Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Will my pretty new site crash your browser?

I finally completed a redesign of the Mothers with Attitude site that I've been working on in stolen moments for about a year. It looks pretty nifty on the browsers on my newer Mac, but I took a look at it in Internet Explorer on our older laptop today and it was kind of a mess, finally freezing IE up.

If you have a moment, and nothing in your browser you couldn't afford to force-quit away, stop by MWA and take a look, then come back and comment on how it looks on your system. Maybe mention what operation system and browser you're using, if possible. I can't bear the thought of finding the time to re-do it, but I don't want to be crashing folks on a regular basis, either.

Friday, July 27, 2007

My summer TV obsession

I find myself lately being completely obsessed by the HBO show John from Cincinnati. Anybody out there watching it? Nobody I know is, which means I have to haunt message boards and see strangers talk about it. It gives me that same "I have no idea what I just watched, but I've sure never seen anything like that on television" thrill I got years ago from Twin Peaks, and although that show's implosion left me swearing I'd never get taken again, I seem to have jumped aboard the surfboard for this one.

There's even a special-needs parenting connection, a little bit: I wrote on my About site about the use of echolalia by the title character, first in a mindlessly echoing way, then in a way that imbues the echoes with some meaning, and then weaving them into a mind-blowing sermon. I hope the show creators really are going somewhere with this, and know where that somewhere is, and don't wipe-out along the way.

Still, it's not like there are tons of shows to go ga-ga over in the summer. With Brothers & Sisters repeating the same episodes again and again, it's nice to have something to look forward to on Sundays. And then Mondays, and Wednesdays, and whatever other days they're showing repeats. Have I mentioned I'm obsessed?

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The risks of silly walks

My son has a weird way of walking sometimes where he leans forward, puts his arms out, and kind of bobs as he goes. This has bothered his teachers since he first started in school. This has bothered me ... well, never, actually. Because I'm a weak, enabling mom, no doubt. I've just never been of the opinion that standing up straight needs to be one of his major goals, and the fact that he gets a good, comforting proprioceptive kick from that bobbing makes it something to not take so lightly.

Lately, the rationale used to stamp this out is that it makes him look weird to his peers. This, too, is fine by me -- standing up straight is not going to suddenly make him a typical 14-year-old, and his peers might as well see him coming. My suspicion is that it's just something that bugs grown-ups, and that they think is an easy and obvious thing to fix. Yet they've been working on this since he was five, and fixed? Not so much.

There is one downside to walking his walk, though, that we discovered on a stroll around the neighborhood last week: If you're leaning forward and your collar is open, a bug can fly in and bite you on the chest.

It freaked me out, I'll admit, seeing those two little marks on my boy's chest. They swelled up pretty fast, and I was all over the Internet trying to find out what dire possibilities we were facing. The description kept bringing up spider bites, but unless we have flying spiders or he walked through a spider web, that seemed unlikely. He said he heard a little buzz, but there was no stinger left behind.

The bite was painful enough to make my feeling-no-pain kid say "Ow!" and the initial swelling was followed up by hives at a nearby spot, which had me hyperventilating. And then ... nothing. He was fine. I was a wreck, but he was A-OK.

I don't think this is going to make me change my position on his walking position. He can still bob and weave for all I care. But you know what? I'm going to button up his darn shirt when he does it.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

My honor-roll girl

Sign me up for one of those bumper stickers -- my kid made the honor roll!

I've known that for a couple of weeks, because the school sent my daughter a letter of congratulations. What the school didn't send until yesterday was the actual report card. So odd to get the announcement without the actual scores in hand.

I was interested to see the actual grades that resulted in that happy honor-roll placement, because I had been fairly worried that she would get Ds in a couple of classes. I guess talking to her teachers helped, because she bopped to B level in both of them. Mercy grades? Maybe, but we'll take 'em.

Interestingly, although she did honor-roll level work that fourth quarter, she actually failed a couple of her final exams. Her final grades for the year survived on the weight of the classroom work she's been doing, which confirms my faith that if you just do the dang homework, you can pass classes, at least at her level. So many kids blow off the homework, but you get points for it, and you get the goodwill of teachers, too. That and the faithful retaking of failed tests as per her IEP seems to be carrying her along.

Wonder if we could get her retakes on the final?

Thursday, July 05, 2007

The real blogger in the family

My son is totally shaming me as a blogger. I set him the task of blogging once a day this summer -- five sentences about anything -- and darned if he's not doing it. Of course, he's motivated: I told him that if he did his daily writing through the start of school, I'd buy him a song on iTunes that I've been saying "no" to. I thought I was pretty safe. But he's writing, and that makes me happy, too.

If you're looking for a summer writing project for your kiddo, a Blogger blog's not a bad idea. Free, easy to do, and it looks like something when they're done. I'm probably more impressed with my son's blogging than he is, but that's because I can barely drag my pixels over here to blog once a week or so. Show-off.