Thursday, October 27, 2011

Awesome at the Awards

Austin did so well at the awards assembly other day!  Very PROUD of him!  There were quite a few children receiving awards for different achievements.  Everyone clapped and all the proud and happy parents were there to cheer on and support their children.  It was really quite a great sight to see! :)

Austin received an award for "For always following the Tribes Agreement!".  He attends a school that follows certain rules and standards that make it a "Tribes School".  It is a wonderful program and we are so glad Austin is part of this excellent school!


All the best! *HUGS* to all! :)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Positive Progress :)

We received Austin's progress report from school the other day, it was perfect across the board!  YAY!  (He does have an IEP and an aide to help him.)  He is doing so well and we are so PROUD of him!  We are also deeply grateful to the wonderful school he attends, he has great teachers, aides, staff and friends who are really helpful to his progress.  He also has an excellent speech therapist, OT and Psychologist.  It is takes a group effort to get results like this, it involves a lot of guidance, understanding, help and support.  We are so lucky to have all of this for Austin and the hard work everyone invests to help him as he is putting forth such effort and determination (so PROUD) and it is showing in his progress.  We THANK all of YOU!  We APPRECIATE it all so much!

We received more WONDERFUL news, Austin will be receiving a Principal's Award at the school assembly this coming Tuesday.  He has no idea and we do not know what it is for yet.  We are VERY EXCITED and Mommie, Daddy and Kaleigh are all going to be there to clap and cheer with enormous PRIDE!  WELL DONE BUDDY!  We LOVE YOU! :)

All the best! *HUGS*

Saturday, October 1, 2011


Below is a picture of the very first note Austin has ever written to me.  He gave it to me yesterday evening.  I am so lucky to have this sweet little boy, truly blessed.  It is no wonder he changed my heart forever! :)

I LOVE <3 YOU right back my sweet, sweet boy!  :)  Mommie OXOXOXOXOXOX


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Leaving "The Leash" Behind

A time warp post!

Yesterday, as I walked Austin to school, he ran up a few feet ahead of me.  (He stays on the sidewalk and jogs up to the school doors where he waits for me to come and walk in with him.  I only allow him to do this on our way to school since he is familiar with the area.  He likes to walk on the sidewalk beside me or in front of me because he knows it is "safe".)  As I was walking behind him yesterday, I had a flash enter my mind from the past, "the toddler leash".  My, my, how far Austin has come from those days.

I am not sure if you have seen these little "leashes" or "harnesses" that they have for kids.  I used to have one for Austin.  It looks just like a leash, a opening on one end for me to hold onto and the other end wrapped around Austin's wrist and secured with velcro.  This little device saved Austin so many times I cannot even give you a number ... too many to count!  I used to put it on him when we would go shopping, out for a walk (sometimes) or to car shows.  He would take off running and sometimes right out into the street in front of our house (we were very lucky that there was very little traffic on our dirt road), so it was the only way we could keep him safe.  The looks we got, I cannot even tell you ... sigh ...  Then one day, an older man came up to my husband at our local car show and said that he thought that it was a really smart thing!  Really?  Someone actually understood that we were trying to keep Austin safe.  Even if it was just one person, it was reassuring that someone "got it"!

I do not see these little wrist "leashes" anymore.  They have a new PC version, a harness.  It is carefully disguised as a backpack where the child can walk in front of you and it is not as evident that the child is really attached to the parent, it just looks sort of cute.  Either way, despite what people may think of you, I recommend them for children who wander or run.  Someone asked my opinion a while back about her getting one for her child, who would walk off and run away from her.  I said, "Go buy one!"  I told her about the little backpack harnesses they have now and told her not to care what people thought.  Would she rather have her child safe on a harness or have them run into the street where they could get hit or killed by a car?  Easy answer when it is put to a parent in that way.

I am glad that I took such precautions with Austin years ago and it was at the suggestion of my mother in-law believe it or not.  I was not receptive to the idea at first because I was worried what people would think.  I did not see any other children "attached" to their parents.  The thought of Austin being harmed by not protecting him, changed my mind very quickly.

All the best!  *HUGS* :)

Monday, September 26, 2011


The last couple of weeks have been CRAZY around here!  There have been so many different things going on and so many changes in sleep, speech, growth, school and imagination.

First off, I have already disclosed that Austin has been having nightmares.  I am not sure why this is happening and it started right after his first few days of school.  He will not sleep in his room and dislikes being in there at night (I will explain more when I talk about his imagination).  He says that if he sleeps in my bed, he has good dreams, well, that is not true either.  I have found something that seems to be helping.  It is a natural product a wonderful girl told me about some time back that she gives her daughter.  It is called "Calm" for Kids 0-9.  Now, for some reason, this product helps children relax and it also helps with nightmares.  Sounds crazy right?  That's what I thought but I tried it randomly and each time I did, no nightmares!  How can you explain that?  I can't but it is working!  Did I mention is it all natural?  ;)  I intend to try it for a few days to see if the bad dreams stop, praying for Austin, they do.

Austin's speech has me a little concerned.  I am not sure if the introduction of French is having an impact or he is just really tired.  I was so happy when he recently could remember mostly everything about his day or what activities we did over a day or a weekend, this is no longer happening.  I thought at first it is because he is tired from school but I asked him what we did over the weekend and he couldn't tell me anything.  It is really strange.  I am not sure what is going on but intend to talk to his speech therapist about it.  There is another thing about his speech, he is becoming more sarcastic and he mocks me too (a good sign of development, right? lol).  Once I talk to the speech therapist I will post an update.

Austin is growing like a weed and that means he is eating more!  Yes, eating!  I am so happy about this!  As you know, he is a fussy eater but he is starting to eat even more foods, he even tried pumpkin pie lastnight.  He loves my homemade jam so I am making batch after batch to ensure he is happy and has his favourite sandwich.  It is nice to see him getting bigger and eating! :)

Austin is adjusting to school nicely.  He is happy to go everyday and looks forward to it.  I think this is wonderful! :) (Kaleigh has had a bit of a rough start adjusting to school because she is so shy but she is doing better.  That really stressed me out initially and brought up a lot of emotions from when Austin started preschool but this week is much brighter.  YAY!)

Oh boy, Austin's imagination.  This, well this is a good thing but also a bad thing.  99% of the time he will tell me "tales" about really wonderful stories he has made up and they are quite entertaining and fun.  It is neat to hear these things come from Austin.  On the other hand, there are some dark "tales" which I quickly try to address and tell him such tales are not very nice and are scary.  An example, it has taken me about 3 weeks to convince Austin that there is no "Invisible Man" living in his bedroom closet and he most certainly is not real. (Austin is so upset by it that he does not even want to sleep in his room.)  Austin says he is afraid of the "Invisible Man" one minute and then says he is "brave" and "fights" the "Invisible Man" the next, confusing to me but I try not to focus too much.  (I cannot explain to him what invisible is because he doesn't really get it.  If you said you cannot see someone that is invisible, Austin would claim you could, not a debate you want to start.)  Finally, I have convinced him that the "Invisible Man" is not real.    Interestingly enough, the "Invisible Man" came to be just after Austin started school.  I am trying to get Austin to stick to telling nice "tales".  I have not had to address "tales" in a while.  The last time this happened (quite some time ago), Austin's speech changed drastically.  I wonder if his "tales" and speech development are somehow linked; another topic to discuss with the speech therapist.

I hope you all don't mind my medley post but time has really been a factor over the last little while.  :)

All the best!  *HUGS* :)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Settling in at School

Austin is adjusting to elementary school so well.  He is going full-time (he was initially going 2 days, then a day off, then back for 2 days).  He is happy about school and sleeping longer at night because he is so tired.  He is learning more French everyday. :)  He is keeping up with his homework and we have a great system to ensure he does not get overwhelmed or too tired.  He has wonderful teachers, and of course, we are really happy with his aide who is great and Austin thinks she's "cool".  ;)  Good News! :)  WELL DONE Austin! :) OX

"Sweet Dreams"

Since Austin started school a few weeks back, he has been having more nightmares.  I have never seen him experience so many in such a short time period, a little overwhelming and heartbreaking.  What is interesting is he is verbalizing what has happened in the dream right away and will wake me in the middle of the night to tell me.  This is such a huge development for Austin because sometimes he has trouble telling me what is a dream and what is his imagination.  If he tells me right away about his dream, I know it is not his imagination but if he comes to me with a "dream" later in the day, I suspect it is a daydream.  (He still calls it a "dream".)  This is going to be a little harder to explain to him.  He is also having many wonderful, happy dreams too and can verbalize those to me as well, which is GREAT!

Kaleigh being the sweet and sassy little girl that she is, has heard Austin say he has had a nightmare and this makes her feel badly for him.  When it is time to go to sleep, she finds Austin and gives him a kiss and says "Sweet Dreams Austin!"  What wonderful babies I have ... :)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Good News and Bad News

Austin started Grade 1 last Thursday.  Overall everything went very well and Austin is adjusting to school nicely, he even likes to go!  YAY! :)  There was one subject though that brought him to tears because he was "scared" to be in the class, French.  You see, in Québec even though Austin is in an English school, he must take French.  They do not speak any English in the class as a rule, so Austin was terrified when he could not understand anything at all!  Poor guy!  I felt so badly for him.  I had to do something...

I wrote a letter to his teacher explaining the problem and asked his aide at school to translate for him, if possible (she does not speak French fluently she told me ... sigh...).  In the letter explained that Austin has receptive and expressive delays.  This is a boy who just this summer has learned how to ask "why", "what", "where", "when", "who" and "how" questions on demand.  (We never spoke French to Austin because we did not want to confuse him or take away from helping him with his speech development in English.)

There is good news to report, the aide is translating the words to Austin in English.  (She said they are very simple so she can do that no problem, thank God!  She is a really lovely lady.  We are very grateful to have her with Austin.)  I am also very happy that this situation was dealt with quickly and the French teacher has allowed Austin this courtesy so he may learn and be comfortable.  My husband and I are also doing our part by teaching Austin new French words each day and have downloaded flash cards from iTunes to help him learn independently as well.  (Have I mentioned how much I LOVE the iPad?  FANTASTIC!)  He was thrilled when I picked him up on Tuesday because he had learned new words in French class ... YAY!  Well done buddy! :)  Mommie is so PROUD of YOU!  Je t'aime! ox :)

*HUGS* to all ... "Sweet Dreams" is coming up next!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Hankering for a Hot Dog

Yesterday, Austin asked me for a hot dog for lunch.  I could not believe it!  He has not eaten hot dogs since he was about a year old.  I was so happy when he asked for one, his reasoning was interesting, he told me he "dreamed" of eating a hot dog.  All I can say is I am looking forward to the "Pizza Party" dream! :)

Coming soon, a new post, "Sweet Dreams" ...

*HUGS* to all! :)

Monday, August 29, 2011

School Days

September 1 will be Austin's first day of school.  We have everything in place for him to have the most positive and supported introduction to "big school" (that's what Austin calls it).  We got the letter from the Psychiatrist stating that Austin does in fact fall on the autism spectrum with a PDD-NOS diagnosis;  this secures his funding which gives him and aide!  YAY!  We got into the school we wanted!  YAY!  I met his teachers the other day ... GREAT!  His main teacher is A-W-E-S-O-M-E!  I am so happy that everything has come together.  It was well worth all the appointments, effort and time to get Austin what he needs to succeed at school.  I am so pleased for him.  :)

I cannot believe my baby boy is all grown up and going to school.  I have to admit, I am a bit nervous, what Mother isn't the first day of school?  I guess having a spectrum child just intensifies that anxiety.  I am trying to stay calm and look forward to Austin having a wonderful first day.  So what if I made special pockets in all my clothes for my cell phone?!  Just kidding ;)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Lucky Mama

Today we saw the Psychiatrist for Austin's assessment.  I thought he did wonderfully!  How far we have come in just over a year.

I spoke to the doctor as Austin played today, he got bored but he was quiet.  He did not want to answer questions; he was being shy.  I cannot believe how much better this assessment went than the one at CHEO.  There are so many differences in Austin from then to now.  He was not running around, he did not climb anything, he did not meltdown and he did not roll on the floor laughing as I cried.  (I get emotional sometimes when I tell stories about Austin and well, my Mother, she was discussed today too ... let's not go there ... right, good!)  Austin looked up and gave me a half smile as tears fell down my cheeks, so I smile back, trying to communicate that it is okay.  He does not respond to emotions properly but I was relieved that he did not roll on the floor laughing at me ... that's an improvement and I am grateful.

He went downstairs to play as I talked with the doctor.  (I was very impressed with her by the way, she was very pleasant to talk to and felt at ease with her right away.)  When Austin came back up, he was really bored and ready to go.  He was patient and got a couple of hugs and a little cuddle.  I was concerned that he may be upset knowing we were talking about him but he said "no".  I asked him again later in the car on the way home and he said he was not upset about us discussing him but there were a lot of people downstairs talking.  Too many unfamiliar faces and too much noise.  For Austin to be able to express this is also a huge accomplishment for him.  He is really getting much better at telling me what upsets him.  Very important to help head off a meltdown.

Austin, my sweet, sweet boy.  I am so happy with his progress and while there are new things that pop up, I am so pleased that he is doing much better.  People tell me that Austin is lucky to have a Mom like me but I am the lucky one because I have him, my wonderful little boy!  I LOVE YOU Austin!  Mama is so PROUD of you!  :) OX

All the best! *HUGS*

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A Circus

Today I had to take Austin to see his OT.  I am never late for appointments but for some reason, I marked down the wrong time and showed up a 1/2 hour later than I was suppose to, sigh ... I am trying to keep it all straight.  Austin has quite a few assessments and appointments in the next week or so.  Anyway, I had a little trouble this morning, mostly with my 3 year old, yes, the "typical" one!

After Austin's appointment, we get ready to leave, this can be a challenge when I have the two kids with me.  Sometimes, not always, they seem to "bounce off" of each other.  They are fighting over toys, jumping, screaming, crying (okay, mostly Kaleigh is) and just do not listen.  Oh my!  So I am trying to talk to the OT and she knows that getting out the door can be a challenge for me.  People are trying to come in as we are leaving.  The poor OT, she said she understood and went to meet her next client.  I was going to head out the door, when the Psychologist and new Psychiatrist (she sees Austin next week for an assessment) came down the stairs to ask me a question.  Austin and I just get introduced and they start to talk as Kaleigh escapes out the door, heading to our car in the parking lot.  I stop and run after her.  Meanwhile, Austin has run down to the sidewalk and was heading to the parking lot to the car too (he was stopped by me calling him and the Psychologist, not to mention the Psychiatrist was concerned he was going to run ... sigh ...).  How is that for a first impression?  What the Psychiatrist must be thinking ... sigh :( 

I put Austin and Kaleigh in the car and a wave of relief came over me.  I was thankful to Austin's Psychologist who went back inside to get my bag.  Why, oh why, does this happen?  I was/am embarrassed.  Kaleigh knows she is not run out to the car but lately, "racing" each other has been their favourite game.  Kaleigh has to get their first, competitive much?  Goodness me!  Sometimes my life feels a little like a circus ... I hope tomorrow, since we have another appointment at the same place, it is more like a quiet picnic!  I can dream, can't I?


The Lion King II

Austin LOVED The Lion King!  At the end of the opening scene, his face was lit up with a HUGE smile and he was clapping away!  One word could be heard from him as the clapping started to fade, "WOW"! :)

We really enjoyed the show and Austin did really well.  I did learn something though, and I will blog about it at a future date, time must be considered for success.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Lion King

I wanted to blog about something fun and happy today.  I have been busy with paperwork preparing for Austin's psychiatric assessment coming up soon, and quite frankly, it has me a little down.  I prefer to focus on something exciting right now instead.  :)

I am taking Austin to The Lion King on Sunday.  We will be going with our friends.  We splurged a little and got a box so we can sit together without others too close (a smart idea since I do not know how Austin will react).  I figured, tickets are expensive anyway, so why not get a box?  It is going to be so much fun!  I am so EXCITED!!!  I know, I am just a big kid. :o)  I absolutely LOVE going to the theatre!  I have been hooked since my Dad took me to Starlight Express years ago.  It was MAGNIFICENT!  I was captivated from beginning to end, absolutely captivated!  I have seen many shows since, thanks to my Dad.  :)

I hope that Austin enjoys the show.  He has been to classical music concerts and has enjoyed them so I believe that all the colourful costumes, music and dance should be quite intriguing.  I can't wait to see the look on his face when that curtain opens and the stage comes to life.  I look forward to him being as captivated as I was when I was lucky enough to have my Dad take me ... thanks Dad, love you!

All the best!  *HUGS* to all! :)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Second Screening

Do you ever get to the point where you don't know what's "typical" and what's not?  I am guilty of this since Austin's diagnosis.  I have no idea how to deal with a "typical" 3 year old child ... lots and lots and lots of patience!  She has tantrums, screams, tells me off, debates (EVERYTHING), is much smarter than I was at 3, or at 30 for that matter.  She can be quite a challenge and I am learning everyday that this is what 3 year olds can be like, Austin was not like this at 3.  He did have moments but not like Kaleigh.  She is quite headstrong.  Don't get me wrong, she is also a very adorable, loving, caring and sweet girl; did I mention smart?  Very smart!  Austin is very smart too, just is a different way ... smart babies both.  What is this supposed to be about then?  Well, I had Kaleigh re-assessed.  Re-assessed because as you know (if you have been following my blog) that we had her assessed last summer just as a precaution, not that we were worried about her.  So, what changed?  Well, I will tell you.

Kaleigh has a mind of her own, that is evident.  I hear that it is common in girls ... ;)  Austin has always been quite passive so I didn't really know if being stubborn or arguing at 2 years old was, well, "typical".  I put her in a gymnastics class, she excelled.  When we re-registered the age group was the same but on a different date and the class then contained mostly 18 month olds.  Kaleigh is quite nimble and has great balance.  She is a natural when it comes to climbing and tumbling.  She found it hard to stand behind and wait for the "babies" to go through the course.  I felt like I was holding back a racehorse.  She would wait her turn but I thought she should be more patient.  Was this typical of a 2 year old?  I had no idea ... I considered this flag #1.

When Kaleigh was waiting in line at gymnastics I started to notice that she would twirl her wrists ... I had no idea what that meant, and well, it concerned me too.  I was wondering, sensory?  She would run around the house pretending to be a chickadee, flapping her arms and making noises.  This was not like the "flap-jumping" that Austin would do, but I still didn't know what to make of it.  One day I asked her why she did it and she responded that she was a "chickadee ... a chickadee-dee-dee" laughing and giggling.  I asked her to stop and she did.  It was not the same motion as Austin but it freaked me out ... she still comes up to me and says "Look at me Mommie, I'm a chickadee-dee-dee" and runs off laughing to get me to chase her and tickle her.  She is a cutie.  So I felt better that she would stop running around like a bird and it wasn't something that she couldn't control, like Austin's behaviour.  Then, the wrist twisting became more frequent ... flag #2.

Kaleigh started peeing on the potty around 19 months.  We never really pushed and let her do her own thing.  She was still in pull-ups and diapers at night.  As time went on, she wanted panties so we explained that she would have to pee and poop on her potty, not in her pull-up.  She had no problem with the pee part but the poopy part, well, it was a challenge.  She would hold it in all day and wait for her pull-up at night.  She was getting constipated.  I had to take her to the doctor over and over because of it.  I kept thinking of Austin.  He would ask me for a diaper, hide in his room, poop and asked to be changed.  I was not sure if Kaleigh was heading down the same road ... flag #3.  I decided it was time to call the Psychologist and bring Kaleigh back into see her.

I met with the Psychologist who had assessed Kaleigh the year before. She was not worried at all that there was anything to be concerned about agreed to re-assess her.  She thought it was a good idea that I was bringing my "typical" daughter in just to check.  So, Kaleigh went in and was re-assessed.  Everything went well.  I was told that she was in a very high percentile for her speech and she was right where she should be as far as visual testing.  So, all good!  It was explained to me that "typical" people can do things like spin their wrists and it does mean anything.  It has to be coupled together with other things to become a concern.  I was never concerned about Kaleigh being on the spectrum but even if she was, I would want to her to have help as early as possible.  My concern was a sensory issue.  I wasn't sure if the wrist spinning was a sensory thing or not.

I received explanations for flag #1.  Kaleigh may have had trouble waiting because the other children were very slow and she excelled at gymnastics, oh yes, and well, she was 2!  ;)  Flag #2, she never did this during her assessment and I am a bit embarrassed to say that I may have jumped the gun since I rarely see her do it anymore ...  Flag #3, Kaleigh is completely potty trained.  She even stays dry at night, no pull-ups or rubber night panties and does not have accidents.  (Thank goodness because she does tend to sleep in my bed quite frequently.)  ;)  YAY Kaleigh!  I LOVE YOU!   Momma is so PROUD of YOU! :) OX

So, I have to admit, I let my paranoia get the best of me.  I really could not distinguish what was "typical" and what was not.  Even though, since Austin was a toddler, I knew there was something different about him, I just didn't know what.  I have never gotten that sensation from Kaleigh at all.  I guess it is hard to admit but sometimes I feel like I failed Austin.  Why didn't I see?  Why didn't I know?  It is a hard pill to swallow some days and very difficult for me to write down.  I did not want to ignore "little" things again just in case.  I am glad that I had Kaleigh re-assessed, even though people thought I was overreacting.  I feel I was just protecting and loving ...

All the best!  *HUGS*

Monday, July 11, 2011


Let's time warp shall we ...

"Flap-jumping" ... you might be wondering what I mean by this, or maybe not.  "Flap-jumping" is  what I use to describe what Austin used to do when he would get excited.  He would jump up and down and flap his hands (up and down from the wrist only).  Now, from what I knew at the time (Austin started this around 1 year of age), this was not "hand flapping" or at least that is what the doctor told me when I questioned if it was anything of concern.  You see, I was a very overprotective and nervous Mother when Austin was young ... not much has changed ... right Maven?  ;)  Well, okay, I am not as nervous.  Anyway, I was told he was just excited and I was worrying too much because I knew a child on the autism spectrum and well, I was overreacting.  Gotcha!  Okay, on we went, thinking all is well.  Right ... we know what it meant now, don't we?

I see children doing things like this everywhere.  At the pool, at gymnastics, at the store, at the park ... everywhere.  I flashback to Austin when he was a toddler and think of how he used to do this.  Sometimes he still jumps when he is excited, but he has to be really wound up to start jumping.  It is a rare occurrence. 

There is a reason I did this time warp post first ... stayed tuned for "Second Screening" coming up next!

*HUGS* to all! :)

Friday, July 8, 2011

Happy Birthday Baby!

I cannot believe it has been 6 years since I held you in my arms for the very first time.  I am writing this post just for you my lovely boy.  I adore you, I adore you, I adore you!  I am so very proud of you and Mommie is by your side to continue to help you achieve all the things you want out of life.  I will always be there for you no matter what, that's a promise!  I LOVE YOU so very, very much!  I am so blessed to have you and very grateful for you everyday.  BIG, BIG KISSES & HUGS my sweet boy!  Lots n' Lots of Love, Mommie  OXOXOXOXOXOXOXOX

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Problematic Printing

Yesterday I started working with Austin to help prepare him for school in September.  He will be entering Grade 1 and his academic skills are quite good; he can read, add and spell.  The challenge is writing, or printing I should say.  His capital letters are not too bad but the lower case letters, well, there is much work to be done.  I want help him as much as possible so his frustration levels will not skyrocket, and therefore, he less likely to become upset.

I got a notebook and wrote out "A" "a" "B" "b" all on separate lines so he could practice his letters.  Well, the "A" went well but when we got to the "a", he did struggle a bit so I helped him along.  We got through the "A" and "a" and moved on to the "B" and "b".  The "B" was not too challenging for him but the "b" gave a reaction I never expected.  It took all my might not to breakdown in tears!  This poor little boy, my heart just broke for him!  "I CAN'T DO IT!!!"  "I CAN'T DO IT!!!"  Over and over, he yelled and cried as tears streamed down his face.  I stopped and waited and started again, and again, and again.  I held his hand and helped him form the little letter but he still continued to get upset.  I could not get him to do one line on his own ... it seemed like it was mental torture for him; that is the only way I can explain it.  I don't want him to give up but I don't want him frustrated or crying his eyes out either.  My heart fell to my feet.  I told him he needed to take a break and we would try again later.  I gave him a little kiss on the cheek and my beautiful little boy grabbed a hold of me as he sobbed.  Oh my goodness, I could barely hold back my tears as my eyes flooded.  I held and cuddled him and told him it would all be okay.  Mommie was here to help.  He did go back later and finish with my help, without tears I am happy to report.

To me, this seemed like such a minor thing, learning to print.  I did not think Austin would have reacted the way he did and it was heartbreaking to see.  I felt so badly for him.  I know it sounds silly but I wish I could go to school for him, so he wouldn't have to endure this pain.  Of course I want him to succeed and be independent but sometimes reality hits me very hard and I wish I had the power to make it all better ...


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Hummingbird

My husband had a great idea a few weeks ago.  I was getting the hummingbird feeder ready to put outside for the summer and he suggested we put it up near Austin's window.  Awesome result!  Austin is enjoying watching the two hummingbirds that visit immensely.

There is a story to tell about one of the hummingbirds.  Austin LOVES Mario as you well know and he wears a red Montreal Canadiens ball cap due to the resemblance of Mario's hat.  The Canadiens are a big favourite when it comes to hockey teams here in Quebec, of course.  Anyway, Austin was outside playing near his window one day when a hummingbird came swooping down at his head!  The red ball cap attracting the hungry little bird.  Austin saw it coming and dodged it.  Surprisingly, he got a real kick out of the hummingbird thinking his hat was a feeder or flower.  He laughed when he said "Mommie, the bird tried to eat my head!".

I love to see the amazement on Austin's face when the hummingbirds hover to eat.  We stand together quitely to enjoy the site of these tiny flying jewels.  I consider it such a gift to experience the elation that crosses Austin's face when he sees these birds.  Truly wonderful!  :)

All the best!  *HUGS* to all!

Monday, June 20, 2011


The other day I asked Austin a question.  He told me the answer and a few minutes later I asked him the same question.  (I do this, I call it "Mommie Brain"! lol!)  Anyway, when he answered me the second time he said the answer and then "I just told you that Mom!".  I almost fell off my seat!  I was recounting the story to my husband when I asked Austin another question that we had previously discussed.  Again he said "I told you the other day that ... " and proceeded to give the answer.  This is a HUGE accomplishment for Austin!  Normally he would just give the same answer over and over.  Never let you know that he is aware he has been asked whether it was minutes, hours or days ago.  I am so pleased for him!  YAY for you buddy!  Mommie LOVES YOU! OX

*HUGS* and all the best!

A note to Jacquie:

I was so ready to write this post the other day.  I was so happy and excited for Austin.  I went and checked my blogs that I follow, most of them about Autism, and I came upon yours and read the latest post.  It took the wind right out of my sails.  You are a wonderful person and Mother and I just wanted to send you my best and let you know I am thinking of you and was so saddened to hear your news.  You always offer support and share your experiences with me, I am truly grateful to you.  I had to tell you how much I was affected by your post and how it touched my heart.  Sending you *HUGS*!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Tough Acts to Follow

I just got home from Austin's preschool graduation (he will be entering Grade 1 in September).  I am still trying to adjust to the fact that my baby will be 6 and in elementary school, it has all happened so fast ... sniff ... :(  On the other hand, I am very happy for Austin because he is so excited to go to "big school".  I hope that he gets as lucky with teachers there as he did in preschool.  I have to say, they are going to be tough acts to follow ... period!  I just adore these two teachers and consider Austin so blessed to have had them in his life for the last two years.

I will always highly recommend this preschool to parents; it is a great school!  (Kaleigh will be attending in September and she is so excited!)  I cannot say enough good things about Austin's two teachers and the preschool.  They have provided support, understanding, caring, guidance, patience and have given their own time to attend meetings that included Austin's team involved in his treatment.  They could have turned Austin away; they certainly did not have to take on the responsibility of a second year with Austin.  (There are plenty of "typical" children on their waiting list.) They could have said "no" but they didn't.  Words cannot express how grateful I am to these two wonderful women.  Austin's first experience with school could not have been better and I feel so lucky that they offered their hands to help in a time that was so crucial to Austin; to our family ...  They are forever in my heart.  They are the reason Austin was flagged which led to his diagnosis.  They stood by him and helped in every way possible.  It is to both of you that I would like to say, I am so very grateful and appreciate so much what you have done for Austin and for us ... THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!  *BIG, BIG HUGS*

All the best!  :)  *HUGS* to all!

Monday, June 6, 2011


A "time-warp" post!

When Austin was around a year old, he discovered fans!  We had them in our house, family members' houses had them, the hairdresser had ceiling fans, the stores ... everywhere there were fans and Austin LOVED them!  As soon as he saw one, he would run to it "FAN"!  It was almost like he was hypnotized by them.  I never thought this was odd, truly.  Just a bit worrisome if he started to touch the buttons and he may get hurt or break someone's fan.  No one else found this odd except Tink ... Tink picked up on a lot of Austin's behaviours and she was the only one who said that this indicated a problem ... I did not believe it at the time.  I just thought, he loves the motion of the fan.  Wrong ... again ... :(

Austin's fascination with fans lasted over two years.  We recently went to the hairdresser's (he has not really been there in a long time) and the hairdresser said, "Hey Austin, there is the fan you loved so much.".  Austin did not even bat an eyelash.  So I told Austin, "You used to LOVE fans!".  "Don't you remember?"  Austin barely acknowledged my question.  He did not remember.  Holy!  I could not believe it!  Hours and hours this child spent in front of fans and now, he couldn't even remember being so fascinated by them?  Completely blows my mind!  How something so significant for so long is now insignificant.

I guess if Mario needed a fan to get him to World 9, it would be a completely different story!  ;)

All the best!  *HUGS* to all! :)

Monday, May 30, 2011

Round 2 Goes to ... Austin! :)

Well, Austin is going to be attending the school we applied for ... YAY!  (He was denied last year.)  I filed for a "cross-boundary transfer" a while ago to request a school that is better suited for Austin.  I was so happy to hear that he will be attending there and the meeting I was at this morning, I have to say, I was very impressed.  The team I met with were very thorough, understanding, supportive and professional.  I am relieved ... whew!  I am so grateful that we have this option for Austin because we feel that introduction to school is extremely important for him.  Everyone that I met with this morning considers that a priority, I couldn't be happier!

We will still have to file the report from the Psychiatrist after Austin sees her to ensure the funding comes through for him (Round 3).  The school is going to file the documentation they have so far.  They really are being very helpful and I am so grateful.

I feel that even though I accomplished this goal, it is Austin who is the winner.  He will benefit from this placement, and well, that's what drives me, to get Austin what he needs to succeed.  I believe he deserves the best and what parent doesn't want that for their children? :)

*HUGS* to all!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Pond

A "time-warp" post.

About 3 years ago, just before Austin turned 3, I gave birth to Kaleigh.  She was just a newborn when someone very close to me came to visit with her children.  (I have altered her name in my posts to protect her privacy and call her "Tink".)  During our visit, my mother in-law came over (she lives next door) and asked to take Austin down to the pond.  (We have a pond just around the corner from our house.)  I thought it would be okay since I took Austin to the pond all the time and he was always good.  We would go and feed the ducks.  He really enjoyed it.  I didn't think twice about letting him go with my mother in-law since she spent a lot of time with him and she took him to the pond many times before that day.  Tink and her children decided to go as well.

Everyone got ready and set out for the pond.  I was taking care of Kaleigh (probably nursing because that's all she did for the first while, being a newborn).  Not long after, I heard this terrible screaming, crying and shrieking, like I have never heard before.  My heart fell out of my chest ... swear!  My mother in-law was carrying Austin and he was soaking wet!  OMG!  "What happened?!"  My mother in-law said that Austin had fallen in the pond.  How in God's name did he fall in the pond?!  Where was he standing to do this?  Where was my mother in-law at the time that he could fall in the water?  I was too scared to be angry.  I have never seen Austin so upset, and still to this day, never seen him this distraught.  It was truly frightening.  I got him out of the cold wet clothes (it was March/April and the water was very cold!) and calmed down.  Tink did not say much at the time.  I could tell by the look on her face that she felt badly.  Needless to say, I was upset that Austin was left by the pond on his own!  "What ifs?" went through my head for days and days ... I still do not like to think about this even now.

Eventually Tink told me that Austin had been standing by the pond and as she was heading up the road with her children she "saw" Austin run into the pond.  I thought, why didn't she run after him?  My mother in-law said that Austin "fell" in the pond.  My mother in-law was just up from the pond clearing a branch one of the other children had thrown in the road.  I could not understand why she would do this and leave Austin on his own near the water.  Tink's story at the time was meant to alert me to the fact that she believed Austin was impulsive and didn't know fear.  She felt he should be checked because he might not be developing "typically".  I did not receive this well as you can imagine and was defensive about the subject.  (Austin never missed a milestone and was always checked thoroughly by his doctor.)   I told her he had never, ever tried to run into the pond and I felt that he must have gotten too close and fell in the water.  Either way, I was furious ... he could have drowned!  The water is not too deep but you just never know!  There are logs and vines everywhere, he could have gotten caught and fell under ... I just can't think about it ...

What happened that day is still a mystery to me.  I have no idea what really happened.  All I know is that my baby was put in jeopardy.  I never leave Austin's side no matter what when we are out.  I hang onto him for dear life because I cannot trust what he may do.  It is true that 99% of the time, everything goes smoothly, but who wants to take the chance on that 1%.  Would you?  I think not. 

I decided to post this story because of little ones like Adam.  Anything can happen to our special little treasures and that horrible day showed me how a second or so could have changed everything I hold dear in my life.  I was just very lucky and blessed my son was okay. 

All the best ... *HUGS*

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Little Ones Lost II

I am so sad to let everyone know, that little Adam, who wandered off in April, was found the other day.  He drowned the day he went missing and he was recovered this past Tuesday.  How terribly sad and tragic.

I wanted to write this post for Adam and feel that awareness is so important to help keep these tragedies from happening again.  It only takes a few seconds, and they can disappear and be gone forever.

Poor Adam.  I am very sad that he passed away, just a baby ... my deepest sympathies go out to his family and all who love him.  I am so very sorry for their devastating loss.

*HUGS* and love to all.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Round 1 Goes to Mama GRIZZLY!

Well, I got a call from the school board the other day and it seems after they received my documentation, someone will be going to see Austin at his school after all.  I have to say, I am extremely pleased for Austin and very happy with myself.  I promised Austin I will fight with all my might and will continue to do so.  I want him to be safe and have help adapting to the new environment of an elementary school.  We will see what this woman has to say after her visit.

Hmmm, one question that I decided not to ask (I was trying to catch a bee with honey and bypass the vinegar ... lol) was why are they sending someone to see Austin now?  They cancelled because he does not have a diagnosis according to them.  Why the change of heart?  I find it quite strange since they were so adamant.  They know that he is to see a Psychiatrist soon, did that change their minds?  Or was it the thorough report the Psychologist wrote that I submitted?  I have no idea, and right now, I am not going to even bring it up!  Someone is going to observe him and that was goal number one ... YAY!  Achieved!  Maybe they just did it to stop the grizzly from roaring ... nah ... I haven't even started yet!  LOL!

*HUGS* to all!

Friday, May 6, 2011

The Sweetest of Hearts

One thing that remains consistent about Austin is his wonderful heart, it just oozes sweetness.  Even when I was pregnant with Austin, I would tell people that I had no idea what his personality would be like ("active' because he moved A LOT ... lol) but I knew he would be sweet.  That feeling stuck with me my whole pregnancy, this sweetness ... hard to explain, but I felt it.  He was a good baby too, a hungry one, but very good.  Loved to be held and cuddled, very sweet. :)

Yesterday was my husband's great Uncle's Birthday.  I picked Austin up from school and told him we had to drop a Birthday card off at our Uncle's house.  Austin proceeded to tell me that we needed "to bake him a cake".  I explained that we did not have time to bake one since we were on our way to his house right away.  Austin said (something like this) "Well, he has to have a cake for his Birthday, let's go buy him one!".  "Okay ... " I replied.  Austin said that "The cake has to have strawberries.".  So we went in the store and looked for a cake with whipped cream, strawberries and chocolate.  We purchased the cake and we were on our way.

I got to our Uncle's house and he was out for a walk.  Our Auntie took the cake and card and said "Thank you".  She expressed how touched she was and how happy our Uncle would be by the gesture.  As we walked back to the truck, our Uncle was walking up the lane way.  So I told Austin to go and wish him a Happy Birthday and give him a hug.  Austin, in true fashion, went running to our Uncle and jumped into his arms to give him a hug.  OMG!  "Austin do not do that ... you could hurt him."  Our Uncle turned 86 yesterday.  A very sweet, talented and good man.  Thank goodness he was alright and Austin didn't knock him over!  He was just excited to see him and wish him Happy Birthday.  He rarely gives anyone an open (front) hug, he will usually turn his back and people have to hug him that way.  Not our Uncle, poor guy got more than he bargained for!  Anyway, he was a good sport and told me it was okay and not to worry.  I told him we left him a little surprise inside and it was Austin's idea.  He was very happy.  So, a kiss, a hug and a Happy Birthday and we were on our way.

It is interesting to finally see Austin verbalizing the connections he's making and acting on them.  I have always known what a sweetie he is ... anyone who knows him will say that he is a sweet boy.  It is just nice to see his sweetness in motion.

*HUGS* to all!   Wishing all the Mothers a very Happy Mother's Day! :)

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Snapshot Shock

The other day I was going through different blogs and I jump around to find ones of interest.  I happened to pick one at random and this is how it went.

"Click"!  "Hmmm, that picture looks just like Austin at a year old ... really like Austin, OMG!  It could be Austin!"  That was the thought going through my head when I saw this picture of a young boy,  probably a 1 or 2 years old.  He was standing in front of a cupboard (almost identical to the one at Austin's Grandmother's house) and he had removed the cans and stacked them one on top of the other, like a tower.  This is exactly what Austin would do when he was this age.  The remarkable thing about the picture was the little boy was around the same height as Austin (at that time), had very similar looks, playing in the same type of cabinet (placement, colour and all) and had made a tower out of the same type of cans.  It was just like looking at Austin in a picture but it was not him.  I have to say, it freaked me out ... a lot! 

The thing that really hit me (because we did not think anything of this "game" Austin would play at that time) was there was a one word caption, at the bottom of the photo, that caught my eye after my amazement subsided ... "Autism".

*HUGS* to all!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Mouth on that Mario!

Not so long ago, I could hear Austin playing Super Mario Brothers on his Wii.  All of a sudden I thought I heard a swear word come out of my sweet little boy's mouth.  I was in my room, not too far from the living room, and got up right away and went in, "Austin, what did you just say?"  Normally, he would repeat whatever he said back to me.  Not this time.  Again, "Austin what did just you say?"  He replied "Nothing ...".  Far be it for me to repeat the word to him.  So I told him, I thought he had said a bad word and did not want to hear it from him again.  "Okay." was the only thing he said.

The other day, Austin asked me to play Super Mario with him.  So I did.  We were playing and trying to beat the "monster" at the top level of the castle when it bounced on Austin's character (Mario, of course) and he was knocked out of the game.  "SH#TS!!!" came right out of my son's mouth!  OMG!  I was shocked!  "Austin!  That is a bad word!!!"  "Where did you learn that word from?!!!!"  Austin's reply "From Mario, he says it!"  "No, Austin, I believe if Mario says anything, it would be 'shucks!'"  (I really have no idea if that is what Mario says or not.  I thought it was the only reasonable explanation at that moment.)  So, Austin is learning what bad words are ... he is even figured out it is something he needs to hide if it slips out.  So far I have got him saying "shucks" instead so let's hope that trend continues.

After the shock of this new behaviour wore off, I was thinking ... what does this mean?  I have heard Austin repeat a bad word in the past by overhearing adults talk (let's face it, things slip out sometimes and you can't always control what other people say around your kids) and never put it together.  This is a completely different ballgame.  He knows, I know he knows that this is something you say when you are frustrated.  Is this a speech development thing or a typical development thing?  I am curious to find out.  Bringing this up at the speech therapist's office next visit should be interesting ... I hope she doesn't ban Mario from the house! ;)

*HUGS* to all!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

No Envy Here!

The other day I was telling this story to my friend.  I think it is really appropriate for Autism Awareness Month.

Not so long ago, I was visiting someone very close to me and dear to my heart.  It was an afternoon visit (I do not do these often because they are harder on Austin).  We were delayed in leaving; never a good thing.  I try to stick to an hour or an hour and a half tops for a visit, especially with both children and when I am alone.  It goes much better if I stick to this plan.  So we were late leaving and well, things got a little hairy!  This is to be expected since Austin gets stimulated and tired.  Add Kaleigh to the mix and you get a three ring circus!  (Or maybe a two ring one in this case.)  I kid you not!

I went out and loaded my SUV with the kids' things and came back into the house to get them dressed.  I cannot even tell you how long this took, a long time ... more than 15 minutes, that's long for them.  Anyway, I eventually got them in the truck after a lot of counting and repeating.  I walked back up the driveway to say "goodbye" to this person I hold very dear to me.  Once I got there, they said to me "I would not want your life!"  I was so shocked!  I felt like someone punched my heart right out of my chest and it landed somewhere on the ground behind me.  It really, really hurt my feelings, and I said "How can you say that to me?".  "I LOVE my family!"  They responded with "I know, I just couldn't handle that kind of pressure, it's a lot.".  I guess I do not see my life the way other people do.  I just go day by day like anyone else.  Now I know this person did not mean to hurt me, I get that.  It is not their fault.

Before I left, I explained that this behaviour is expected by Austin because he is on the spectrum and this person is aware of this fact.  It doesn't matter though, sometimes it just doesn't seem to compute.  It does not stop me from trying to raise awareness and explain to people that Austin is reacting a certain way because he is on the spectrum.  People will "get it", or they won't.  I will not give up trying to get people to understand.  Knowledge is power people!

Peace and *HUGS* to all!  :)

P.S.  Thanks to Leslie for inspiring me to write this post. :)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Disputing The Diagnosis

Recently I have been reading other blogs written by people with children on the spectrum.  Most of them have something in common, schooling and the uphill battles they are experiencing when it comes to their children.  My heart goes out to all of you.  I truly feel for you.  The amount of frustration is overwhelming.  I have decided to share my story about Austin with you.  He will be entering the school system this year.

I live in Québec, Canada (a compromise I made when I got married, my husband grew up here, I grew up in Ontario ... my home).   This province is, well, frustrating to live in at the best of times.  They do things differently than the rest of our beautiful country.  Now, don't get me wrong, I am not bashing Québec, just bringing to light that there is something very wrong when this province is the only one that can question my son's diagnosis.  That's right!  Québec is the only province in Canada that does recognize my son's diagnosis of PDD-NOS.  Why?  Let me elaborate for you.  Read on ...

In Québec, you must have a Psychiatrist determine whether your child is on the Autism Spectrum.  A Psychologist's diagnosis has no value here in Québec.  So, my son must be re-assessed by a Psychiatrist.  The school board here will not accept his diagnosis until he is re-assessed and the diagnosis is confirmed.  It is truly frustrating!  I had already gone head to head a few months ago at a Special Education Advisory Committee meeting with a woman who was leading the meeting.  So, it had already been brought to my attention that this could happen, my son would need a diagnosis by a Psychiatrist to get the support and help he so desperately needs.  This woman I had been questioning, told me to "Bring it!" (doesn't she sound lovely?) at that meeting when I put up a fuss about the Psychiatrist and I told her "I intend to bring it!!!".  (I dropped off documentation this morning that was requested by the school board late Friday afternoon.)

Now, this is the part of the story where is gets really nutty!  Austin was seen by a team of Psychiatrists at CHEO prior to being sent to a Psychologist for diagnosis.  You see, the Psychiatrists (there were 4 of them evaluating Austin) could not say whether he was on the spectrum or not and needed to see someone who specializes in this type of diagnosis.  Okay, off we went.  Sure enough, he was assessed and as you are all aware, has PDD-NOS.  It is hard enough to deal with the shock, disbelief, pain, denial ... you all understand the process but to have someone come back at you and say, "Yeah, we don't trust that diagnosis.".  Surely, they jest!  Nope!  So, as I said to the woman who called me the other day from the school board (not the same lady from the meeting, I don't think she likes me ... LOL!), I am basically running in a circle.  Psychiatrists sent Austin to a Psychologist for diagnosis and now, Québec is sending him back to a Psychiatrist for a diagnosis, which they could not do the first time ... alllllllll righty then!

There is some very good news out of all of this craziness.  The Québec school board said Austin could see a Psychiatrist in Ontario.  So I called the Psychologist that diagnosed Austin and low and behold, they have just secured one for their team starting in mid-August.  Austin is on the list to see her.  YAY!  So happy about this since it will involve very little upset or discomfort to Austin since he will be going to the same place and knows all the therapists there already.  They are an exceptional group of professionals, not to mention, wonderful people!  I cannot say enough good things about them and feel very lucky to have them helping Austin. :)

So, we will wait and see but in the meantime, I am going to fight as hard as I can to get Austin a "temporary code".  That will ensure that he will get help until he can be re-assessed (and the report comes in).  You see, Austin is a flight risk, so I will fight as hard and as long as I must to ensure he is safe at school.  I am a fighter and will do my best for Austin, he deserves it!  The most important thing in the world to fight for and protect are our children.  So I am ready!  People say "Don't poke the bear!".  Well, someone poked this Mama Bear and it just turns out I happen to be a GRIZZLY!  "RAAAWWWWRRRRRRR!!!!!!"

*HUGS* to all

Friday, April 15, 2011

Putting 2 and 2 Together

A little story to make you giggle today :)

The other day Austin and I were leaving swimming.  I always let him get a little snack and a juice.  He passed his swimming level that day, so he got a bonus snack.  (WELL DONE LOVEY!  I am so PROUD of you!)  He got his snacks and then purchased his orange juice from the vending machine.  I told him, "Don't drink too much of that because you have to go to the barn to see Rogie (Grandma's horse) with Daddy, Kaleigh and Grandma.  I don't want you to have to go pee ... " Before I could finish what I was saying, Austin turned to me and said "There's a bathroom there, right?"  I was shocked!  It is definitely a new thing, making a connection and verbalizing what he has put together.  Not to mention, the way he said it, he was condescending ... LOL!  Sorry, but it was funny.  I responded with "Yes, they do have a bathroom there Austin, very good!"  He looked up at me and just said "Well?"  LOL!  It was just like him saying to me "Well then, what is all the fuss about?"  You had to see the annoyed look on his face!  It was AWESOME!  I know it sounds crazy but I also know some of you parents out there reading this will "get it"!

Have a great weekend everyone!  *HUGS*

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Tender Tears

After Austin woke up from his nap yesterday, he wanted to talk to me about what happened and why he was so upset.  This has not occurred before.

Austin started out by saying "Mommie, when I screamed for you, you came!".  "Of course, I came.", I replied.  He continued to go on about how upset he was that Kaleigh changed the station he was watching.  I took him back to my room to talk to him in private.  (Kaleigh is only 3 after all and I don't think that she needs to hear Austin discussing how upset he is with her.  She is a very sensitive child, no kidding, really sensitive.)  Austin sat on my bed and I told him to call me or just come get me if Kaleigh does something to upset him.  I explained that he does not need to get so upset, when I can intervene and fix things easily.  He seemed to understand what I was saying.  I asked if he was okay, and he said he was, he was not.  How can I tell?  Well, when Austin is still sad or upset he tries to say "yes" but his little mouth forms the saddest little frown you have ever seen.  Seriously, it could make grown men cry.  He tries to smile and put on a brave face but he is so upset, the corners of his mouth turn down.  He looks so innocent and sweet, not to mention disheartened.  Poor little guy. :(

I continued to talk to Austin, meanwhile, tears started to well up in my eyes.  I cannot help it.  (I wish I could put into words how much I cherish this little boy.  He owns my heart, he and Kaleigh.)  The more I spoke, the more I teared up.   I was only trying to reassure Austin that I am here for him, no matter what!  As tears started to roll down my face, Austin started to tear up ... he threw his arms around me and HUGGED ME!!!  OMG! OMG! OMG!  I just burst into tears!  (I am teary now!)  My little guy, who usually is so passive to sad emotions, or who will even who giggle nervously when someone cries, felt my pain!   Felt empathy!  Felt sad for me!  His emotions are developing!  It is so WONDERFUL!  Don't get me wrong, I am not elated because he is sad and crying, but because HE FEELS!!!  I cried on and off for hours lastnight ... it is such a breakthrough for Austin.

I feel privileged to have been the one on the other end of that hug and to share tender tears with my sweet, sweet boy!


Monday, April 11, 2011

Grasping The Growth Spurt

The last few days have been pretty tough for poor Austin.  He has been out of sorts and very emotional.  You would think by now I would know what is going on right away, no, sometimes it takes me a while to recognize what is actually happening.

When Austin goes through a growth spurt (it could be physical or developmental, sometimes it takes a while to figure out which one it is) he is very easily brought to tears.  The smallest thing can upset him.  Like today, Kaleigh changed the channel on the TV and the screaming and crying commenced.  OMG!  I thought someone was seriously hurt with all the yelling and crying.  I thought Kaleigh had hurt Austin.  I put my laundry down and go running.  Austin is sitting on the couch, next to Kaleigh, in full blown tears!  I ask him if he is hurt and he says "No, Kaleigh turned the station!".  "What?  Kaleigh turned the station and that is why you are so upset?"  Austin replies, "YES!".  Okay, time for a little separation to cool down.  Austin is screaming not to put him in time out ... I told him to go to his room, it is the only way I can settle him.  Kaleigh was put in time out too, separately, for changing the channel in the middle of Austin's program.  What transpires next, is tough, really tough.

I have Austin in his room.  I tell him that he cannot scream and yell over something that small, it really is unnecessary and since it is nice out now, all the windows and doors are open, people do not want to hear that screaming.  He is so upset and says that he cannot tell my why he is crying, just that he cannot stop.  (It is so hard for me to see Austin like this ...).  I tell him I will give him a minute to calm down and come right back.  Meanwhile, Kaleigh has made it to the potty and she needs help.  So I go help her.  Austin starts screaming and crying from his room, "MOMMIE HELP ME!  ANYONE, PLEASE COME HELP ME!!!".  OMG!  So I leave Kaleigh standing at the sink where she is washing her hands and run back to Austin, thinking he must have hurt himself or something ... nope, he is sitting on the edge of his bed crying his eyes out!  I shut the door and very calmly (you have to be calm, if you get upset, Austin will get even more upset) and say to Austin, "Please tell me what is going on?  I am trying to help, I am trying to understand, please help me.".  He insists that he does not know what is going on with him or why ... all of a sudden ... I "got it"!!!  A growth spurt!

This may sound a little crazy to all of you, but it is true.  This has happened in the past and someone told me that you think it is regression but it is not, it's progression.  It is true.  Changes in Austin's speech, comprehension or physical development would spark this behaviour.  How did I not know?  This started on Thursday with some acting out at school.  Friday he was really tired.  Saturday he was crying very easily.  Yesterday he was tired and sensitive and today, well, today was the BIG ONE! 

After I figured out what was happening, I took Austin to my room and cuddled him.  He kept crying for a while but eventually stopped.  I asked if he was okay and he said "I am really, really tired.", so I held onto Austin until he drifted off to sleep.  He is sleeping now, peacefully, behind me, in my bed.  Poor little guy ... it is so tough to hear him struggle to explain what he is feeling, it truly breaks my heart. :(

In a few days from now, a change in his speech or a return to his regular sleep pattern should tell me what kind of growth spurt he has just experienced.  Meanwhile, lots of cuddles, kisses and patience will help Austin get through this change.

I wanted to share this story, just in case you experience something like this, maybe it will help.

*HUGS* to all!

Friday, April 8, 2011


The other day I took Austin to speech therapy.  The therapist told me she is done with her recent speech evaluation.  She said that she will do an informal write up, so we can discuss what areas Austin needs to work.  We were sitting in the waiting room and there was another mother present so the therapist did not go into too much detail.  She did say that he is still struggling with the concept of emotions.  He understands "scared" because when she asked, he said he was "scared of thunder".  He does not understand "loved".  This, hit me like a brick in the face.  :(

The therapist explained that she had asked him if he feels "loved" when Mommie hugs him.  He said "no".  That instant my heart shattered!  OH MY GOD!  I cannot believe I am hearing this ... I know that he does not grasp the concept of emotions very well and this is expected with spectrum kids but to be honest, it didn't really help me feel any better about hearing this news.  I said "But he tells me he loves me and I tell him I love him all the time!" (Many times a day.)  Still, he doesn't associate this with being "loved".  I am heartbroken.  I know that my son is loved ... he knows I love him ... why doesn't he "feel loved"?

Later that day, I had to go to my workout class.  The minute I was alone in my car, the tears filled my eyes and I thought "What am I missing?".  "How can I get Austin to understand?"  "He doesn't really feel "unloved" does he?"  I can't even imagine him feeling this way.

The next morning I asked Austin "When Mommie gives you a hug, do you feel loved?".  Austin's reply "No".  'When Grandma gives you a hug, do you feel loved?"  Austin says "No".  I start rhyming off names "When Daddy?"  "No."  "When Kaleigh?"  "No."  "When your teacher?"  "No."  "When Nana?"  "No."  "When Grandpa?"  "No."  So I ask, "Do you hug someone that makes you feel loved?".  "Yes."  GREAT, I thought, so I asked "Who is it?".  Austin's reply, "My teddybear ...".  I was stunned!  (You know, my Father used to say to me, if I didn't want to hear the answer, don't ask the question!  I really need to listen to my Father more!)  I don't really understand this at all.  I am trying but I don't.  So I have started to explain what "loved" means and how Mommie and others show him love.  I think he is starting to understand a little.  It is so strange to me because when Austin is really upset about something, I ask him if he needs a hug and cuddle (he usually starts to cry ... poor little guy ... it's tough some days, he is just upset and can't say why, it's hard ...) and he comes running.  I never put him down or let him go until he is ready.  I always ask him before hand and he will say either "No, I need more cuddles Mommie" or "I'm good Mommie".  This is so tough ... I know he knows we all love him.  I know he will get it someday but it is breaking my heart for now.

The real crazy part of this story, when Austin was telling me he didn't feel loved by anybody but teddy, Kaleigh picked up my sadness immediately.  She ran to me, grabbed a hold of my legs, hugged me as hard as she could and told me "It's okay Mommie, I love you!".  Okay, now my heart is really mush!  Kaleigh is so in tune to people's emotions, it's wild!  Austin and Kaleigh are so different.  Austin is more like me and Kaleigh is so much like her Daddy.  They are both adorable children and I LOVE both of them so very much.  That is what is most important.

I wait for the day when Austin tells me ... "Mommie, I feel loved ..."  The day ...


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Little Ones Lost

I wanted to do a post about Austin but there is something that is just tearing at my heart.  There is a little boy, Adam, who went missing on Sunday in Laval, Quebec.  He is a darling little boy (just by looking at his picture) who is only 3 years old.  He is autistic, hearing impaired and has a speech delay.  This poor little child was outside playing (hide and seek) with his 7 year old sister, when his father went in the house just for a few minutes.  They were at a friends place situated on the water.  The sister went into the house to tell the father that she could not find Adam.  Everyone started to search, they could not find him.  The police and search and rescue were brought into find Adam.  It is Wednesday, he has not been found as of yet.  This, breaks my heart.

I have heard these stories many times, autistic children walking off and not coming back.  There was a little boy in 2009 found after spending 2 days in the forest right near his home.  He was suffering from hypothermia and brought to hospital but he sadly passed away.  His name was James, he was only 7 years old.  This is truly tragic.

In a newspaper article about Adam this morning, a program called "Project Lifesaver" was mentioned.  James' mother has been helping implement this program with search and rescue in Cape Breton since 2009.  It helps to locate people with Autism or Alzheimer's.  It uses tracking devices, which the person wears, to find them.  Sometimes within 30 minutes.  I think this is a great program.  Just think of the children that could be saved.  Not to mention the help it could provide families with people dealing with Alzheimer's.

I pray that little Adam will be found safe and be okay.  My heart goes out to his family and to Adam.  All of our children are so precious.  Please, let's do all we can to keep them safe. 

*HUGS* to all ...

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Museum to Monster Trucks

Now, the people who know me best will say I am a little overprotective (be quiet Maven! lol), true I would agree.  I would rather be protective than not!  Anyway, my head almost spun around 360 degrees when my husband said he wanted to take Austin to see the "Monster Spectacular" (monster truck show).  My first thought, "NO WAY!".  Well, after some discussion, I started to side with my husband and figured to give it a try.

I can only imagine what people reading this are thinking:  "This is the woman who brought an OT to a museum trip last week and now she is sending her son to the monster trucks?".  Well we got him protective ear wear!  ;) 

Okay, seriously, my husband and I feel we need to let Austin try things.  How do we know how he will react if we don't?  Monster trucks would not have been my first choice but he is a boy and does like motorcycles, snowmobiles, tractors, muscle cars, planes, etc.  He doesn't really seemed to be bothered by those kinds of noises but monsters trucks are a whole new ballgame.  My husband bought a pair of protective "ear muffs" (that is what I call them) for Austin.  Safety first!  We don't want him to hurt his ears.

It is a large arena where Austin will have to go to see the show, packed with people.  He did well in the museum, so I take that as a good sign.  The thing that has me most worried is the sheer size of these trucks!  Not to mention the transforming car crushing robot!  That thing is HUGE!  Oh, I hope it goes well!

If Austin becomes the least upset, my husband will leave and bring him right home.  That is where I will be, waiting and hoping that I see them come through the door with souveniers and not tears. 

*HUGS*  :)

Friday, March 25, 2011

Terrified to Trust

Yesterday I went with Austin and his class to a museum on a field trip.  I brought along an OT because I was unsure of how Austin would react to the surroundings.  It is such a big place and so much going on, I thought he may become over stimulated or overwhelmed.  We have gone in the past and sometimes his reactions were not favourable, just too much stimulation.  He would have to be carried out, crying, sad to say the least.  The good news is, he did GREAT yesterday!  He took part in the work shop.  He answered questions, stayed with the group and played right along with all the others.  Very great day in all.  He did not want to go to the live spider/insect exhibit, he was upset by that, so his OT and I took him to look at the rest of the museum.  He had a great time and we even met up with some friends from our neighbourhood who were also visiting that day.  Really quite a nice time and great to see how much Austin has developed and changed in such a short time.  WELL DONE BUDDY!  Momma is soooooooooo PROUD OF YOU!

So, what's with the title of this post?  Well, while we were at the museum, Austin's little friend's Dad said that he would be willing to take Austin to the museum one weekend with his son.  (I always get a chill down my spine when someone says this to me.  It scares me to death!)  I politely (at least I hope I was sensitive enough in my response) said that we do not let Austin go with other people.  I explained that Austin has PDD-NOS which is on the autism spectrum and well, we just don't know how he is going to react.  He could bolt from someone he doesn't know very easily.  It is not a good idea.  The trust factor is not there, unfortunately.  I feel this is the only way to protect Austin to the best of my ability.  I know it may sound a little crazy but hey, did you read the post about the street yard sale?  I just cannot bring myself to really trust anyone with him (his grandparents babysit him because they know him so well and he listens to them).  Miss Maven has babysat and honestly, she is one of the only people I would leave him with because she knows to expect the unexpected from him and well, she gets him.  We had someone come to our house to babysit (we had to do this on emergency one day when my grandfather passed away) and that was okay.  She is a member of our extended family and she is great with kids.  It went very well.  My issue obviously, is Austin going to someone's house or out with someone else.  Sometimes I really feel like this fear has taken over and I have no trust in anyone.  Sad, I know.

So, when will I feel like Austin should be able to sleepover or go out without me or my husband?  I have no idea.  I am no where near there and I think it is going to take a lot of time even when Austin is ready.  I fill with horrifying thoughts of the possibility that trusting him to someone else could end up in him being harmed.  I treasure him so much and would never forgive myself if any harm came to him.

I do welcome your comments on this subject.  Do you other parents feel this way?  I appreciate all your feedback.

Sending you all *HUGS* & LOVE!  :)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Mulligans 4 Mommies

I have wanted to do this post for a while.  I was at a meeting with Ms. Maven not too long ago when someone said "Parenting is a hard job, parenting a special needs child is even harder."  (Something close to that anyway.)  Now, we all have our days and some I am sure we wish we could "do over" (like my "time-out" day), so I say, take a mulligan, we all have at least one day I am sure we would like another whack at.  (My Dad is a golfer.  Can you tell? lol)

Motherhood, WOW!  What a wonderful thing!  Tough at times but look at the rewards.  I know a very lovely lady who believes that our special children are sent to us for a reason.  I believe her.  I really do.  I think that we have very good instincts and a lot of patience we did not know we had, we are special in our own right.  I also believe that if Austin, or a child like him, would have been born to someone like my mother, he would have been in terrible trouble.  Sad, but true.

I mentioned my mother in a post not long ago and think I should explain a little bit about her.  I am not going to really dwell on my childhood because, well, I let go of that a long time ago.  No, this is more recent.  You see, she has not seen Austin since he was 18 months old ... she has never seen my daughter who turns 3 very soon.  It has been almost four years since she turned her back and walked away.  Why?  Well, let me tell you ...

One of my siblings was going through a very difficult time and my step-father stepped into "comfort" her (not my word, my mother's).  My sibling accused him of harassing, stalking and scaring her out of her wits.  I believed her and told her to go to my mother and tell her (my other sibling advised her against it) ... I also told her to tell my father, she did.  (He's a good man and tried to help her.)  Anyway, my step-father denied and my mother believed him.  I stood up for my sister, and well, that's why my mother walked away from me.  That is not the part that really hurt me, it was the fact she walked away from my child ... she has also stayed away from a child she has never even seen but knows exists.  Truly heartbreaking ...

My sister and her children have been cut out of my mother's life as well.  My grandmother (my mother's mother) sent back pictures of my children at Christmas time.  (I have not sent any since and will never send any again.)  My mother's love comes with conditions, don't challenge me and well, I will love you.  (The woman has terrible mental issues.  I am convinced of that.)  My other siblings never went against her or my step-father.  They stayed neutral or didn't want to be involved.  No, just me.  I stood up for my sister and I would do it all over again.  You see, when she cried out to me for help, I believed her.  I think she was a very easy target at that time, and well, not such a nice person went after her like a wolf would a helpless lamb.  I do not blame my other siblings for not getting involved, that is their decision and well, I respect people's choices.  (My mother keeps close contact with their children though by visits, Skype, etc.  I am sure that helps with the facade that she is a good mother/grandmother.)  It is really too bad though, because well, I am a firm believer in "United we stand, divided we fall.".  If all of us had stood behind my sister, what chance would have my step-father had really?  Would my mother have turned on all of us?  Who knows?

So, I guess this is my roundabout way of saying, when you have a bad day and wish you could do it over, just think, everything is relative.  Look at what we deal with on a daily basis and we are there for our children no matter what.  See the courage all of you wonderful parents have and unconditional love for your special children, you are there for them.  It means so much!  They are lucky children and we are lucky parents to have them.  So maybe once and a while you have a bad day, what parent doesn't?  Remember, you are by your child's side fighting for them, loving them, never abandoning them like my mother did to her own children.  I can assure you, none of you would ever have to worry about being anything like her.  How do I know?  You wouldn't be here, reading this ... guaranteed.

One final thought, if my mother was your mother and she showed up at your door one day, would you grant her a mulligan?

Peace, HUGS & Love 

This post dedicated to you Tink!  

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Speech and Swimming

I have two things to address in this post, you guessed it, speech and swimming.

First, swimming.  I watched my wonderful little boy dive underwater and swim just like a little fish the other day.  I swear I stopped breathing for a second due to shock and happiness all at once!  BRAVO Austin!  Well done baby, I am so, so PROUD of you!  Just goes to show that our children can do anything, we may need to tweak things a little to accommodate them, but it can be done. :)

Now, speech.  Austin has starting telling me stories that he has completely fabricated.  He tells them as memories that have never occurred.  I have to say, it concerned me enough to tell the speech therapist about it.  She said it can be quite typical and not to worry but to make sure to tell her if it persists.  The problem is, he is adamant that something is real, or true, when it is not.  The good news is 99% of the time, they are happy stories.

This morning at breakfast, I spoke to a wonderful, wise friend, who assured me that even her child has told stories that were fabricated.  It made me feel a lot better.  It is just not something I am used to with Austin.  I told the therapist that I would not dwell on it and hope that it passes.  Poor little guy.  Sometimes it is hard to digest that he can be like an 8 year old one minute and like a 3 year old the next.  He is such a bright boy and his excitement to tell these tales is refreshing in someways ... his imagination is kicking in, and overall, I think that is a wonderful thing.

Thanks for the chat this morning A.  You really help me put things in perspective when my emotions get the best of me sometimes.  OX

*HUGS* to all!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Wii Wizard

My Dad and step-Mum bought Austin a Wii for Christmas (he only got it a couple of weeks ago due to scheduling and travelling issues though) and he LOVES IT!  (Thanks again Dad & Mum!) He can figure out the games all on his own and we have found out how much he loves sports (especially golf Dad, except, he thinks bogeys are cool ... sigh ....)

Since Austin was only a few weeks old, I noticed that some of the facial expressions he makes are like my older sister.  She is a Nintendo master!  I mean, her and my younger brother used to have Mario marathons for an entire weekend.  Coffee, cigarettes, pizza and Mario (I mean, it was the early 90s after all).  Anyway, I get such a charge out of seeing these little faces come to life ... it is like watching my sister play, he is really good, just like her.  It is too funny!  Kind of weird to see too!  He is having a blast though which is the important thing and he still likes his board games (which are all speech oriented) so it is a wonderful addition to game playing for him.

A bonus, Austin wants me to play Mario with him, giving me even more quality time with him, which I LOVE! :)  So what if I have to cuddle Kaleigh on my knee while I am dodging flying hammers from some cartoon turtle?!  LOL!

*HUGS* to all!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Undertaking of Understanding

As promised, let's time warp ...

Okay, this is how I ended up calling CHEO back about Austin to have his speech assessed, not an easy story to tell, or memory to relive, but here goes ...

When Austin was around 2 years old, I tried to put him in a time-out one day, easier said than done (this is not a proud moment for me) .  All I wanted the child to do was sit on his bed for two minutes, two little minutes!  Totally impossible, at that time anyway.  Why did I think this was important?  Because someone told me they thought that something was wrong with my child and he could not be controlled.  I took it as I was a "bad parent" and had no idea of what I was doing.  So, I figured, I can get this child to listen to me and stay in time-out, I am sure of it ... wrong again ... :(

I put Austin in his room, on his bed, over and over and over and over and over ... I could go on and on ... I became so frustrated ... what was I doing wrong, honestly, what?  It got to the point that I told him he was not coming out until he sat on that bed.  (I know, not proud at all.  The tears start to flow as I type this ... tough to look back ... tough ...).  I stood at the door holding the handle ... Austin started to cry ... I went in again and pleaded with him "Please, please, please just sit on that bed for two minutes and I will let you out!!!!".  Not a chance.  I went back for the door and turned to see Austin crouched down on the floor beside his dresser ... crying ...  I shut the door again and as I stood there listening to this poor child sob (for only a minute or so) when I felt like my mother overtook my body or something (she is not a good woman, and a terrible mother, I know that is not a nice thing to say but it is true ... that is a story for another day).  Now, if there is one parent that I want to be nothing like, it is my mother.  I took my hand off the door handle and shook my head "What on earth am I doing?  What am I trying to prove?"  I opened the door to find my little boy crying in the corner ... frightened ... yes, frightened (horrible, horrible feeling ...).  I couldn't believe the look on his face.  He had no idea what was happening and why.  I could see it in his eyes.  I called him to me and he ran into my arms, I scooped him up, hugged him and burst into tears!!!  I just knew, he didn't understand what was going on at all.  I still hold so much guilt over this day.   I never, ever tried to get him to sit on his bed for a time out again. 

As I said in my last post, Austin's speech improved.  The next time that it was addressed was when his preschool teacher told me one day "I don't think he understands".  OH MY GOD!  I looked at her and said, "That is what I have thought in the past".  What had I done?  Why did I cancel that appointment?  I thought because he didn't repeat anymore he was okay, well, he wasn't.  He was repeating to the teachers at school because he was anxious and did not know what was being asked of him.  My mind warped right back to that horrible "time-out day".  I needed to fix it.  I called CHEO back, booked an appointment.  The man I had spoken to previously had nothing but empathy and understanding.  He assured me, things would be okay.

After my call to CHEO, I went and found Austin.  I asked him, "Do you understand Mommie Austin?".  No response.  Again I asked, no reponse.  He would just look down, avoid eye contact.  I held his little face in my hands and looked at him ... I told him that I knew he did not understand and I was going to fix it, no matter what.  I would not stop, I would not give up, I would fight with all my heart to help him understand ... "I promise!"  He had a response "Okay Mommie ..." with a hug and a kiss, I held him as I sobbed and knew this was the start of our journey forward and we were in it together!

I ADORE you my little boy ... you are the gold at the end of my rainbow!  ;)  OX

HUGS to all!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

"Is There an Echo in Here?" "No Silly, That's Echolalia!"

It's time warp time!

It seems like forever but it is not ... it is only about 3 years ago that Austin would repeat what you said to him.  Especially questions and things that he just couldn't understand such as complex sentences or directions.  If you asked him if he wanted "orange juice or milk", he would reply "milk".  Switch the order around and he would say "orange juice".  This happened a lot, unless he was really adamant about having milk.  He could also recite parts of television shows or entire commercials by heart ... over and over.  I used to do it when I was little, so what's the harm, right?  Wrong!

Austin repeating back was not something I thought too much about since the dictionary definition of echolalia is quite harmless, basically it says children repeat what is heard as they are developing, to learn.  Well, the psychiatric definition is the opposite and there was nothing comforting in that definition the first time I read it, but I am getting ahead of myself a little.

One day, the gracious and lovely Miss Maven happened to be over with her wonderful boys.  They were playing and when I said something to Austin he would repeat the whole sentence or question.  I had just given birth to Kaleigh so Austin was just about to turn 3.  Maven heard this go on and said something like the following (not verbatim but close) "You should watch that.  I have a friend with autistic children that repeat, it is called echolalia."  I replied, "Austin is NOT autistic Maven!"  (Defensive much?  Uhhh, YES!)  I don't think that Maven was trying to imply he was but just wanted me to have it checked and I did.

I took Austin to the doctor.  He checked him and said, "I think it is just a mild delay".  I had expressed before that I did not think Austin spoke in a typical 2-year-old manner but he had such a large vocabulary, it was easily dismissed, not this time.  My doctor, who is AMAZING by the way, looked at my face.  He told me he knows that look and said, "Okay, let's send him to CHEO (that's the children's hospital here) to be checked, although I think he will be fine".  "Also, be warned, if they find a speech development issue, he could be screened for other developmental problems..."  I knew what he meant ... I went ahead with it anyway.

Austin was put on a list and we got a call a year later.  Guess what?  The echolalia stopped!  By the time he was 4, he rarely repeated at all.  He had trouble answering the some of the W questions and asking him "how" wasn't easy but I was relieved.  I cancelled his appointment with CHEO and thought that the days of echoing were behind Austin.  The man I spoke to on the phone was very happy for Austin but said, just in case, if there is something else that pops up when he starts school, they will keep him on a list.  This would ensure he could get an appointment right away ... I never thought I would be calling him back, but I did ... that, my friends, is a hard story to tell ... stay tuned...


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Freaky Faces

The other day I went to pick Austin up at school.  All the kids were in the back yard playing in the snow.  He came out to meet me and wanted to go around the corner to slide down the small hill the snow plow had made.  I told him okay and started to walk with him.  He started to sprint towards the hill (he is quite safe, there are only buildings around) and before I could tell him to watch out for the people coming towards him, he had his hand out in front of him yelling "EXCUSE ME!"  People moved (the people that know Austin) but this one man had the freakiest look on his face.  I laughed right at him, I couldn't help it.  It was just the way he was looking at Austin running at him, his hand and arm out in front of him yelling "excuse me" 20 feet away!  The ladies surrounding this man, were giggling too, but at watching Austin have so much fun, not at him running towards them.  Austin is just a fun and happy kid.  The other parents know this about him and they always smile when they see him play.  :)

Now, the laugh on my part.  I have no idea.  Is this my way of dealing with these flabbergasted people?  You know the ones, they make strange faces when they look at your child.  If it had been me, I wouldn't have thought anything of a 5 year old saying "excuse me" and running towards a snow hill, really, that doesn't seem odd to me.  Then again, I am a very unique individual. ;)  The fact that Austin finally looks out for people around him and tells people "excuse me" is a huge accomplishment.  He would normally mow you down like a combine at harvest time!  Maybe this man would have preferred that option!  ;)

*HUGS* to all!  Have a great day everyone!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Mmmmm-Mmmmm Milk!

Austin has always LOVED milk!  He also really likes dairy products.  The problem, put dairy products with food, and FORGET IT!  Bummer!  :(

Austin has been eating cereal dry for 5 years.  I have tried every kind of cereal that I thought would appeal to him.  Add milk to it and he won't touch it.  Now Kaleigh, on the other hand, likes food and cereal, well, she LOVES it ... with milk.  The other day she was eating her cereal and going "Mmmm-Mmmm, really good!".  Austin saw this and said "Mommie I want some cereal with milk too!"  I was stunned!  I asked him "Are you sure?".  "I want to Mommie!"  Okay, he asked me for some Lucky Charms (which I do not give him everyday, he eats Raisin Bran normally but he wasn't going to school so I thought, why not?)  I poured the cereal, then the milk and waited for a negative reaction, I did not get one.  He looked at the bowl, picked up his spoon and stared for a few seconds at the cereal floating (I thought, here we go ... sigh).  For some reason, I thought about the marshmallows ... he loves marshmallows, and said "milk makes the marshmallows soft" and just like that, away he went ... he LOVED it!  YAY! :)

Alright so maybe Lucky Charms was not the best cereal to use but hey, I have been trying for years to get him to eat milk and cereal together ... Maven, you get me right?  So I figure, with baby steps I can slowly work up to getting him to eat his Raisin Bran with milk.  To me, for Austin, this is a huge accomplishment.  That may sound silly to some people but when you have a child who barely eats anything, it is a big, big deal.  Oh yes, no Fruit Loops though.  They are banned from this house.  If Austin eats those, we might as well give him Cheesies for breakfast ... also banned!  We don't want an aerobic breakfast ... ;)

*HUGS* to everyone!  :)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Give Credit Where "Credits" are Due

Time warp time! :)

Since Austin was an infant, he has loved TV.  Even at a few months old he would sit in his little swing and watch Baby Einstein.  People would say not to let him do that and others encouraged me since he was quiet and content.  Now, we did not plant him there all day or anything but he would happily sit and watch the DVD once or twice.  What harm could it do?  He loved the puppets and music, so I figured, why not?

Once Austin got a little older, he started to watch Pixar movies.  He really liked Monsters Inc., Finding Nemo and Toy Story.  The interesting thing was, he really liked to watch the end credits.  At the time I thought it was the music he liked because he would dance and try to sing.  The older he got, the more he would skip through the movie to get to the end.  Once the credits started, he was captivated.  (Believe it or not, this is how I think he started to read.  Yes, he started to read single words at 3 years old.  Now he can read books!)  I really had no idea at the time why he was so interested in the end credits.  Even when people said to me that they thought it was odd, I really didn't because he did not seem obsessed or anything, just happy to watch the words go buy and expressed which songs he liked and didn't.  Nothing to worry about right?  Well, maybe ... at least in this case.

Sitting where I am now, I truly believe Austin was enticed by all those letters on the screen.  He could decifer the alphabet really early on and love letters and numbers.  I think that the simplicity of it calmed him in someway.  As a toddler, he rarely sat still to watch an entire movie, until the end credits started to roll.  It put a whole new spin on "zoning out" for me.  Once the DVD was finished, he would start it all over again and skip through the movie to get to the credits.  (He never got upset though when we turned it off.)  I guess his favourite part was trying to figure out who was responsible for Woody's hair and make-up ... ;)

*HUGS* to everyone!