The weekend flew by in a flash. I have snippets (here and there, flashing through my mind) of Friday, Saturday and Sunday…but Monday arrived with a loud clang and boom, and pushed the enjoyable hours of what we call leisure to a corner. I have been dragging them out, reminding myself that -yes- we had a fantastic weekend, and J was very happy…
How could J not be happy when he has his new rocking chair? Yesterday morning, when it was warm and sunny, he sat on the deck and rocked as he looked at our view of the hills. The smile on his face was well-worth what the rocking chair cost. After a bit of rearranging, the spot for his chair has been determined, and we know how big the side-table for his things needs to be.
The adjustment in medication seems to have finally leveled off, and J is back to being his usual self. Well, he IS repetitive, and can be like a dog with a bone when he’s so inclined, but that -in my humble opinion- falls under “his usual self.” A big test comes tomorrow; his teacher will be out for the day, and he will have a sub. In order to prepare him for this, we have a picture of the sub, and we’re going to remind him of her presence there tomorrow throughout the evening rituals.
The weather still throws us off here and there. A warm, sunny day is often followed by days that are drizzly and windy, but the seeds we put in J’s little greenhouses are making progress, and green is a prominent color in those little plastic containers that once held just seed-starting pellets. While still on the iffy side of Spring, we are quickly recovering from Winter, and making ready the lighter, brighter things of this season and the not-far-away Summer. Easter is less than two weeks away, and judging by the abundance of foam ‘chickens’ and colorful ‘eggs’ J’s been putting together, it won’t arrive a moment too soon.
Our calendars are marked for the next few signs of warmer weather. Farmers Market will start its every-Saturday schedule on the 3rd of May; the upcoming appointments with the psych and the nutritionist are part of our Summer Schedule. Dada has the week of July 21st off, and we’re planning that already…
Our biggest projects in the upcoming weekends are quite simple: readying the back yard for outdoor living over the summer months. J is heavily involved in this because part of the purpose is to get him out there, tending to the garden, taking in some fresh air, and basically not letting him confine himself to the TV room. The rocking chair is one significant element in this, and, judging by J’s reaction, he will thoroughly enjoy the patio this year.
We also have on queue a project involving an old table someone gave us. For some inexplicable reason, this lovely table was painted with a matte acrylic pain, and it is solid wood so we’re going to have J work on stripping the paint off, prepping the wood for staining, and then staining the table. We figure this can be done over the course of three weekends, maybe more depending on the weather.
While at the book sale a couple of weekends ago, I found two books on silk screening techniques. Many years ago, Dada learned silk screening, and a few summers ago, TGG participated in a hands-on class. Since I am always asking them to take some project over that they can do with J, I made the executive decision for them: silk screening is IT! Regardless of the results, I am keeping my hands off of this particular project. (I have plenty of shower curtain liners for the floor, the walls, the ceiling, and to make haz-mat-like suits for the men if need be…)
Summer, in other words, is shaping up nicely. The only thing that we are currently worrying about is getting J new shorts for summer. On Saturday morning, J got into, buttoned, but wasn’t yet completely comfortable in his size 40 pants. J’s pants waist used to be 44 (I think that’s 112 cm, but I can’t swear it on a stack of bibles,) and now -when he wears these- he needs a belt to keep them up. We noticed that he also needs a belt for his 42s (which are about 106 cm.) His “aspirational” pants were the 40s (101 cm) and now he can button and zip them, but I don’t think they fit comfortably enough yet. He’s on his way, though; perhaps by the time he goes back to school in the fall (about five months from today) he will need size thirty-eights. We’re not holding our breath, but we are hopeful.
Every afternoon, J dons his exercise clothes and heads to the gym with TGG. They are gone for an hour, and J uses the cycle machine and the treadmill. He sweats. J usually only sweats when it’s very hot and humid out, and now it’s an every day occurrence. Little by little, he is getting slimmer. TGG, who is more aware and more purpose-driven in the exercise department, has shed a bit of weight that has interfering with his clothing, his energy level, and his mood. The two of them now look like two definitely-slimmer versions of themselves.
It’s not yet five months since we changed J’s diet, and yet I feel like we’ve accomplished something very important. I don’t mean so much the weight he’s lost, but rather the habits he has changed. The fact that J has managed to learn how to eat, now exercises, and can exercise better judgment when it comes to food and snacks. Last night, for example, he requested a yogurt instead of chips for his final snack of the day.
If we add to all these things that J now doesn’t need his Risperdal crushed, but actually has learned to swallow pills (a feat that we are quite impressed with considering the years of gagging and choking that preceded it,) and that he is on half the medication he was on this time last year…well…not bad, not bad at all…