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Monthly Archives: April 2012

A somewhat happy project

As I mentioned in my last post, I heedlessly tossed aside The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin in favor of a delicious, if poorly written, romance novel.

For whatever reason, I always feel guilty about not finishing a book (or a movie).  Maybe it’s because I just want to know how it ends and have some sense of closure.  Although that’s not really true, so many good books end without closure.  Or even if they do, I’m the kind of reader that wonders what happens to the characters after the story ends (yes, I realize these are fictional characters and there is no life for them after the story. I get way too invested in my make-believe.).

Ok, well maybe I’m just an optimist and want so badly to like everything, so much so that I’ll slog my way through a terrible book just waiting and hoping that something will redeem it.  Perhaps there’ll be a line tucked in chapter 27 that makes this entire endeavor worth it.  Maybe some character will have a revelation that provides insight into my own life.  Or maybe it will just have the best damn ending ever!

You no doubt recognize that most (or all) of these hopes fail to come true.  I mean there are just some bad books out there.  There are just some books that I don’t like.  Foucault’s Pendulum is just tedious! I’m sorry but I said it.  I don’t care if it’s a great piece of literature or not, I just can’t get into it.

The same is true for The Happiness Project.  I truly, honest to goodness, wanted to like this book.  I thought it was a great concept: a woman dedicates a year of her life to finding more happiness in the everyday.  Or at least that’s what it’s supposed to be.  I found the first half of the book to be this story: a well-off woman with no significant problems wants to live a clutter free life, while ignoring real life.  Yay! oh wait…no yay.

It was so tiresome to read about this woman going through her days trying to find small ways to improve things around her when it didn’t seem like she was doing any serious work on herself.  Call me old-fashioned but I’ve always believed in the old adage “charity begins at home”, or in this case “hard work begins with yourself”.  Rubin keeps tidying the world around her, her body, her relationships, but never actually does any heavy lifting as to the under-lying reason there may be issues.  When she complains that she’s constantly looking for approval and praise, she brushes it aside and tries to live without it (though I think this book is just one big attempt to get that praise).  In my opinion, her time would be better spent trying to get to the root of why she desperately craves attention and approval.  Why is so important to her?  What mental exercises can she do to live without it?

Obviously delving into one’s psyche is much harder than ignoring a problem, and hey, it probably wouldn’t sell as many books if she talked endlessly about her own neurosis and her struggle to overcome it through deep psychological insight and therapy.

That’s not very cool or popular or easy! Nope, not very easy at all.

Well, hmmm… that was a bit of a rant.  So let me tell you what I’ve been thinking about in terms of my own happiness project.  Or what I’m calling my “be somewhat happier project”.

To expect yourself to be happy all the time is to set yourself up for failure.  It’s just never going to happen.  Life gets in the way far too often.  Instead, aiming to increase your happiness a little bit might be a better goal.  Or maybe just not stressing about whether you’re perfectly happy or not is the goal.  I mean, isn’t the goal of most higher experiences to live so in the moment that you don’t worry about everything else?

So here’s my list of things to do to become somewhat happier:

1. Recognize that most of my problems are first world problems!

Example. I was annoyed yesterday when I realized that because of gas/plane ticket prices I wouldn’t be able to take all of the trips I wanted to this year because I have a stupid budget.  Damn it!

2. Be thankful. 

I don’t mean be thankful in the whole thanksgiving-table kind of way where we’re thankful for a roof over our head or the love our family.  I mean be thankful when Connor eats all of his lunch.  Be thankful when the waitress is attentive.  Be thankful that I didn’t sprain my ankle when I tripped in a snake hole this morning.

3. Let it go.

This doesn’t mean to just let the house (or my figure) go to pot.  Although sometimes I think how nice that might be if I did.  But then I think how awful that would be after the initial enjoyment.  So no, I don’t mean that.  Instead, I intend to practice letting the little things go.  I’ll not worry about the fact my fireplace is covered with toys everyday.  I’ll not stress when I eat a cookie (or four) and mess up my calorie count for the day.  I’ll not freak out if I have to throw away some over-ripe bananas instead of making bread with them.  I mean, really, who am I? Super Woman? Super Mom? Not even close.  I could maybe be Super Mom’s scatter-brained, always-running-late favorite cousin.

I was going to add more, but honestly, I think that’s a good start.  Right? This is a somewhat happy project, not a total happiness revamp!

So tell me, does anyone have a somewhat happy resolution of their own?

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Escapist Literature

Or what the rest of the world likes to call fiction.

Once upon a time when I was just a young English major at UCSB, I spent my free time reading literary classics or Pulitzer prize winners.  I had no time for frivolous reading! I was a critic, an expert on true artistic literature.  Romance, Sci-fi, thrillers, NY Times bestsellers were all far beneath my superior gaze.  Why would I waste my time on frivolous reading when there were so many thought-provoking, intensely introspective books out there?

No, no, I was better than that…

Wow, was I dumb!

Seriously hand me a best-seller and give me a comfy chair and I’ll be in heaven for the next five and half hours.  I do not give a flying you know what about the literary merit of a work any more!  In fact, to be completely honest with you, my dear reader, I would prefer it if you gave me something utterly superficial and completely engrossing than giving me the last tome on the death of middle class America.

I have never been good at meditation or relaxing, unless I had something to focus on.  For me, my true Zen moments happen when I am engrossed in something.  Give me an hour to paint or to bake and you’ll find me relaxed at the end of it.  Give me the latest urban/sci-fi romance novel and you’ll find me a completely different person by the end of it.

I literally lose myself in the novel, ceasing to track time or bodily needs while engrossed in something as shameful a college romance novel, like Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire. The story was at turns utterly predictable and nonsensical, shamelessly/needlessly erotic, filled with tangents that made no sense to the overall plot.  And yet I devoured it in less than one night, staying up way past my bed time to finish!  I loved it for no reason other than it was enjoyable to read, purely entertaining.

I could feel the snobbish Erin sneering at me over a worn copy of Wuthering Heights, shaking her head as I gleefully enjoyed the descriptions of lovers quarrels and reunions so over-dramatic and syrupy sweet as to make my teeth ache.

And I don’t draw the line at romance novels.  Oh no! Come to my house and you’ll see!  What was once a discerning collection of classics and noteworthy novels has completely devolved into a motley collection of paranormal, sci-fi, graphic novels, large mystery collections, interspersed with more high-brow literature I still feel compelled to purchase (which always end up on the bottom of my to read list.  For example, I put down The Happiness Project for the aforementioned romance novel.  Shameful but true.).

With every thing going on in my life, I need a way to relax.  To truly relax I have to escape my head and the only way I’ve discovered of doing that is my wonderful, cheesy, fantastical, mysterious, dirty escapist literature.

Here is a partial list of some of my favorite romantic-fantasy series, if you’d like more recommendations I’m only too happy to help:

 

The Sookie Stackhouse Series (or True Blood series) by Charlaine Harris (new book coming out soon!!)

The House of Night Series by P.C. and Kristin Cast

Jane Yellowrock Series by Faith Hunter

The Hollows Series by Kim Harrison

Mercy Thompson Series by Patricia Briggs

 

And so so many more!

Bully

Last night I went to see the movie Bully.

https://i1.wp.com/thebullyproject.com/bully.jpg

I haven’t been able to get it off my mind since.

I keep seeing scenes replayed in my head. I keep hearing the taunts, seeing the violence, seeing the parents crying over their lost children.

And in every child they profiled, I see Connor.

And it terrifies me.

I remember middle school clearly. Though I was never bullied, either physically or verbally, I remember the defeated looks of the kids who were. I remember their hunched shoulders as they hurried to class. I remember the way they tried to laugh it off on the playground. I stepped in when I could, but all too often these bullies tormented their victims out of sight or were cruel in such a nonchalant way as to escape the notice of everyone except the target. Perhaps I didn’t step in often enough.

High school was different. I’m sure there were students being bullied but I never witnessed it the way I had in middle school. My private Catholic high school was such a different environment from my over-crowded, underfunded public middle school that it couldn’t help but have a different tenor of the relationships between the students.

But I don’t know what the future will hold for Connor. Autism creates a target on him like I never experienced. When I read this article I felt like my lungs were suddenly collapsing. Identifying that children with autism are more likely to be bullied than average kids is something I already knew, but not something I consciously wanted to deal with.

Instead I’ve been making lists in my head of why Connor won’t be bullied:

He’s tall for his age.

His quick and physically adept, so he’ll probably be good at sports.

He’s doing so well in therapy that we all hope he can be mainstreamed in early elementary.

He’ll learn how to make friends through his many cousins.

What the documentary forced me to face was that none of those reasons will stop a bully from targeting my son.

God, it makes me physically ill just to think about that.

I’ve been trying to come up with a plan on how to combat a bullying situation. I can teach Connor how to socialize correctly, how to avoid bullies, how to report abuse. I can educate him on how to defend himself or get him involved with sports or other activities that might form a protective barrier around him. I can ask the children of friends and family to keep an eye out for him at school.

I can do all that and ultimately still have no control over what happens.

The only true solutions I can think of to avoid the bullying situation all together are to either send him to a school for autistic or similarly “different” children, or I can home-school him.

So why does that feel like a cop-out to me? Neither of those solutions are going to prepare him for a world in which he will have to deal with “normal” people every day.

It frustrates the heck out of me knowing there is nothing I can do but my best and to pray.

And spread the message to end bullying:

http://www.standforthesilent.org/

http://www.autismspeaks.org/family-services/bullying

http://www.stopbullying.gov/

http://www.stopcyberbullying.org/index2.html

http://www.thetrevorproject.org/

Aspiration Complications Part 2

I’ve always found writing about writing to be a somewhat strange endeavor.  Obviously I’m no expert, but I’ve found myself in the position many times before.

Previously, part of my job as a high school English teachers was to help students learn how to write.  Writing was always easy for me, so it was difficult for me to teach something that came so naturally.  I had to break my writing lessons down into building blocks and rules in order to teach it.  I always began with sentences, then moved on to paragraphs, before tackling the almighty five-paragraph essay.  The terror that was embodied by the essay was something to be reckoned with.  Students were literally afraid of writing; as if the mere act of putting pen to paper (or fingers to keys) could somehow damage them.

As adults, many of us are no better off.  For some reason writing still terrifies us.  Perhaps adults are afraid that writing more than a few sentences might reveal that they actually have no idea what they’re talking about! Maybe this is why so many now choose texting over emailing.  It doesn’t require any grammar, sentence structure, or lengthy thought development (unless you’re texting me or some of my friends, we’re the grammar police).  Texting is quick and to the point.

Because I actually enjoy writing, texting is somewhat daunting to me.  How can I fully encapsulate everything I want to say in a few terse phrases? The word choice alone is a momentous decision! Will most of my texting partners recognize the difference between debris and detritus? Will they just expect me to use the word mess and draw their own conclusions???

Perhaps over-think it though.  Texting at the end of the day, it just texting.  It’s just a few words on a phone screen.

It’s difficult for me to think of anything involving writing as just words.  As a teacher, an avid reader, a graduate student, I’ve been trained to read between the lines.  I’ve learned how to draw the meaning out of what might otherwise seem an off-hand comment.  I’ve mastered the art of inferring significance from just a few words.

And there you have the problem of my writing!

Writing a novel compared to writing this blog is excruciating.

This blog is closer to stream-of-consciousness therapy than to poetry.  I think about what I want to say and I say it.  I might edit a bit, but I don’t change entire passages or agonize over word choice.  If I did you might see a blog post from me about once every month or so…maybe.

Because my novel is going to be for public consumption, because strangers will be reading it and judging me, because its success will depend solely on my ability and not how many people like me and my message, I’m terrified of writing something incorrectly.  Each sentence seems a monstrous task to conquer.  I edit and re-edit as  I write.  Reading paragraphs over and over and over until I can finally move on.

This is no way to write! I keep reminding myself that I just need to let it flow, and then go back and edit.  If I keep writing the way I have been this novel will never be finished.

Last year I gave myself a deadline but given my divorce and Connor’s autism diagnosis, that deadline came and went.  I think I was secretly happy to have a valid excuse to ignore my novel.  I was relieved not to have to live up to my goal.

A sad realization, but true.

Unfortunately, with preschool giving me 5.5 hours alone every day I am out of convenient excuses.  I no longer have a wily, mischievous, adorable toddler on my hands every minute of the day.  No, instead I have…dare I say it…literal free time.  UGH!

There is nothing for me to do but return to my novel-writing.  I can’t turn away from it and start a new project.  I’ve written close to 100 pages! That would be wasteful.  Also, I have to write.  It’s as if my fingers burn to tap out stories.  I think it’s a sickness.

So whether I like it or not, or should I say whether I’m terrified or not, I’m going to finish my novel.  Dang it.

Aspiration Complications Part 1

One of the many hats I wear these days is that of aspiring writer.

As you’ve doubtlessly noticed, I’ve begun writing a blog again.  Hurrah! Not just for you, dear readers, but for me.  I truly enjoy writing.  It’s something that I’ve missed terribly over the last year.  Many days would go by and I would think of things I long to put down on paper, to immortalize in print, and not let the thought or the moment slip by me.  A few times, late at night, when the boy was finally asleep, I would flip open my lap top and attempt to breathe fresh life into my novel.  Every time though, my mind drew a blank or simply wandered over to the unfolded laundry, groceries needed, or bills still to be paid.  Other times, I simply didn’t have the desire to muster up creativity at 11pm on a Tuesday night.  I was mentally and physically exhausted.  I literally needed an hour or two before bed just to unwind and think my own thoughts for just a little while. Given this situation, writing simply wasn’t an option.

But before I go to far into my aspirations in writing, I’m afraid I must give you a back story.

As you know (or at least I think you know), I’m a librarian by education and trade.  I was working towards my Masters in Library and Information Science when Connor was born.  I finished about 8 months after he was born.  It is one of my greatest accomplishments to date.  I loved library school, and it showed! Most days I actually enjoyed the readings, the lectures, the assignments.  They got me thinking and kindled a passion for libraries that continues to burn within me.  I won’t bore you with details about how libraries are a great democratic institution or how librarians are often on the forefront of civil rights issues.  I’m sure you know all that.

And for those that say that libraries are no longer relevant, I say suck it!

Oh, dear, I apologize.  What I really meant to say was…suck it.

Libraries continue to be extremely relevant in today’s world, perhaps more so than ever before given the information inundation to be found on the internet.  You may think you can do without a librarian because you have Wikipedia and an e-Reader, and you would be wrong.  Librarians are trained in finding information, meaning we can find accurate information for you in less time than it would take you to read through an often erroneous Wikipedia article.  For example, I had a conversation with a friend of mine last fall about his research for his graduate thesis.  He literally spent months going through journals and books and databases searching for information relevant to his topic.  I explained to him that if he’d simply asked the reference librarian at his school (or if he’d asked me) we could have helped him over a matter of days to find all the information he would need.  I am not exaggerating, this is actual fact.  Librarians help you!

On top of that, I actually enjoy research.  I enjoy recommending books to young readers.  I enjoy planning storytimes and creating activities to go along with them.

So why am I currently a full-time stay-at-home mom, part-time aspiring writer instead of a full-time librarian?

Well, from August 2011-January 2012 I worked full-time as a reference librarian for the County of Los Angeles Public Library.  I loooooved my job! It was great! I got to do everything I loved about being a librarian.

But of course, there was a downside.  The job was in Gardena.  I live in Huntington Beach.  That’s a 30 min drive each way on a good day, an hour on a bad one.  My schedule also required that I work until after 8pm three nights a week; which meant I wasn’t getting home until about 9pm.

Connor suffered as a result.

At first, it seemed everything was going well.  He had therapy in the morning, which I could take him to since the library didn’t open until 1pm (I didn’t have to be there until 11:30).  I’d then drop him off at day care and head to work.  His part-time nanny, whom I had to hire, then picked him up from daycare and took him home, fed him dinner, gave him a bath, and attempted to put him to bed (he was almost never actually asleep when I finally got home).  After a week or two, Connor went to daycare without crying, he seemed to be doing fine in therapy, and he was overjoyed to see me each night.  I was exhausted, but I seemed to be pulling off this whole single mom thing and Connor was happy.

But things didn’t stay that way.  After a few months, Connor grew increasingly desperate to see me.  Every morning was a battle to get him into therapy, into daycare, to sleep at night.  Each night he left his bed within a few hours of going to sleep and came in with me.  In his sleep he clung on to me with a desperation that broke my heart.

Therapy seemingly stopped working for him.  His behavior regressed.  His speech stagnated.  He was nearly three and he couldn’t string a sentence together.  Any tiny problem sent him over the edge.  And he became increasingly violent when upset.

My own anxiety tripled.  I worried so much I lost sleep.  I stopped doing things I enjoyed; I even stopped doing housework almost completely so that when I was home with Connor, I could focus my time and attention on him.  I felt guilty over any time I electively spent away from him, choosing to only spend time out with friends when Connor was with his dad.  The rest of my time I devoted to him.

And then my contract with the library ended.  Suddenly I was home all the time.

Connor bloomed in the light of my attention.  Having some consistency in his life, my nearly constant presence, started opening doors within him that had recently shut.  His behavior began to improve again at therapy.  He didn’t cry every time I dropped him off somewhere.  And suddenly he was speaking! He was talking practically nonstop!  Phrases, sentences, questions! It was as if it had all been bottled up inside of him, waiting to come out and all I had to do was flip the switch.

It was obvious what I had to do.  My love for the library, my own desires of being a librarian and of working, had to be put aside.  Connor’s doctors told me what I already knew: if I could stay home full-time while Connor is going through this key developmental phase, it would be so much better for him.

It was done.  My choice was made.  Connor has always, will always come first.

So here I am.  It’s 1pm and I’m at the Huntington Beach library writing to you all via my blog.  I’m a full-time mom again for the forseeable future.  I do not begrudge Connor this, circumstances being what they are out in the world library jobs are hard to come by anyways.  But I do miss it.

Until….until….Honestly, I’m not sure what the end date is on this situation.  All I know is that Connor is my job.  Getting Connor to the best possible place in his development is my goal.  Making him ready for the world is my profession.

And in the meantime, I’ll write.

Today and Everyday

Leading up to this point in our lives, Connor’s schedule has been somewhat chaotic.  Sure we had things regularly scheduled for different days: speech therapy at 9 on Mondays, behavior at 11 on Wednesdays and at 10 on Mondays, private therapy on Tuesdays at 1.    Weeks may have bared resemblance to each other, but no two days seemed the same.

This can make life hard on a stubborn 2-3 year old.  It was a complete nightmare for an autistic 2-3 year old who wanted the world ordered in a certain way. It was as if Connor woke up every morning with a clear idea of how things were going to go.  If I could imagine how he saw his day going it would go something like this:

wake up

watch some Sesame Street or Clifford the Big Red Dog

eat breakfast of waffles with a full cup of syrup

play with trains

go to the par, dump sand on my head, try to escape mom

eat goldfish crackers

come home and watch the same cat videos over and over again

have more goldfish

play with water outside

go for a walk in the field by our house (walk exceptionally slowly)

have even more goldfish

play computer games, especially ones that count or ask questions and then walk away leaving computer game repeating itself in the background

demand hotdogs and applesauce for dinner

take a bath for an hour

play with trains

watch a Thomas the Train movie

never go to sleep ever

As you can see, this is a great day for any toddler! Yay! All the goldfish and dirt you can get! No responsibilities, no demands, no learning.

Connor would wake up and immediately start requesting these heavenly toddler activities.  “Cat’s please?” or “Waffles? Waffles?” Some days I could accommodate and let him have a leisurely morning, watching some cat videos or taking 27 minutes to eat one waffle.  More often than not I wasn’t able to accommodate.

“No, baby, we have to go to …..”

“WAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!”

Great way to start any day, truly.

Other days, he’d be a little more reasonable and allow me to drag him to whatever activity with only minimal whining.  But as soon as that activity was over he’d start requesting other things: “Mickey Mouse?” (meaning Disneyland–we have a pass) or “this one, this one?” (pointing to whatever we were passing he wanted to stop at which could be anything from the park to the mall to a frozen yogurt shop).

“No, baby, we have to go to….”

“WAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!”

Can you see a pattern emerging??  Are you wondering how I could still have a few marbles rolling around up there? Me too…me too.

On the suggestion of Connor’s favorite therapist, and mine, Dr. David, I created a calendar to help him visualize what each day was going to hold.  I could lay out the whole week or even month so he could see what was going to happen and then temper his expectations based on the calendar.

Ok…why the hell not? It’s worth a shot!

Ta da! Connor’s wall! Well technically it’s the door going into the kitchen which is absolutely pointless and doesn’t even have a doorknob.  Thus it makes the perfect place for Connor’s art and calendar.

Here’s a better picture:

I used the magic of Google images to find pictures of a traditional school-house, Mickey Mouse, a playground, and his therapist, Dr. David.  Using my new super cool laminater I cut out the images, laminated them and then attached each to the calendar on the corresponding day with double-sided tape.

The current day is indicated by a star attached in the upper right hand corner.  The first activity of the day is layered over subsequent activities.  You can see in the picture above school is placed on top of a picture of a person (that’s Connor’s dad).  I did this so Connor could grasp the idea that we had to complete the first task in order to get to the one underneath.  So for last friday, he had to go to school before he could go to his dad’s house.

I think he’s beginning to get the idea!  He comes down in the morning and the first thing we do is look at the calendar.  We move the star to today and I ask him what we have to do today.  He tells me the activity and we start the morning without any crying! Yay!

(This doesn’t mean that Connor won’t start crying 5 minutes later when I ask him what he wants for lunch at school.  But at least when he looks at the calendar and says the activity himself, he seems proud that he’s able to identify what’s happening.)

Every time we move the star Connor lights up when he tells me what today holds for him.  If only I could see that smile today and everyday, my life would be perfect.

 

App That

Well I wasn’t going to blog today for various reasons:

  1. It’s the weekend and Connor is with his Dad, so I should be doing something, like, you know, relaxing!
  2. I have a wedding later today.  I really should be getting ready, as I am perpetually late…to everything.
  3. I’m tired and my brain is a bit fuzzy.

Obviously my reasons not to blog are numerous and excellent.  Yet, here I am.  My decision to blog today stems primarily from the fact that I spent the last hour exploring iPad apps for autism.  You heard that correctly: I spent an hour of one of my few and precious child-free days, investigating materials for my child. (Can you say co-dependent? or maybe obsessed?) Oh well, it is what it is.  Let’s not over-analyze, shall we?

Thanks to an article sent to me from my uncle, and several emails from my mother, I had a starting place.  My first app to explore was Injini.  The Injini Project is dedicated to “making learning fun”, something that many educational companies have attempted and failed at in the past.  This project, and all of his apps, have been the subject of much good press over the last year.  Perhaps too much good press for my taste, as I tend to grow skeptical the more something is praised.  I fully expected this app to be too good to be true.  I have seldom been so happy to be wrong.

This app is delightful!  I can honestly say, as someone who actually enjoys learning, that I was entertained by this app and its various games.  Yes, I know that I am not its target audience, but I am keenly aware of who that target audience may be: children like my son Connor.  Not that Connor is a reluctant learner, yet anyways.  He is only three and therefore not able to be labeled as such.  However, given his autism, reluctant learner seems inevitable.

Like many children with autism, Connor is best instructed when engaged in “preferred activities”, such as trains or bubbles, etc.  When he is playing with the toys or games he picks out, one can often use those as instruments of learning.  For example, I will play marbles with Connor.  He has a large marble run that he just adores.  He’ll set the marbles through their various ramps over and over again, delighted with the outcome, though it is the same every time.  So occasionally, I will use this focus to my advantage.  The marbles used in the run are different colors.  I ask Connor to name the color of the marble before I give it to him and he sends it down the run.  This is not rocket science.  It is actually very simplistic in nature, being an identify and repeat mode of learning.  But it works for us.

Injini uses that same model for the games in their app:

The various games you see in the squares above ask the child to engage in preferred activities of their choosing.  Each offers sound effects, a child narrator, and verbal and visual praise.  While engaged in something that the child considers fun, the app stealthily educates them!

Take for example the “Balloons” option:

Various colored balloons rise from behind a hill.  The avatar (that little white blob with the smile) asks you to pop the balloon of a certain color.  That balloon then gives a satisfying pop, shows a sort of explosion, and drenches the blob in that particular color causing it to grow and jump.  Reinforced learning and fun! Yay!

OK, so you and I might not be entertained by this for very long.  But for a child like Connor, who seeks out YouTube videos of balloons falling from ceiling or dogs popping balloons, this is an ideal way to engage him while simultaneously teaching him a valuable lesson on colors.

Another wonderful attribute is the question mark you see in the upper right-hand corner. This button will give the user clues or repeat the question, helping to ward off the inevitable frustration that comes with learning something new.

Though this is only the Lite (read free) version of the app, I couldn’t be more excited.  I cannot wait for Connor to open it up and try it out.  Hopefully he’ll be engaged as I was (or I’ll be really embarrassed that I find preschool learning so exhilarating).  If it goes as well as I’m expecting, I fully intend to purchase the full version and let you all in on the secrets the paid for app holds!

Until then, I’m going to go engage in some adult fun, like taking a long shower and drinking some wine.  Don’t worry though, I’ll probably be thinking of this app the whole time because that’s just how fun I am!

(p.s. I’ll continue to review apps for autism as I explore them, so stay tuned!)