We expected them to eat something solid, not crackers or toast, for dinner.

6:00pm Jason and I had dinner at the local burger joint. There isn't really anything formal in town, and the food is better there than most of the family style restaurants available.

7:00pm Jason and I saw a movie together. I'll make a whole post about the movie theater another day. It deserves it's own post! There's only one moving playing in town, and only 3 showings per week. Friday is discount pricing, so we usually catch whatever is playing on Friday night- unless one or both of us has strong feelings against seeing that movie. This week it was Red Dawn. We were both really excited to see this one, because the original is a childhood favorite for us.

9:00pm Back home again. Cora took her evening shower while we were gone. The kids told us they had tuna salad sandwiches and about 1/2 lb of baby carrots for dinner. Could be worse. We gave them our leftover popcorn (we ALWAYS do this. I don't think I've gone to a movie without them without bringing home leftover popcorn for the kids since they were old enough to eat popcorn), and pop on an episode of Star Trek: Voyager (this will also get it's own post eventually. It's a "thing".) to watch as a family. Then, we sent the kids to bed.

9:30pm Cora was in bed reading The Hobbit. We have a rule about having to read the book before you're allowed to see the movie, and it's playing next week. Liam was saying his final round of good-nights and hugs before bed (he's a big hugger), and copped an attitude about some stupid thing or another. Before we know it, he and I were in an impassioned argument about him taking responsibility for his actions instead of trying to convince himself he isn't in control of his choices. Jason chipped in a little here and there, but mostly stays out of the spur of the moment things like this. He's an NT and can't quite keep track of where Liam and I are logically or emotionally when this happens, and doesn't want to aggravate things.

10:30pm We've resolved the issue, hugged it out, identified key problem behaviors Liam wants to work on, and determined a reasonable plan of action. He was exhausted and fell asleep as soon as his head hits the pillow. Jason and I cuddled up on the couch to watch some not-kid-friendly tv. All our favorite shows are still on hiatus so we ended up watching a couple episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. We haven't watched it since it first aired and have forgotten so much it's almost like new, watching it again. We've been working through the series from the beginning when there's nothing else we like on tv.

11:30pm Jason went to bed. Most nights, we're in bed around 9ish, even with a little tv together. Fridays we can stay up as late as Jason can stay awake. He really had to fight to make it this late! I wasn't far behind him. First, I needed to make up tomorrow's Vitamin Juice, plus turn the heater down, check the locks, turn off lights, and make sure Cora is asleep or tell her it's time. She'll stay up all night reading, even though she's tired, if we don't help her remember to sleep. That messes up her sleep rhythm and has a ripple effect of negative symptoms and behaviors. She's really been making an effort though, and is usually asleep before I check on her.