Monday, September 20, 2010

Weekend Is Nothing Special, Just Especially Good

We didn’t do anything too special this weekend, but it was pretty special nonetheless. Here are five things that made it so.
  1. Our son had his second soccer game on Saturday. After our tough time last weekend, we made sure to set expectations that he would try hard, play the entire game nicely, and not whine or complain. Kai seemed very receptive to our talks, but we still held our breaths a bit when we arrived at the soccer field. He enthusiastically ran onto the field for the warm-ups. A good start, but would it last more than a few minutes? To our delight, he enjoyed playing the entire game. We were happy, and proud of him.
  2. With Kai playing nicely, we did not have to give him as much attention as we did last week or rush out afterward. It allowed us to chat with a few more parents and, not surprisingly, found that they are a good group. It was great to make some new friends.
  3. My wife took Kai to an event at a public library where he and other kids with autism could interact with specially-trained therapy dogs. My wife loves dogs, and would like it if we had one. But, Kai has at times been afraid of dogs. On Saturday, he really enjoyed spending time with Cooper, and asked to walk with him ten times. Now, if only we could find a dog as gentle as Cooper to bring home with us.
  4. When you have large oak trees like we do, this is the time of year that you hear them falling on your roof at all hours of the night. Our yard is pretty much covered with them. Kai loves picking them up and collected a large bucketful of acorns. He wanted to make an acorn necklace so I got an ice pick, tried to poke a hole in one acorn, and ended up stabbing my thumb instead. On to Plan B. I googled “acorn craft ideas” and came up with a kids’ project to paint acorns and make them look like mini jack-o-lanterns. He ended up painting ghosts, witches, and cats in addition to the pumpkins. It was a bit messy, but less bloody than working with ice picks. My wife put them into a glass candle holder and now they make a nice holiday decoration on our kitchen table.
  5. After her recent triumph with the Lemon Ginger Chicken, my wife is on a tear finding and trying new recipes. This weekend, she had success with new recipes every day. On Friday night, she made cinnamon-apricot-flavored pork tenderloin from a recipe that Kai’s grandmother Dell sent us. It was moist and oh so delicious! On Saturday night, using extra apricot jam that she had gotten for the pork recipe, my wife made apricot, soy sauce, and brown sugar seasoned chicken wings. Another success! Sunday lunch was pizza muffins, which are like mini deep-dish pizzas, made using muffin pans with rice cheese in place of regular cheese. As a bonus, she also made mini peach pies with the same gluten-free homemade crust. The mini pizzas will now be part of Kai’s rotation for lunches at school. And, Sunday dinner capped off the weekend with a one-pot meal of chicken, Italian sausage, potatoes, celery, and onions. All of the new recipes were gluten-free, casein-free (GFCF) so we all ate the same thing. And, it was nice that Kai enjoyed everything as much as I did.  
 Yes, like it says on the t-shirt I'm wearing, life is good.

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