Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Runaway Son

I did not mean to disappear for over a week.   Last week was Spring Break.  It was nice having a break from school and all of our activities for awhile.  It gave us a little reminder of why we love summer vacation.   

I have been debating on if I should write this post.  We have been dealing with something the last couple of months with our son that has been kind of frustrating.  I decided to share about it, because there might be others out there dealing with the same thing.   When he was much younger, he would inappropriately run  when he would get upset, anxious or angry.  He was not always aware of his surroundings, and would occasionally do something that affected his safety like run in the road.   For many years running was no longer a problem.   A couple of years ago we had a couple of instances, but they stopped as suddenly as they started.  A few months ago, though, he started up again.  This time it is a big different.  Now he only wants to leave when it is time to do homework.  He has always hated doing homework, but now that he is in high school it is not something he can get out of. 

This latest phase starting in February, early March.  It started out of nowhere.  We just got back from the store, and he took off while I was bringing the bags.  When he did not come in after several minutes, I went out to look for him.  I did not see him near the house, so I got in the car to go look for him. It has been long enough that he had enough time to leave the neighborhood. I found him running down a busy street near our house.   Luckily he was coming up to our road which turns off the busy street.  I was able to get him back in the neighborhood, and made sure he went back home.  I asked him where he thought he was going.. He said he had no idea. he just wanted to go.  I don't think he would have gone very far.  He had no money on him, and he is hungry quite frequently. It was also cold outside, and he only had a sweatshirt.   A couple of days later he tired to do it again.  This time though it was 10 p.m. at night, and very dark outside.  I was able to block the door, and talk him out of it.  He has tried a couple of other times at night, but so far we have stopped him from leaving.  For awhile his sister was hiding his shoes and coat at night, so he could not leave when no one was watching.    A month ago, when he was trying to leave, I got a hold of his shoes before he did.   I put them in the dirty clothes hamper, a place where I knew he would never look.  He put on one of old shoes. A shoe that is now 2 sizes too small.  His sister had hidden the other shoe. He told me he was going to leave anyway.  I put on my own shoes and followed him.  It was actually kind of comical watching him limp down the street in one shoe that did not fit.  He did not make it very far.  By the time he had gone about 5 houses, his feet were cold and he realized why it was not a good idea to run away in one shoe.  

The other day, Kara and I came home and realized he was not in the house.  He knew that he was going to have to do his homework when I got back home, so he took off before I got there.   Kara and I jumped in the car, to go look for him.   I found him a few minutes later at the end of a cul de sac looking at the busy street.  This time he was far from the traffic, and was  just looking at it.  I am pretty sure he knew we would see him where he was standing, which is why he picked the location that he did.    Kara got out of the car to go talk to him.  I stayed in the car just in case he would take off if he saw me coming.  When they started walking back towards the car, I thought maybe she had talked him into riding back to the house with us.  He walked right past the car.   He decided he wanted to run home instead.   I followed behind to make sure he actually did go home.   There is a neighbor who doesn't know us very well.  I guess my driving slow behind my son, made him nervous.  When he saw Kyle running by the house, he opened his back door asking Kyle if he is alright..  I tried to assure the neighbor  that everything was fine, that I was just making sure my son was actually going home.  I don't think he believed me though. He continued to stand there watching.   About this time Kyle became winded.  He stood there bent over trying to catch his breath.  I waited for him to start walking again, before I moved the car.   When Kyle  did it again  in front of the neighbor's  house, I could see the neighbor watching now out the front window.   While I am grateful to know there are neighbors out there that are keeping an eye out, I am also a bit annoyed that he thought I was trying to abduct my own runaway son.    Once we got back home, I told Kyle about the neighbor watching him to make sure he was safe.  He had no idea that it even happened. He did not hear or see the neighbor Then he said..  maybe we should go over and apologize for worrying him.  At this point we were both cold and tired, so I suggested we tell him the next time we see him.  I also told Kyle the best thing to do.. Is NOT TO DO IT AGAIN! 

Hopefully he will take my advice.  I also told him if he really feels like running, how about doing it safely but running laps around the outside of the house.  He likes that idea, we will see what happens from here. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Goodbye Sweet Cocoa

We had to say goodbye to another furry friend today.  Last night when we checked on Cocoa she was no longer breathing.  She had passed in her sleep.  We had been expecting it for awhile. Back in early December she went to visit the vet, because she had developed a tumor on her back side.  She still had a good quality of life, so the vet told us to she should still have some time.  I just love this picture of her sweet face, it was taken when we were waiting to see the vet.  

She had a couple more visits to the vet in the last couple of months.  At her last visit to the vet a couple of weeks ago, it was discovered that she had another tumor on her belly. She was still moving pretty good, but was definitely slowing down.  The vet felt she didn't have a lot of time left, but that she was still doing well enough that we could take her home. This past week I knew the time was near. She was only getting up to drink a little water and occasionally eat a few bites of food. She would then go right back to her igloo to sleep.   This afternoon Kara made her a special box, so she could go join her other  furry friends under the big tree in the backyard.  

Today was a warm spring day, very much in contrast from our last funeral when we had to make a path in the snow to reach the tree.  

We buried her not too far from Mocha. and placed a lady bug brick on top to mark her grave.  I am going to take Kara to Home Depot this week to pick out a couple of pavers  so she can make them proper headstones. She sat quietly by the grave for a few minutes and said her goodbyes. 

When going through pictures, I came across this one from when Kara first got Cocoa. Since it is such a nice, happy picture I thought it would be a good way to end the post.. 

Goodbye Cocoa..  Dec. 2012 - April 12, 2014 

Friday, April 4, 2014

End of the Seasons

Wow, I did not mean to be away from this blog for so long.  It has been a busy few weeks, with a lot  going on in many areas.   I chose the Ends of the Seasons as the title of this post because in the past week or so we had the end of the Robotics season,  the end of the third quarter at school, and finally the end of the winter weather. 

Last week it was the end of the quarter.  Kyle who does not like to do his homework, had a ton of work to finish up.  It got to the point that he was overwhelmed, and refused to do it.  Many kids are stubborn, but Kyle's Aspergers makes him extremely stubborn.  At times he goes into stubborn mode, when he really shouldn't, like when it comes to homework that will affect your grade point.  It is frustrating when he want to do things the hard way, instead of just doing it as soon as he gets it. He could easily have all As and Bs, but doesn't when  he doesn't want to turn in his homework.  On Friday and Saturday of last weekend,  we had our second Robotics meet. This time it was in a town  about 45 minutes away, and we had to do some fancy scheduling since I could not be at two places at one time.    We fared much better this time around.. After the first day we were in in the top 24, which meant we would have  a great chance to make it to the elimination rounds the next day.  

This time I was able to get to the pits and take a close up picture of our robot.  It kind of looks like Gary from the SpongeBob cartoon.  The circles that look like eyes are the tops of the antennae like arms that would pick up and throw the ball.   We did well during the last three prelim rounds Saturday morning.   Kara had a special dance class that day, so I was not able to get to the meet until after the alliance selections.  I was happy to find out that we were picked to be one of the teams in the final rounds.    We were on Team 8.  Later we would find out that Team 2, lead by one of the teams we are friends with, were planning on picking us for their team. Had we been on that team we may have lasted longer because of how the matches are seeded.   It probably worked out okay though.  During our first elimination round, our robot got hit hard when another robot was trying to block us.  It hit us hard enough that our battery was knocked lose.   The pit crew fixed the problem, but during the second match  there were more technical issues and our antennae arms could not pick up the ball. To make matters worse, one of our teammates also had technically issues, and could not move.  As you might have guessed, we lost that round.   Since we lost matches in a row, we were eliminated.  We are done for the season.  This year was a good learning experience, and we now have a better idea of what we can do next year. Most of the kids on the team are Freshman, we will be a force to be reckoned with  in another year or two.  

This week we had "quarterly" finals at our high school.  This is a new thing that our school is trying, and I think it will really help.  Instead of having one big final at the end of the semester which is  20% of the final grade,  there will now be a smaller test at the end of each  quarter worth 10% of the grade. It takes some of the pressure off of kids who have trouble testing, and each tests is over less material.  I know my oldest daughter aced one of her quarterly finals, so it will definitely be good for her.      

Our snow finally melted this week, after a very cold,  brutal winter.. We are less than 2 inches from breaking the record as the snowiest winters ever for our area. We got double the usual amount of snow.  When the giant snow banks at the end of my driveway finally melted this week, look what turned up!  That is my neighbor's Christmas tree that had been buried in our shared snow bank  for THREE MONTHS! It actually looked pretty good for being out there that long. The garbage men picked it up this week on April 2nd.  There are even some houses in our neighborhood with their Christmas lights still on their house.  This is the longest that has ever happened.  I think ours came down about a month ago.  There was just too much snow, and the temps were just too cold.    It is so nice to look out the window and see brown grass.. It will be green soon enough, and I can't wait.