beardies · diy · family · home · Uncategorized

Updates – Strewth!

It’s been a while…what’s been going on here you ask? A lot. In the last year we have gone though a lot of changes – personally, professionally and home front. And one of my resolutions this year is to get back to Strewth and resume my posting responsibilities. Not only is this a great way for me to keep in touch with my family and keep them up to date on what is happening in our crazy house, but it is also a constant reminder to me that there is more to be done on that never ending list 🙂

At home, we are still plodding along with our remodeling projects. The list is slowly getting smaller, and we now have an even better reason to work harder to get everything done. My mum has done some soul searching over the last few months and has decide to pack up her home in Perth and move half her stuff to America. Her plan is to spend some of each year with us and the rest of the year with my brother and his family. To say that I am excited would be an understatement!

We still have a lot of things to get done, but 2016 is the year for Brian and I to get refocused on our home and finish the projects we have started and those that are still on the drawing board. We managed to get some things done this year, but it wasn’t a lot as we were both very focused on work instead of our home projects. I still have some finished projects to share and a whole bunch of new ideas for when some of our upcoming projects are done. The goal is to have this house complete and ready to sell so that the three of us (plus the zoo) can buy a larger house together when the time comes.

The four-legged animals are doing well too….probably more so now that I have access to a full pet store, a paycheck and all sorts of new products! We even have a new addition to our family – Falcor the Bearded Dragon. There’s still never a dull moment in the Strewth Household..

Leanne

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family · Uncategorized

Aspergers, or why we are creating an Ameristralian zoo

So there’s something I’ve been keeping to myself for a long time. I know I have mentioned in the past that Brian’s son has a form of Aspergers, but I have never really discussed how it effects us as a family and as a couple.

For the past 10 months the Kiddo (contrary to popular belief, this is my pet name for him and I will not refer to him by his real name as he deserves as much privacy as anyone else) has been living in some form of residential facility. This is the product of what was several years of escalating levels of violence that seemed to occur at the drop of a hat. We tried numerous things – homeschooling, therapy, socialization therapy, afterschool “bridging” therapy – and every time we thought we were making progress there would be another outburst.

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In all the time I have known the kiddo, he had never physically attacked me. Sure, he was a teenage kid and he certainly used a lot of nasty words in my direction but he never once attacked me. Until last summer. I won’t go into details, but suffice to say that he spent a short period of time in a psychiatric facility for children, as the police that were called gave us two options – either that or jail. Neither one was quite what we were looking for, but at that point in time we had our backs against the wall.

Once he was released he headed to his grandparents house (Brian’s parents) where he was “fine” until he just wasn’t anymore. From there we had to find another emergency facility for him. While all of this is happening, mind you, we are still busting our butts trying to get his IEP sorted out and hopefully a spot in a school more suited to his needs.

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We also were trying to get our county to approve funding to have the Kiddo moved to our area, as while Brian’s parents don’t live that far away it’s not like we were able to see him every weekend. But this all took time, a stupid amount of time…and in that time he was once again becoming more aggressive, but this time it was (luckily) in a facility that had trained staff who were able to recognize his needs.

In the end it took us well over 6 months to organize a transfer to a program closer to our home. And now we are dealing with a facility that is focused on “re-training” the kiddo (so to speak) and also re-training us as the parents. He is in a great school that is specifically set up to teach kids on the autism spectrum and so far he seems to be doing ok. What we know changes day by day, but what we are aware of is that the Kiddo is going to need intensive services and home care for the rest of his life.

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But, in dealing with all of this for the last couple of years I have realized a few things.

One – Brian and I will never have more children. This may be the hardest realization I have had to make. But knowing now how much time/money/resources we have to (willingly, mind you) dedicate to the Kiddo (and he’s not even with us full time yet) I don’t see how it can be responsible of us in any way to bring anther child into this family. Not to mention that I am truly just fearful of how he may react to another member of the family. He is good with his other siblings, but he has a very tight bond with his father that I think he would consider irrevocably damaged if another child came into this house.

Two – I am stronger than I ever thought I was. To be honest, I’m not sure how strong I am, I don’t know if I will be able to weather another attack…but I know I’m strong enough to still be here and to still be advocating for the kiddos needs.

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Three – If there shall be no children, I shall have a personal zoo. I have warned Brian about this…so we’re good. Next Strewth-house shall be slightly bigger and there shall be another dog. And perhaps another cat…maybe a three-legged one with a pet parrot?

Had to end on a slightly silly note, right?

family · Uncategorized

Weekend antics

We’ve been having weekend visits with the littleb as he works his way through his new treatment program. This weekend, after we had finished our chores and snarfed down some lunch, we headed outside to run some errands. Brian, in an amazing stroke of genius, remembered that our local library was having their bi-annual GIGANTIC book sale so we headed over to see what was good.

so many books

So many books. That was just one “small” table. We ended up spending a total of $12 and leaving with a bag full of books and comics. Brian even managed to find the first book of the Elric series for the littleb to start reading. I snagged a brand new copy of 11/22/63 for $3.50 and a large handful of Y: The Last Man comics for 50c each. Afternoon very well spent.

saturday was a long day

After a humungous dinner of Pho at the kiddos favourite place we headed home for some sleepy-time. Brian and the Count managed to pass out almost immediately…weirdos.

Sunday was another errands day – grocery shopping, freezer meal making, made more dog food and snarfed down another delicious lunch.

carcassonne world championships

After we got home from driving all over creation, we continued our World Championship Series of Carcassonne. So far I am losing by one game and the boys are both tied in the lead. But never fear, my meeples are currently strategising their next weekends domination.

sleeeeeeeeepy pup

This is what happens when the humans spend more time farming resources and stealing roads, than paying attention to cute little animals.

family · Puppy love · Uncategorized

Brian and I went to the beach this weekend to spend time with his parents and to visit the kiddo. I managed to convince Brian that we should drive up on Friday night so that we could get a decent nights sleep before Saturdays festivities.

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As you can see…the decent nights sleep wasn’t quite enough for some of us.

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As the Dig-dog wasn’t really able to spend the entire day with us, he stayed at home with Poppy Bill. This is actually the view I had of my dog the entire weekend. Everywhere that Bill went, Dig was sure to follow 🙂

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Met this nice fellow when we were out for a drive. He kind of smiled (smirked?) at us and then posed for a photo. We would have stayed to chat, but the light turned green. He looked a little disappointed 😦

family · Uncategorized

2pm.

I don’t even know what to say right now. I think the Wee-b said it best – ‘There has been a sustained family crisis which has created a heightened level of tension in my household for some time now.’ so yeah. A household constantly filled to the brim with tension does not make for a happy family. The B and I are fine…we will make it through all of this…but suffice to say I am really not sure what the next three months holds in store for us.

But instead of dwelling on all this…here is a video of our silly puppy snoring his way through a mini-nap.