Hallowhen?

Yeah, it’s been a few. We’ve had a lot going on though. Let’s set the Wayback Machine for Halloween and just go from there.

So, Halloween. 

Daphne’s school put out a request for kids to dress up as a character from their favorite book for a little parade. But since we weren’t sure how well-known the tap-dancing pigs from “Moo, Baa, LA-LA-LA” were, we opted to revisit her Alice costume from last year and halve our cost-per-wear on that little investment.

“I would’ve preferred the pigs, Daddy.”
That white bunny is fast

Thing is, I wasn’t entirely sure if the ECAP kids were going to be allowed to walk in the school’s parade. There were quite a few parents with cameras lined up on both sides of the parade “route” (which was really just the sidewalk in front of the school) which might very well have constituted a sensory issue for some of the more sensitive kids. So, I didn’t stick around for any pictures.

Later that evening, we dressed Daphne in this year’s Halloween costume, which seemed perfectly appropriate.

“Oh mighty Neptune, ruler of the seas, sometimes a mermaid’s just gotta stim a little!”
“And drink apple juice.”

Jen walked with her around the block and did the trick-or-treat thing, and Daphne did fantastically well. Obviously she didn’t say “trick or treat,” but she did pick up candy from bowls and drop it into her bag.

I stayed home and manned the door for the rest of the trick or treaters. 

The little mermaid did drop in occasionally to check in on Dad, though.

Unfortunately the entire business was cut very short by inclement weather, but I think Daphne was done after about an hour, so it worked out well. Another successful Halloween.

The weekend that followed, however, was not so great.

A cool front came through on Friday night, and so the weather on Saturday was 72° and sunny, perfect weather for a trip to the Renaissance Festival. So we packed a day bag and headed out toward Todd Mission, Texas.

We’d been in the car for about an hour before traffic began to slow, and Siri informed us that, instead of it being 15 minutes to the Ren Fest, it was now going to be an additional 45 minutes.

So we sighed, accepted that as the cost of being out on such a beautiful day, and plodded our way along Route 1774 at 3 mph. 

Unfortunately, Siri was incorrect in her calculations, as she was assuming the side roads to the Ren Fest weren’t closed down to festival traffic. So after each intersection where we were unable to turn, she would recalculate the route and subsequently add 15 minutes to the total drive time. 

After an hour of waiting in traffic, and having our time to destination remain unchanged at 45 minutes like some kind of GPSisyphean torture, we decided to call it and head back home.

I did manage to get a bit of the traffic on video on our trip back:

As it turned out, however, going home would be a good thing.

We had just about gotten to our house before Daphne became really, really, really fussy. And she remained so for the rest of the day, despite a very long nap.

The following morning Jen checked her temperature, and found that Daph was running a fever of about 102. And no sooner had she settled her back into bed for a day of rest, when Daphne promptly threw up all over herself, Jen, and the bed.

Jen took a shower while I stripped the bed down and wrapped Daph in some blankets, and she basically slept the entirety of Sunday away. I don’t know how it is for everyone else’s kid, but for our 3-year-old to sleep through an entire day, she must be really sick.

Later in the afternoon her temperature began to creep up to the 102.7 range, and so we battered it back down with some Tylenol, which took it to a respectable 99.9.

Although that was not without drama either. Because Daphne hates Tylenol.

We have to hold her down and force it into her mouth with that little Tylenol Super-Soaker syringe thing, all while she turns her head, clenches her teeth shut, and fights us the entire time. Normally it takes 3 shots to get a proper dose of medicine in her; the rest of it ends up on her face, her pillow and in her hair.

It is unpleasant. But it worked.

On Monday morning when I checked on her she was back down to 99.3 and seemed to be feeling more like herself again.

“Man, do you guys ever have to take that ‘medicine’stuff?”
“I’m not sure which is worse. The feeling bad, or having to take the medicine…”

 We stayed home from school anyway, just to be on the safe side, and spent a lot of the day snuggling and watching StoryBots.

And, as you can see, it was torturous for everyone involved.

That pretty much catches you all up to speed. Daph’s in school today and I’ve just finished working on my submissions for a potential writing gig. (Fingers crossed there.) I also have a lunch n’ learn this afternoon for my VR thing.

Speaking of which, I need to get working on some changes to the PowerPoint…

In my next post I’ll talk a bit about this past weekend, and our trip to see Grammy for her birthday.

Talk to you then.

j.s.

Red Five

Yes, my beloved Red Sox won the World Series in just five games last night.

And yes, I was so amped up afterward that I didn’t go to bed until around 2am, after I’d watched the post-game celebration about 9 times.

They certainly didn’t waste any time putting that one up…

And yes, I did wake Daphne up with my barbaric yawps after Chris Sale struck out Machado to end the game.

Bend the knee, Manny.

With so much weighing on me right now, a Red Sox World Series was a welcome respite from my day-to-day worries, even for just a little while.

Speaking of the day-to-day, Daphne and I went out for a walk around our neighborhood this weekend, and I got a few pictures of her in the flowers.

Good times.

Afterward, we were both a bit worn out…

Man, that beard is getting grey.

We also broke the seal on the Halloween candy this Sunday, and so we have a bucket o’ goodness just sitting on the counter.

“There’s plenty. I’ll have just one. Just a nibble. Maybe two…”

I am slightly ashamed to admit that this cauldron of calories called to me like a chocolatey siren after the Sox won last night.
And I went to it.
A few times.
(Which might also be why I was up half the night.)

Okay I’m off. Talk to you all soon.

j.s.

Hi **cough** There…

Yeah. The crud that’s been going around has crash landed on our house. I came down with it last week (shortly after I wrote that post, actually) and Jen is suffering through it right now.

So far, Daphne has somehow managed to avoid contracting it from us. Hopefully that continues to be the case.

Unfortunately, it did cause us to miss out on a familial baby shower last weekend, which was a disappointment.

 I started feeling better on Tuesday, though, and things are going along like they do.

Daphne’s school pictures came back this week.

These are serious business.

I realize I’m a bit of a geek about these things, but with that white halo around her head and the very intense look she’s giving the camera, she’s kinda got an Edgar Cayce thing going on. 

But hey. First school pics. Still adorable.

And speaking of school, she’s still doing very well. There are very few “-” marks on her daily report cards, and she seems happy every day when I pick her up.

That said, mornings are still a bit admittedly rough some days…

*zzzzzzz…*
“No Dad. Go away.”
“Seriously. The morning pictures are a special torture. Please stop.”
“Didn’t we just do this yesterday?”

But despite her aversion to the a.m. (or perhaps mine) we’re getting through it just fine.

We also did our annual trip to the Katy Rice Harvest Festival, a little while back and dropped by our favorite pumpkin patch while we were there.

A very far cry from this one, taken just 2 years ago…

Yeesh.

And finally, a BumbleDad post would be incomplete these days without a swim class video or two…

She’s really doing awesome there.

Okay, I think all this tapping might be threatening to wake her up from her nap…

[whispers] See you soon.

j.s.

Driving for Miss Daphne

I will, more than likely, have another post later this week. However I didn’t want today to go by without sending a huge shout out to the wonderful people taking part in Hope for Three’s “Golf ‘Fore’ Autism” tournament at Sweetwater Country Club today.

Hope for Three are the fine people who first alerted us to the scholarship opportunity (provided by KNOWAutism) that Daphne received for her swim classes.

Today is their biggest fundraiser of the year, and I’m thrilled to say that Daphne has not one but TWO teams playing on her behalf, both of which are filled with grandparents, granduncles, grandneighbors, and generally grand people. Not to mention a grandma (who doesn’t golf) who’s doing volunteer work for the tournament.

The weather has become a bit unpredictable, as the first cool front of the season came through this morning. (Yesssss…) But hopefully the rain holds off so everyone can enjoy a fine, if overcast, fall afternoon in the park.

Most importantly, Jen and I wanted all of you to know how much it means to us that you’re doing this. It’s a huge help, and a reassurance, that so many of you are in Daphne’s corner, pulling for her.  You’ll never know how thankful we are for all of you, and for everything that you do for our little girl.

So thank you. All of you.

j.s.

Offbeat Dad

This should come as a shock to none of you at this point, but I’m not exactly a “color inside the lines” kinda guy. 

I’m eccentric. And that’s likely putting it mildly.

But hopefully these idiosyncrasies are part of what make me a decent daddy… Or, failing that, at least an entertaining one.

Take, for example, my time spent as a nightclub DJ. (Yes, really.)  While late nights spinning Underworld, Chemical Brothers, and Roni Size did a number on my hearing, it also made me very comfortable paying attention to two separate sources of sound, entering two different ears.

*Man, this new Mudhoney album is pretty fire. I wonder– Wait, that was the curtain string being pulled.*

Or perhaps consider the many years I spent as a Dungeon Master for my friends, back when we played D&D. While I’ll grant you that’s unassailably geeky, it did work my chops as a storyteller, and forced me to come up with a wide range of distinct voices for my characters. Both of these practices have translated pretty well into the hours and hours (and hours) of reading that I’ve done with Daphne.

Like, for example, this BumbleDad rendition of Eek, Halloween! by Sandra Boynton.

(Yes, the fall books have officially moved into rotation.)

Now I’m not saying I’m Superdad (hell, I don’t think I rank as a competent one most days), but every so often the weird things I’ve done in my past bubble up. And they become peccadillos that make my daughter furrow her brow at me and giggle.

And when that happens, just for a moment, the world lines up and it feels like the parts of my life gone by are still somehow relevant today. Like, the things in my past that make me, me, are things that my daughter happens to like too.

I don’t know if I’m doing a very good job describing this. But I truly hope you other parents out there know what this feels like.

Because it’s pretty awesome.

Okay, enough of this nebulous sentimental stuff. I promised you some new swimming videos of Daphne in the big pool, didn’t I?

And there you go. 

Okay folks, see you next week! Thanks for coming by.

j.s.

Little Fish, Big Pool

Hi there.

Yep, it’s been a few. But honestly there hasn’t been a whole lot to report. We’re into a solid groove with our daily schedule, insomuch as there’s ever a “groove” involved when getting kids up and ready for school.

“I could ‘groove’ right back to bed and catch a few more hours of sleep, Dad.”

Jen’s school year is going along like they do, and it sounds like it’s going pretty well for the most part. She actually took last Friday off so we could go to the Lord Huron concert downtown without the need for a 4am wake-up call the following morning.

That’s they.

And the concert was great. Although it did become apparent, after standing on a concrete floor for 4 hours, that we’re getting a bit old to be among the “early arrival” crowd.  By the time Lord Huron came on it felt like I’d need to Uber a Hoveround just to get back to the car.

It was a good time. And Daphne was well-behaved for my mom, who came into town to watch her while Jen and I had our date night.

We did learn, however, that Daph is NOT a fan of that “Under the Sea” song in The Little Mermaid though.

That pinchy little devil has a plan…

She apparently became inconsolable for quite some time after that song came on. And I tried it the following day with her and got the same result.

“Wait…is that the crab song?”
“No, no! Not the crab song!”

Message received.
Zero distortion.
That song is a loser.
Got it.

Fortunately, it just so happens that I have the cure for the evil hymns of Jamaican crustaceans…

Beard snuggles to the rescue!

That crab’s got nothing on me.

Finally, as of Monday, Daphne graduated from her lessons in the baby pool, and is now taking swim class in the “big pool.”

I will attempt to get some pictures of this, however she’s much farther away than before so I’m not sure how well they’ll come out. Also, she shares the pool with other kids who are taking their lessons, and I’m naturally hesitant to start snapping pictures of other people’s kids in a pool. (The facility actually expressly forbids this, but her teacher allowed me to take the few pics/videos you’ve seen here, as long as I didn’t get any other kids in the background.)

I’ll do what I can though.

Okay, I’m off. See you soon.

Malaria Lair

 The mosquitoes…are everywhere.

For those who don’t live in Dagobah the greater Houston area, you might be unaware of how steady the rain has been over the past 3 weeks.  

The normal, “turned up to 11” humidity has doubled down this month, and  the almost daily thunderstorms have created an oppressive blanket of airborne muck that has swaddled our fair city.

And all this water has, in turn, brought the mosquitoes.

They’ve gotten so bad that instead of holding hands and leisurely walking to the car in the morning, I now pick Daphne up before opening the door and we run to the car amidst a whirling, whining cloud of winged bloodsuckers.

I actually just went out to see if I could get a picture of all of them, but obviously they’re too small to photograph and I ended up with a rather unexciting picture of my front door.

Just imagine this, but covered in little black specks that want to kill you.

The only thing this accomplished was to rile up the dogs Alex, since he thought someone was creeping around the front door.

“There’s someone out there, fool! I heard them! Call the police!”

Jib, however, has remained unfazed.

“Eh, you go check. Come get me if they make it inside.”

I also couldn’t help but notice that there haven’t been any mosquito trucks out spraying recently. After a quick perusal of their website, it seems that Fort Bend County doesn’t spray for mosquitoes unless there’s a “public health hazard.”

Those pins are spray trucks, sitting idly in the parking lot of the place where all our taxes go.

Well what do you call this?

Look at the size of that thing.

That’s not a bug, it’s exsanguination with wings.

Okay, I think I’ve ranted about the mosquitoes enough. Suffice to say, they’re bad right now and I’m very ready for the first cold snap to come and wipe them all out. Moving on.

Daphne is doing well. She’s settled down into a pretty good school routine. And we know this, because we get these little sheets from her teachers every day:

Those numbers are how many times it takes to convince Daphne to do a thing. So if she had to be asked twice, they’d circle the 2 before putting the “+” sign for successful completion of the task. 

If she completely refuses to do an activity, she gets the dreaded “” mark, which is actually what we’ve been getting for “puzzle time” all week. (Apparently she doesn’t want to sit down to do them…)

Honestly, I’ll take the negative marks there rather than during lunch though, which is where she had been refusing to sit down the past couple weeks.

Overall though, she’s doing very well. 

I, however, completely screwed up swim classes yesterday.

I’d had a moderately busy morning, doing the dishes and laundry, making the bed, scheduling the A/C check-up, and replying to a couple potential new clients for my nascent business...

And in doing so I became distracted and forgot the damn swim bag on the bar stool at home, which held Daphne’s bathing suit, towel, hydro-diaper, etc.

Don’t leave home without it, dummy.

Naturally I didn’t realize this until after I’d picked her up and we’d just started to pull away from school.

“Oh no…”

Oh yes.
Totally spaced it.
Duh.

Unfortunately that meant we had less than 20 minutes to make it home, run inside to grab the swim bag, and then zip back over to the swim academy.

Now I didn’t break any speed laws attempting to do this…but I might have bent them to a point of being slightly misshapen. 

Still, we were still 5 minutes late for a 15-minute class (by the time I got her changed we probably would’ve only had 6 or 7 minutes left); fortunately, her wonderful instructor rescheduled her for 1:30, so she was still able to get a full class.

I, however, was fuming by that point. Given that my absentmindedness might have contributed to Daphne being unable to take her swim class, which she loves…  Ugh.

I’m still a little aggravated with myself over it, to be honest.

Okay, see you guys next week.

j.s.

Subsidized Swimming and Sleeping

Hi there.

I apologize for yet another lengthy delay in posting, but I’ve been updating the back-end of this site to help ensure that it, and everyone browsing it, is safe from the less-than-savory types that lurk in the darkened corners of the Interwebs. You know, the ones with neckbeards and meme t-shirts (in size “husky”), wearing fedoras and peering angrily through a haze of vape smoke.

And honestly, it’s been a bit of a hassle.

However! Chrome users should note that the dubious “NOT SECURE” tag next to the website URL above is now gone.  And at some point McAfee will get around to verifying the site and they should add a little footer at the bottom to reassure everyone that the site is secure.

So there you go. Safe as BumbleHouses. Moving on.

There have been a couple of developments with Daphne’s swim classes. The first is that she has completed her beginner “survival swim” lessons. And here is the moment where she graduated…

I won’t lie. There was a moment of concern when it took her a while to come back up…

And so, in a perceptibly proud moment, her teacher came over after this class and handed her a little t-shirt badge that allowed her to go to the front desk and collect her official Texas Swim Club t-shirt.

We’re very proud of our little fish. And Texas Swim Academy has been fantastic to us throughout the (nearly) 4 months that we’ve been going there. I can unquestionably recommend them if you’re looking for swim lessons for your little one, neurotypical or otherwise. (And no, they’re not subsidizing that comment in any way.)

But speaking of subsidies…

A while ago we were given an application for a “scholarship” from a program called KNOWAutism. The focus was to help kids with autism pursue extracurricular activities like horseback riding, adaptive yoga and…yes, swimming classes. 

So I filled out the paperwork, wrote a little letter to them about Daphne (you know, like I’m wont to do), and last week they emailed me back an approval for a scholarship for our favorite little one.

So Daphne’s swim classes are now completely paid for through the end of the year, thanks to KNOWAutism and the wonderful people who’ve donated to them.

Quick pause with a mouthful of Cheerios to celebrate.

So, from my entire family, thank you all very, very much. It’s been a pretty challenging year, and that money will help us more than you know.

Thank you.

But you know? This little girl has worked really hard at her swim lessons.

So I think she’s earned it.

Regardless, congratulations on both of these, Daphne. Mommy and Daddy are very, very proud of you and we’re so happy that other folks are getting to see what a wonderful little person you are.

Now, that being said, we need to talk a little about your sleeping habits…

Up until now, sleeping through the night has been one of the things that we thankfully didn’t concern ourselves with too much. Aside from the normal lack of rest that comes standard with a new baby, Daphne has always been a great sleeper.

But recently, she’s taken to waking up at around 3am and crying and/or playing for a couple hours before going back to sleep.

This has, quite obviously, wreaked havoc on our morning schedule.

“No juice. Coffee. Coffee now.”

To go from her usual 9-10 hours of rest, to suddenly getting less than 7 has clearly been rough.

“I think we need to call in a ‘snuggle day’ from school. Do they have those?”
Seriously Dad? I’m exhausted, and I’m just trying to get through this applesauce. No pictures.

It hasn’t been an every night affair, but I’d say it’s happening about twice a week? Enough to where we’ve gone back to the days of audibly instructing begging her to sleep through the night when she goes to bed.

And last night was a rough one too.

Hopefully this is just a phase or something and she’ll go back to her 9-hours-of-uninterrupted-sleep self soon.

Hopefully.

j.s.

After School Specials

Hi there.

So this is slightly awkward, as WordPress has created a new interface called “Gutenberg” (presumably Johannes and not Steve) which is making for a very strange text editor. I guess I’ll get used to it, but right now it feels like I’m tweeting or something…

Anyway, as I mentioned about a week ago, Daphne has started school again and is doing quite well. **knocks on wood**  Granted, there have been a few small bumps here and there, but they mostly involve the other children and their penchant for crying rather than eating their lunch. (This in turn causes Daphne to cover her ears rather than eat her own snack…) All in all, things are going well though.

That said, we think it’s really important that she continues her physical activities. And so we’re continuing to take her to swim class…

Her jumps are getting better and better

and I brought her with me to the rock gym for the first time last week.

Lemme get this straight. I hold on to these things…
And use them to climb up there?
That. Is. Awesome!

At one point, after no small amount of coaxing and reassurance, she wandered over to the wall on her own and began her very first climb.

Okay. This is harder than it looks, Dad.

Not wanting to push a good thing too far, we left the kids’ climbing area after this and I let her just run around the bouldering area.

Yes, we had as much fun as it looks.

When we’re not at school, or the natatorium, or the climbing gym, we’re hiding inside from the brutal Texas weather. 

This is the part of the year where I start to get a little freaky about the heat, and desperation for a cold front begins to manifest. I start to eye my sweaters longingly, sigh when passing over my corduroys in favor of a pair of “dadcore” cargo shorts, and I start to organize my hoodies…you know, just in case.

Daphne seems to have a similar idea as well, as she’s been getting on her tricycle and into her wagon in the afternoons. And I have to sit her down and explain to her that, no sweetie, we can’t leave the house because the Earth has somehow shifted in orbit to 30 miles away from the Sun, and the climate outside has become demonic. 

She’s taken it in stride so far.

You are a strange and silly man, Daddy.

Sadly, we’re about 2 months removed from any serious change in the weather to allow such things. So, if you’re looking for us, until then we’ll be found anywhere there’s air-conditioning.

See you later.

j.s.

Elementary Elements

Hey there.

Yes, today was the first week of school.

Yeah, I know that isn’t exactly Annie Leibovitz material. Sorry. Daphne wasn’t exactly being cooperative with the sign.

Okay, now can you hold the sign up? Wait! Don’t get chalk on your jeans!

And I’m happy to say that she made it with a minimum of fuss, although there were indeed a few tears when I dropped her off. (Some were even hers.)

And after I drop Daphne off at school, I go directly to Momentum Rock Gym to work out, the membership to which was my birthday present. (From various sources, but the idea was Jen’s.)

This place.

Just between you and me, Internet? The BumbleDad has gotten more than a little beamy from being home all the time and generally eating terribly. So doing a bit of exercise/climbing has been a great way for me to start the day. And since I’m more than halfway to the gym when I leave Daph’s school, it works out pretty well.

After climbing I go back home, clean up (the carnage of a speedy breakfast is always rough) work on some proofreading/job hunting, and then it’s just about time to go get The Little Girl again.

One who seemed none the worse for wear when I picked her up after her first day…

This ‘Tom’s Diner‘ song is fire, Daddy!

Daph is still adjusting to the schedule though. I had She had gotten used to sleeping in until 8:30, and lounging around the house before a leisurely breakfast at around 10.

She comes home pretty tired in the afternoons, and has even started putting herself down for her nap.

No, I’ve no idea why the flash cards are in bed…

Yesterday we pushed it even further, and she had a swim class right after school.

She’s getting really good…

From there, she went to her grandparents’ place and played for the rest of the afternoon, sans nap. All of these things combined to make for a very tired little girl last night, and she was asleep a little after 9:00.

So the schedule slowly, methodically, gets whacked into some semblance of normalcy after the chaos of summer.

We’ll see if we can keep it up next week.

Until then!

j.s.

p.s. These were from this morning and were too adorable not to share. Even the teachers on door duty pointed and clasped their hands to their hearts as she walked by.