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Saturday, April 16, 2016

A Good Day

The past few months we've  been working with Seth on helping him to learn his emotions and how to react to them. He has extreme anxiety and mix that with his autism getting over stimulated can cause the biggest of melt downs.

Today we took a family trip to Hogle Zoo. In the past Seth wouldn't respond well to the 3 hour road trip and the large crowds when getting to the destination.  He knew his younger siblings would be loud in the vehicle and the stress of finding a parking spot would push him over the edge before we even got into the zoo. My younger sister and her family were traveling down with us and he asked to ride with her since she has one child that is quiet.

When we arrived Seth was calm and responding well to everything.  We had prepped him of the days events, what we were going to see and reminded him how to relax if he felt like things were getting too much.

A few minutes in things started building, the train whistle,  loud music, and a ton of kids running  around. We could see he was close to breaking down. We've learned other triggers like low blood sugar, meds schedule, and a few others. We quickly grabbed some food and gave him a dose of his meds that were due in 20 minutes. He calmed down and we reminded him of the excitement he had expressed over seeing certain animals. He pulled himself together and pushed on. We gave him his space and shared in his joy when he would share his joy. There were a handful of times he was close to the edge and he'd pull himself back. I could see how hard it was for him, but at the same time the relief. The fits are not fun for him either. He doesn't like feeling that way as much as us.

We made it through every animal exhibit and he was done. We left and told him how proud we were. We had to stop and eat. The kids had chose to dine at Chuck'O Rama. Seth was starting to melt down. No aggression yet or screaming. Just pacing, whining,  and leaving the building.  I could get him back without any issues,  thankfully.  The restaurant was very busy our wait time for our table would be 10 to 15 minutes.  Signs of huge meltdowns were starting to surface.  I didn't want to spoil his day and progress. I slipped up to the hostess desk and quietly told them about Seth's disability and if he doesn't get food into his system he might start throwing things.  If there was anyway to provide a table soon we'd be ever so grateful. I was very polite and in no way acted like we were entitle to the favor. It was just be very very appreciated.  The other patrons waiting ahead of us were watching g and noticed his behavior changing and me chasing him in and out of the building. The gentleman returned in seconds and showed us to our table. I apologized to the people who had been waiting before us but they were all so nice and assured us they were okay with it.  We are so grateful,  impressed,  and thankful for the way the  Chuck'O Rama employees handled this situations as well as the other customers ahead of us. Believe me, they have no idea what good they actually did.

Seth took a second to calm down after I showed him the buffet and told him he was able to pick anything and as much as he wanted. He could even eat his dessert first. He smiled so big and ran to the fried chicken, mac and cheese,  and fries. He sat for the next 30 minutes while we all ate and never once acted out.

On our way out Seth was happy but definitely ready to go home. I told him how grown up he was for behaving in such a good way. He fist bumped me.

This boy is trying so hard!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Sensory

Mother's across the world please don't take the little things for granted. Such as your kids wearing underwear.  A few of my kids have extreme sensory issue. This makes clothing difficult. Undergarments are now huge problem for one of my son's. The adult sizes aren't as soft as they were in children's. We have bought four different packages and now they are all ripped in half.  This becomes an expensive problem when a package costs between $8 and $14. 

I've tried mending them but it's the material.  Any kind 9 rubbing against his private area and off they come and my sons best Hulk Hogan impersonation appears. This is why he wears basketball shorts and warm up pants. Denim, forget it! That's like sandpaper rubbing against himself. Can you only imagine? It has to be just as frustrating for him to feel that way as it is for me having to run to the store while he waits in the bathroom wrapped in a towel. 

Again, remind yourself when you toss your kids their clothes in the morning for school and they put them on that some kids feel like the tags in the back of their shirts are out to slice a hole in the back of their necks. 

If your child insists on wearing the most mismatched and ugliest outfit to school, LET THEM. It could be worse.  Like WW3 worse. 


  

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Birthday Bike Ride

The past few birthdays for my oldest son haven't had many party guest, like zero. It was heartbreaking to see him have to be in the bounce house or bowl alone. I mean his siblings,  aunts, uncle and grandparents were there but no friends or peers. This year he had only asked for one thing. A bike ride.

I casually put out on my Facebook status about his wish and openly invited anyone who wanted to join his family on the bike ride to come.

Unknown to me, some JV football players found out about it and asked a few of their teammates to join in. The only problem is it was during their practice.  They asked their coach if they would be able to leave practice early so they could attend.  Well, the coach said yes and tasked the rest of the teams to join as well.

On his birthday,  6:30 rolled around and our culdisac filled with bikes. All three teams (freshman,  JV,  and varsity) showed up on bikes, scooters,  or on foot, along with countless adults, friends,  and neighbors. Over 100 people showed up!  Some girls brought him some balloons and a gift.  The football team presented him with a team hat and shirt, a few others gave him his favorite snacks, treats, and trinkets.  A special family showed up dressed like his favorite characters,  Scooby-Doo and even drove over in a Mystery Machine.

When we took off for the ride around our half mile loop, the road was completely packed with bikes. Seth was in complete heaven. His dad and I hadn't seen him this happy, ever. It was overwhelming,  Amazingly heartwarming.  Overjoyed to say the least, but most of all extremely happy.

Seth loves to go to school now.  These kids go out of their way to say hi to him or give him a high five. It makes him feel so included and part of the guys.

These kids have no idea how much this simple bike ride meant to Seth. They made his whole day, year actually.
 














Sunday, May 31, 2015

Ohana

For our anniversary we were able to take a vacation WITHOUT ANY KIDS. Don't get me wrong, I love my children with all my heart, but we've never been away from them for longer than a quick over night. Twice. It was long over due since really we haven't had alone time since our first child was born, 14 years ago.

Jess surprised me by booking us a get away to MAUI! I couldn't have been more excited. A little nervous because I'd never been on a plane, like ever. I had been to an airport once to pick up someone but never flown. So, we were going to make our first ever flight a nice casual seven hour flight over the ocean. No biggie. Plus, I had to find someone to take care of our kids while being gone for eight days. To make things easier we split them up, two with my mom and the other two with my inlaws.

The flight wasn't that bad at all, the flight attendants made us feel so comfortable. The only thing that surprised me was how loud the engine was inside the cabin, but I must say the peanuts were amazing.




When we landed we thought we were in paradise. It was beautiful and warm. The air smells like flowers and feels so good against your skin. I'd found my place in the world. The only other times I've ever ever ever felt that instant love were when I saw my husband for the first time and every time I first saw my children after being born. The rental car company upgraded us because it was our anniversary to a sports car, a mustang GT to be exact. My freaking dream car. It was totally meant to be too because the license plate had my dads name.



On the actual day of our anniversary we went to a luau and it was a lot of food and great entertainment. When we made the reservations at our hotel they sent a message over and surprised us with VIP seating and special treatments. I have to tell you we were treated like royalty. We got lucky and were constantly being upgraded, free gifts, and extras for free all the time and from what everyone was telling us, that hardly every happens on Maui.


The beach was to die for. The sand is so soft and the water is warm and clear blue. We swam a lot, boogy boarded and road the waves in. I had a school of fish swim around me and it freaked me out that they were touching my legs and feet. Jess couldn't stop laughing. We spent most our time just relaxing on the beach, enjoying small talk and laughing with each other like we haven't in years.





Sunset was our favorite time of day. Its absolutely breath taking. We would sit together a watch the sky turn the most beautiful shades or go for walks up and down the beach, holding hands and just having great conversation. Very romantic. Even when I almost stepped on a crab and it ran across my foot making me scream and jump into Jess' arms.



 Every night right before the sun sets the hotel restaurant does a torch lighting ceremony. To start it off they blow conch shells. The sound is an awesome deep tone that gives you goose bumps. The torches are then lit all around the resorts grounds and stay burning through out the night



Smiles didn't leave our faces the whole trip until it was time to go, then I cried. I wanted to stay and just have my kids sent over to us. The island had excepted me, the birds even likes us, they would land on the tables while we were eating and sing to us. Oh, the birds there are beautiful colors. I never got sun burned just turned brown. The locals kept telling us were one of them ( accepted by the island) and calling us Ohana. In all the trip was amazing. Jess and I bonded even more. All I can say is I can't wait to go back.   





   

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

I Run, Like A Wounded Turtle

Ever have one of the days where your schedule is so back to back with appointments you have no idea how you're going to get things done? Today was my turn. I thought I could kill two birds with one stone with my first few errands. 

After getting my four children ready for school and making sure the youngest had his class picture money (yes was that kind of morning. You know where you're about to step out the door and look down to find him covered in his breakfast, head to toe, making you scramble to find another outfit. Even though you'd spent hours the night before making sure that outfit, now covered in yogurt, was coordinated down to his shoelaces to not clash with the backdrop. No? Just me. Okay.) I planned to drop my SUV off to have new tires put on. One of my other children had a meeting for their IEP the same time as my regularly scheduled kickboxing class, so I planned to jog back to home. I know, genius, still get my workout in.  Totally was going to work in my mind. 

I dropped the car off and took off jogging. We live in a small town, I've seen people jogging down main all the time. Heck, the crossfit members do it daily. No big deal. I wore my black sweat outfit so nobody would recognize me. Unless you couldn't miss my bright white hair atop the gothic colored attire, I'd be invisible. I mean, who jogs holding a bright pink wallet and phone anyway. Me, today.

So, I am jogging, and I'm impressed because I've got my breathing under control. Steady, not jerky. Big accomplishment for me. It's not like I haven't ever ran before. I take a run on my treadmill daily.  This isn't a new thing. I am two blocks away from my starting point, and I notice a truck pulling up to me. It's one of my neighbors, "Are you okay?" He asked. "Yes," I assure him, letting him know I was headed home. He leaves, and not a few minutes later, another car stops to ask if I need help. Out of breath, I explain I am double checking off my list today and they head on their way. Okay, I get stopped TWO more times. Maybe I looked wounded, like a wounded limping turtle trying to force it's way forward, hurt, panicked faced (most likely, because someone recognized me) Yes, people of Preston, I run, well jog. Just never again where I can be seen. 

I am not complaining, really, it's wonderful we live in such a caring community. A community that is shocked to see me jogging. I just had to laugh. It is super funny. Now, I wonder if I'll be stopped again when I jog back up to pickup my vehicle? 

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Magic Beans

The Dino's left their magic on some beans. The kids followed the instructions and planted them on Christmas Eve. 

They went to bed and in the morning they woke up to find that this is what they grew in to.


Sunday, December 21, 2014

2014 Final Dino Update

The magic ran out this year. They left the kids with a little bit though by giving them magic Christmas beans. The kids are suppose to plant the beans in a bowl of sugar on Christmas Eve then wait to see what grows. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Adventures in Dino Sitting Day 13

In search of a great sitter? The Magic Dino's have you covered. On day 13 they opened Dino Daycare.
 




Dino Day 12

On day 12 the Dino's TPed us! Seth woke up half way through the night and I guess he didn't like the mess so he picked up all the toilet paper and brought it to his dad. So, the Dino's ended up toilet papering us twice in one night.