Sunday, December 29, 2013

Calm Christmas

I have blogged before about how Austin is affected by Christmas.  The excitement factor is exponential for him compared to any typical children I have ever met.  This year, we did things differently.  I am not sure how well it was received but Austin being the priority, peoples' reactions were something I would take in stride.  I wanted to him be happy and calm, and we succeeded.  YIPPEE!

This year, I did not decorate or put up the tree until three days before Christmas.  It helped keep Austin from being excited and anxious.  We decided we would have a very quiet Christmas, only the four of us for the day and for dinner.  Austin had asked if there was going to be a lot of people at our house for Christmas and if he could have a "safe zone" if that was the case.  I told him "no" it was just us this year.  He seemed very relieved and Christmas was calmer and quieter than ever.  Austin did have some small bouts of excitability but nothing compared to years prior.  It was nice to see him so content and not anxious.  We did go next door for a short visit to open some gifts and that seem to stimulate Austin more than opening gifts Christmas morning.

Yesterday, we went to see my parents, Austin did very well.  He is always a little more excited to see my parents since he does not get to see them as much as his other Grandparents and they have a Border Collie that Austin adores!  Austin needs to be reminded to sit and not bounce off my parents furniture but other than that, I was amazed at how calm he was and did not think that the quiet Christmas would still be working its magic.  He seems very happy and has not mentioned any kind of anxiety about Christmas.  It is very nice to see and even if it was hard for some of our family not to see us, it has been worth it to see Austin so content!

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and wishing you all a Healthy and Happy New Year!

All the best! *HUGS*

Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Noise Maker

Austin is a very happy boy.  He loves to laugh loud, talk and whistle ... A LOT!  The last few months, if Austin is awake, there is noise.  He gets up in the morning for school and whistles until we leave for school.  OH MY!  I have to say, it is a little nerve racking.  Do not get me wrong, I am happy that Austin is in such a good mood all the time but it is kind of like living with a character from a Disney movie.  This is a phase too .... right?  :D

A Little Less Restriction, A Little More Freedom ... Please!

Austin is now 8 years old.  He has changed a lot since he was first diagnosed at 4. He craves his independence and wants to go off and do things without me attached at his hip, not an easy transition for this Mama!  I am, you will be happy to hear, letting him do more things on his own and allowing him the freedom he requests, within reason of course.

It started with Austin at his cross country run in October.  This was extremely stressful for me.  A 2 km run (that is 1.2 miles for my friends in the U.S.) in the woods on a mountain!  OMG!  I thought I was going to have a heart attack!  My baby, on his own, running through the mountains.  Granted the course was taped and marked but still, I had terrible thoughts of him getting off course and we would have to start a search party.  His running coach ensured me Austin was doing great and there were no concerns.  Rrrriiiight ...  There were many schools involved and Austin's team took off from the starting line and I cheered a screamed for him! RUN!!! RUN!!!  GO AUSTIN!!!  I told him it did not matter if he finished 1st or last, as long as he tried his best and he did!  I saw him head into the woods and I swear I stopped breathing, praying he would come out the other side of the markers.  Low and behold, just a few minutes later, there he was, running out of the woods!  Red faced and in the middle of the pack, I could not tell you how PROUD and EXCITED I was to see him!  Not to mention, very relieved!  He crossed the line and got his oranges and water.  I was so happy and proud, hugging and kissing him (embarrassed the poor guy I am certain, but hey, what do you want, I love that boy!).  Austin could not figure out why I was making such a fuss.  I explained to him, not so long ago, he would not have followed that trail and we would have had to search the woods for him!  He thought I was crazy!  He thought that idea of that was very unrealistic.  At that moment, I realized, I am still protecting him like he was 4, and, he is not.  I needed to let him have a little more room but still be close by.  I am a bit overprotective! ;)

The Halloween Dance was the next time we had to go somewhere and he wanted to go and get his  drink and ice cream, alone!  I was in the gym talking to my friend (Kit) and explained to her that Austin had been out to get his own glow in the dark bands and drink and I was nervous but allowing him to go and do it himself.  He returned multiple times from going out in the hallway to get drinks and snacks.  It was very stressful for me but after he returned the second time, I was okay.  I thought, he really can do this himself and I should not place doubt where it does not belong.  He is aware of how the social game is played and having me hovering over him is perceived by classmates.  I did not want to embarrass him by my presence and he had a lot of fun, so did I!

In the morning, I have to drive Austin to school, every morning I would park my car and walk him to the school yard.  I started to notice the way some of the kids looked at me and Austin and very few parents do this because it is a senior campus, grades 3 to 6 only.  I asked Austin one morning, if he would like me just to pull up to the side of the school and he could get out of the car by himself and go to the playground on his own?  (I can see him running to the playground from where my car is stopped right next the the school yard.)  Of course he wanted to, so each morning this is his new routine.  He is always smiling and happy in the morning and loves the fact that he is getting to do more things without his Mama right beside him.

Even though letting Austin have more freedom is not easy for me, it is really helping him feel more confident, that is very important for him as he develops ... I think anyway.

All the best!  *HUGS*

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Social Qs

It is interesting to see the changes that occur over time.  Austin has always struggled with social cues.  His little sister gets these cues easily.  She actually uses her awareness to protect Austin from situations she may consider risky.  My husband and I watched her push Austin back one day at the park when he tried to go to the swings where some preteens were hanging out and talking.  There was no real danger, since we were right there, but she knew the potential.  Sometimes it is hard to see a 5 year old looking out for an 8 year old but I am glad she does, she is very protective of Austin.  They love each other and care for one another, they do fight like all siblings but their connection is special.  I am very grateful they have each other.

I had the chance to go to Kaleigh's school the other day to carve pumpkins.  I got to meet all her little friends, and her little "boyfriend" (she has a Kindergarten crush ... so cute!  My husband doesn't share my opinion on that one!).  She chats back and forth and introduces me to all of them.  It is very different with Austin, he has people come up to me and tell me they are his friend and when I ask him who they are, most of the time he responds "I don't know".  He has never put a lot of interest in other people.  There are kids at school that do really like him and he is starting to change.  The social game is tricky, as we all know, and Austin has decided, he wants to play.

Austin likes girls and expresses this to me and his Dad.  One girl in particular, he has liked for quite some time.  He told this girl that he likes her, not exactly a predictable move when it comes to Austin, but I guess he felt he really needed to tell her.  This was his first real encounter with rejection, since she does not feel the same way.  "That is alright", I told him.  My Dad always told me "There are plenty of fish in the sea." and he was right, he is right a lot of the time.  (He isn't going to read this blog post, right?)  There are girls always smiling at Austin and hugging him.  I am shocked at how these girls actually jump on him and knock him to the ground!  Kaleigh and were stunned one day when a little girl at school did this to him.  She still really likes Austin.  He is a very cute boy, not that I am biased or anything. ;)  There is a problem, Austin still likes this other girl.  (School day crushes.  I had a crush on Elvis when I was 5!)  He believes you can make someone like you if you are sweet to them by buying them flowers and candy.  I try to explain to him that it does not work like that.  You cannot "make" someone like you.  He read somewhere that if you are nice to someone, they will like you.  He does take things literally.  Oh boy ...

We got an email a couple of weeks ago from his teacher saying that Austin was behaving very inappropriately.  A few emails back and forth and figured out that Austin was copying what the other boys were doing to try and fit in at school.  We did have a discussion and the behaviours stopped.  We decided to get another classmates to help Austin with social situations and help understand what is acceptable and what is not.  He is really becoming aware of things that may cause him to be embarrassed.  For example, I accompanied him to his school dance the other night (parents have to be there with the child) and I sat down in a chair on the side and watched him while I chatted with a friend of mine.  Usually, he would go in and dance all night, not this time.  He and a friend he was hanging out with met up with a girl and they went off together.  I could tell Austin did not want to dance alone and I was not going to suggest to dance with him since I know that would not go over well at this age by his peers.  I told him to go ask one of the girls to dance, he said "no".  (I think because the girl he really likes was not there.)  He told me he had wanted to go home and he was tired.  I asked him twice if he was sure and he said he was and off we went.  Once outside, he told me he did not want to dance alone and had no one to dance with.  I said "Well, I did not think you would want to dance with me now that you are 8!"  "Oh Mom!  I would be so embarrassed!  No, I do not want to dance with you!  The kids would think that was not cool!"  I think my eyeballs shot out of my head!  To hear him say this to me and realize that he is starting to take the social part of life very seriously, just blew me away!  I am happy, excited and scared all at the same time.

For Austin to finally take rejection or social acceptance seriously means he can get his feelings hurt.  I know we all do and it happens to everyone but for him, he usually does not care, so this has me worried.  I think it is great he wants to make friends and be part of the group but he cannot read people well and that is the scary part.  All I can do is advise him when I can about what to do and continue to communicate with him as much as possible.  I have told him over and over, he can tell me anything.  This morning, he was to wear his costume to school for Halloween, he asked me right before he had to get dressed if he could tell me something, of course he could and he did.  He told me he was "too nervous" to wear his costume to school (it is a surgeon).  I told him he did not have to wear it if he did not want to.  He did not want to risk being embarrassed.  No problem.  He went to school dressed like a regular day.  This made him comfortable and happy.  I am so glad that he feels he can talk to me.  I can only pray that he will continue to do so and that way, I can help him as much as he needs me to!

Wishing you all a very safe and HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

All the best!  *HUGS*

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Sad for Sibling

I am trying to cope with some major Mommie guilt after yesterday morning. Kaleigh started Kindergarten Friday of last week.  Austin and I waited with her at the bus stop, she got on the bus and we drove to her school to meet her.  (She would not let me follow the bus, out of the question!)  She is so BRAVE!  She got on no problem and followed all the rules.  WELL DONE!  So PROUD, can you tell? ;)

Yesterday morning, I explained to Kaleigh that I would be driving Austin to school (they go to two separate schools) and I would not be able to meet her at school, was she okay with that?  I told her the teacher would be waiting for her and she could line up just like the other day only Mommie and Austin would not be there.  She said she was fine.  Alright, I thought, she really is a trooper!  I admit, I was still kind of unsure but I had to take Austin to school (he does not get a bus) then take him to his appointment later.  Everything was going well, Kaleigh and I were waiting for the bus and it arrived, just before she got on she said, "Mommie you are coming to meet me at school, right?"  OMG!  My heart fell out of my chest and hit the ground!  My reply "Uh, no baby, remember I told you I cannot meet you this morning because I have to take Austin."  I have this image that flies through my head, remember the Brady Bunch and Jan said "Marsha! Marsha! Marsha!"  Sometimes I think Kaleigh must feel that way about Austin because she does question why I have to take him to speech, tutors and appointments.  Sigh ... this makes me so sad!  I spend a lot of time with her, but I was really not prepared for how this situation made me feel.

When I go to appointments, I can always have Kaleigh with me.  She has always been able to be with me.  Yesterday, there was just no way I could be in two places at once. After she boarded the bus, it was all I could do to fight back the tears.  I kept thinking, she is just a baby!  She is only 5!  SHE NEEDS ME!  I was always there for Austin.  I am always there for Austin now.  I felt like a bad Momma!  I felt so sad for Kaleigh.  She did not cry or anything and followed the routine no problem and had a great day but I still could not shake that sad feeling.

Am I being crazy?  (Alright, try to resist people okay?)  I spend probably more time with Kaleigh than I do Austin (he likes his alone time) and comes and tells you when he wants a cuddle or will just pop up and chat with you, or help in the kitchen.  I feel like somehow Austin's needs and my attention to them is going to backfire.  I reassure both my children how much I love them.  They know, of that I am sure.  Is Austin's autism going to drive a wedge between them?  Is Kaleigh going to resent me, her Dad or Austin?  She questions a lot of things about Austin.  I answer them very simply and say, it is who he is, just like you are who you are.  She never questions that answer.  She is a bright girl.  They are both very smart children.  I am blessed. :)

This morning, Kaleigh did not ask me if I was going to meet her at school as she boarded the bus.  She gave me a kiss, a wave and smile for Grandpa's camera.  It is hard to watch my baby walk up those steps all alone and be so independent.  It is hard to let go!  OH MY!  I had no idea it would be this HARD!  I am so pleased for Kaleigh though, she is starting her own journey and I am grateful to be her Mother! I LOVE YOU Kaleigh!  Momma is SO PROUD of YOU!

All the best! *HUGS*

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Reassurance Brings Relief

Austin went to his appointment this morning.  I am relieved to say that the psychologist does not think there is anything to worry about at this time.  I am very happy to hear that news!

All the best!  *HUGS*

Monday, September 2, 2013

Alien Anxiety

A little while ago I blogged about Austin having nightmares that he thought were real, I took him to his speech pathologist since the psychologist was away and everything gotten straightened out quickly.  Very happy about that!  A little while after that, Austin started to say he believed "aliens lived in the bathroom".  Every time he had to go to the bathroom, I had to stand in there or in the doorway to ensure he was "safe".  This frightened me!  I thought, please, please do not tell me he is starting to have anxiety!  I have struggled with anxiety and it is horrible!

After about of week (not everyday) of waiting in the hallway and bringing Austin out of his room to fall asleep (he believed that the "aliens" were hiding in his room at night), things started to subside.  I had already contacted the psychologist's office and explained the situation when it arose.  (I contacted a friend of mine and she assured me, it would be best to have him seen, just in case.  It never hurts to ask someone who has been down the road before you and has experience with autism.  Thank you for your help, I really appreciate it! OX)  When things seemed to calm down, I contacted the office again and said things were better and could I get an appointment just to make sure everything was fine.  We were placed on a cancellation list and got an appointment, so I booked it.  I have been referred to as a "pro-active parent" (I wonder if that is code for "pain in the butt!), I just do not like to let anything go or dismiss things that I believe might be an issue.

I talked to Austin yesterday about going into see the psychologist to talk to her about the "aliens".  He said told me that was back in June and he was over it.  I asked him if he would still talk about it with her to ensure everything is okay.  He said he would.  Thank goodness!

I will say, I believe he must still have some fear because he does run out of the bathroom in the early evening and at night quickly.  He shuts the door and does not call out or anything but I worry he may not want to admit that he is still a bit anxious.  He seems to have a lot of pride and does not want to be embarrassed either.  I just want him to feel comfortable and be as happy as he can be in every way.

I will post an update after the appointment tomorrow.

All the best!  *HUGS*

Thursday, August 29, 2013

First Day Fears

I just arrived home from dropping Austin off at school for his first day of grade 3.  I brought him to the school's office to meet his aide to help him get settled with his supplies and ensure things go smoothly.  I am a nervous wreck!  I always am when Austin is in a new environment and I am not around to hover over him, protecting him from any kind of bullying.

It is sad when you think that most parents are so excited to see their children go off to school (don't get me wrong, I am not saying they do not worry but not on the same level).  Kaleigh starts school tomorrow and I am both thrilled and sad because she will be going to Kindergarten and will be away from me everyday.  (Okay, let's not go there because, I will cry.)  When it comes to Kaleigh, other than she is shy (I will make sure she is settled in okay tomorrow before I leave her at school), I do not have the same fears as I do for Austin.  When it comes to Kaleigh, I pity whoever would pick on her, not a good plan.  That girl don't play!  She comes to win, at any cost!  She does not take anything off anyone!  She is not someone who will go looking for trouble but if it comes to her, well, she is going to give it right back.  Not the same for Austin, he is a target.  I watched Kaleigh "protect" him this summer.  Telling him it was not safe to go near the teenagers in the park and to wait until they left to play.  If people pick on him or hurt him, she runs and tells the ladies at day camp or if I am there, me.  She is so protective and fearless, for a 5 year old, it is truly amazing.  I am so PROUD of her, just as much as I am PROUD of Austin.  I am blessed, I have great kids! :)

I sit here blogging, worried and praying that Austin will be okay and no one will hurt him.  I watched that new movie "Bully" and it broke my heart.  I cannot believe that children can be so cruel to others.  Austin is at a campus with only grades 3 to 6, that strikes fear into me that I cannot even put into words!  I pray he will be safe and no one will cause him any harm.  I pray he have or make a friend to play with during recess.  I pray things will be different this year.  I pray he will be happy!  I pray ...

All the best!  *HUGS*

Monday, August 5, 2013

The Referee

I have become a referee.  Certainly their are tons of parents out there that wear the black and white stripes 24/7 too!  How long does this last?  Fighting, fighting, fighting!  OH MY!  My children are not together more than 2 minutes and they start to fight.  What is going on this summer?  I feel like Alice when she fell down the rabbit hole!  My kids have always bickered back and forth, but this is a completely different level of battle, seriously! :(

My strategy is to separate the kids.  One in one room, one in another.  Kaleigh usually wants to be back with Austin within a few minutes but then it starts again almost right away.  It is not the bickering as much as it is the physical attacks the two kids launch on each other.  One hits, the other one bites!  Austin is getting better at calling me if I am not in the room to say that Kaleigh is bothering him (she is always on top of the poor guy, she cannot sit alone, she is always right beside him, he has a lot of patience, relatively speaking).  I used to fight with my siblings too when I was younger and am aware that kids do this but we are trying our best to stop it.  We realize they are always going to bicker but the physical stuff, well, it needs to end.  It is not necessary and we worry about one really hurting the other, even if they do not mean to, it can happen and I do not like to see my babies hurting each other.

For now, separating the kids seems to help and keeping my black and white jersey on at all times!

All the best!  *HUGS*

Light on Listening

Oh my!  So I get that my children are 5 and 8 but I think they have turned off a button somewhere that involves responding when spoken to.  It is stressful and we are trying our best to correct the situation.

We went to a family party yesterday and it was hard to get Austin to listen.  He becomes very stimulated by all the people and does not really like to be around all the socializing.  There was a pool and Austin and Kaleigh brought their suits.  It was cold here for August 4th, only 20 degrees Celsius (68 Fahrenheit), the wind was blowing and it rained on and off as well.  When the sun was out, it was warm.  I was a kid too once and all I would want to do was get in the pool, that was Kaleigh and Austin's primary focus, POOL TIME!  After a while, we did let them go in and swim.  Some others got in to swim as well.  They were all having fun.  It started to rain lightly, then harder so my husband and I decided it was time for the kids to get out of the pool and go inside.  Kaleigh got out pretty quickly but Austin, he would just not listen.  I finally started to count and tell him if he did not get out of the pool, he would not be able to go in again and he needed to listen.  He did eventually get out of the pool.

I know that sometimes people may think our expectations are too high but my husband made a good point when we were discussing the kids' behaviour this morning.  What if something happened that was an emergency or the kids had to get out of the pool right away or move out of the way to avoid something?  It does not seem to register that there could be danger and we need them to do what we want when we ask.  This summer has been really a challenge as far as behaviour goes and struggles abound.

We are determined to keep at it and ride through this "phase".  It is really not easy but then it is not easy for any parent, is it?

All the best! *HUGS*

Monday, July 22, 2013

Promoting Propriety

Austin's party was Saturday.  It was not what it should have been.  Only 2 boys showed up out of 10 children that were invited.  I did receive a call from a parent who said her children were not be able to attend, that was weeks back, and I thank her and the parents that responded to the invitation, too bad they were the minority.  It is so sad in this day and age that people do not seem to care about proper etiquette.  No to mention, so disrespectful to Austin!

I was very disappointed this weekend.  I could not believe that 6 adults could not email or call me to tell me their children would not be attending the party.  I asked for an R.S.V.P. by a certain date and included the information to reach me.  Even if the children did not want to come, for whatever reason, and I am not saying that is the case, they did not show up.  I am not upset at them, it would have been nice to know and I always respect someone and let them know if I am coming or not.  My kids invitations are always confirmed by a requested date and if we cannot attend, we always purchase a gift (I do not expect that from other parents but I feel it is appropriate since that is how I was raised).

I am still stunned!  Thank goodness Austin was not really upset about it.  He was so happy about the Radical Science guy that spent an hour making bubbly potions in our living room, that he really did not care, or at least that is what he has told us.  Kaleigh, on the other hand, had many questions about why people did not come to the party.  I told her that people must be away for vacation.  Something simple for a 5 year old to understand.  Being the bright star she is, I do not think she believed me.  She keeps questionning here than there about it so I just say "I do not know".

Austin had fun and got a new 3DS (flame red) that he really wanted so he is very distracted and happy with it.  I was more upset for him and thought that what happened was very disrespectful.  I am grateful my parents instilled manners in me and I pass them onto my children.  To me, even if I may seem old fashioned, etiquette is important.  Too bad not everyone feels that way.

I wonder how one of these parents would have felt if it was their child's party?  I hope that they never find out.

All the best!  *HUGS*

Friday, July 19, 2013

Seeking Solitude Selectively

Austin has been at a local day camp for the last few days.  We decided that since he needed "time alone" and wanted to "be away from Kaleigh" we would let him go to camp and it has really helped his behaviour.

I do realize that a lot of these new behaviours are consistent with an 8 year old boy but it is a hard adjustment when you are used to quiet and laid back child.  I am talking him through different things and trying to get him to understand just because a character in a book says or does something does not mean it is appropriate in real life.  He seems to really take the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books to heart.  I took them away for the time being and he has picked up his books of facts, all kinds of facts.  He really enjoys books like that and the interaction is good for him when he gets to discuss all the stuff he has learned.

I get that Austin likes his time alone, he always has but sometimes I still find it upsetting and sad.  I could not leave him at camp this morning without a heavy heart.  All the other kids were off in different groups playing, Austin walked around to each group and looked at what was happening.  He never said a word to anyone.  I told Kaleigh to wait and wanted to see what he was going to do.  He settled on getting the toy ramp with cars and play by himself.  This really hurts my heart.  Even if it does not bother Austin, it hurts that no other child gets up and comes over to see if he wants to play with him.  It is not like other kids do not play with him or anything all the time, it is just hard for me to see this isolation.  I wonder deep down if it does bother him, even if he says it doesn't?

Tomorrow is Austin's Birthday party.  I invited 10 children.  I have heard back from only 3 people.  I sent out an invitation with R.V.S.P. by July 14th.  (I always RSVP, always!)  He is having a Radical Science party (a chemist comes to the house and does neat experiments for the kids) which the parents know since it was on the invitation.  I have to know how many children are attending, as of today, I know of 2 that are coming.  My head goes into overdrive when stuff like this happens, I wonder if the kids do not want to come, if the parents just do not bother and I am going to have all the kids arrive tomorrow?  This, is the exception for Austin, he is worried himself that people will not be coming.  On a typical day, he is fine with playing with or without other kids but this party is very important to him.  I am praying that it will all turn out fine and he will have a super day!  All I can do is pray and wait ...

All the best!  *HUGS*

Friday, July 12, 2013

Rooting for Rocky

I am so glad that my Dad made me sit through every Rocky movie (numerous times I might add) because right now, I realize how much it affected me, in a positive way. That character had so much heart, he would not be defeated, he persevered.  I strive to be like that, not to be defeated, to endure and be victorious!

What am I babbling about now, right?  Well, the last few weeks Austin has been out of school have been a complete eye opener!  I did see the psychologist and she assured me that a lot of what is going on is typical behaviour.  After seeing her though, Austin started to have nightmares.  Nightmares he thought were real!  The psychologist is away so I contacted Austin's speech therapist and brought him to see her.  He felt better after talking to her, YAY!  So HAPPY about that, one down about a million to go!  Okay, an exaggeration, but it feels that way! :(

Poor Austin, I feel like I do not recognize this boy.  Where is my sweet, easy going, fun loving, helpful, laid back, polite, happy boy?  He is loud, he lashes out, he is doing rude things, inappropriate things, he is impatient, unsettled, talks back ... oh my, the list goes on ... :(  Do not get me wrong, that sweet little guy is still there but whatever is going on with him now seems to be overpowering him.  I have been slightly distressed and almost felt defeated ...  almost ...

After an incident today (something I will not go into but it was very inappropriate), I was upset.  I felt lost.  What am I doing wrong?  What is going on?  How can I change this behaviour?  How could I come this far and feel like I cannot do anymore; give up?  Me?  Give up?  NEVER!!!  So, I put my Rocky boots on and went into talk to Austin ... one on one.  I asked him to tell me what I can do to help him with why he is acting out so much.  Tears filled his eyes as he explained that he needs more alone time apparently, alone time without his sibling, it is making him "crazy" he cannot deal with it.  I devised a plan to ensure that he will have some more alone time and more one on one Momma time.  I do not believe I can turn everything around at once, but I am certainly going to try, one thing at a time.

Thinking of those Rocky movies today reminded me how much heart it takes to continue even though you know what you are fighting for is exceedingly TOUGH!  There is a light, coming from inside of you, shining out.  You can see the glory, for the battle you are set on winning.  You run up the stairs one at a time until you reach the top.  You strive for the best and you can obtain it.    "You can do anything you put your mind to", my Dad always told me.  I learned that he was right.  I am stubborn and persistent; I will not give up!  Thanks Rocky ;)

All the best!  *HUGS*

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Topsy Turvy

Yesterday I picked Austin up at school, just like I do everyday, his teacher was waiting to talk to me.  Austin, had not had a good day.  For starters, he got frustrated when playing basketball and did not want to leave the gym; the teacher had to count down to finally get him to leave.  He was not listening to the aide either.  He snuck back into the school during recess to get his coat because he was cold, going back in without permission and was hiding from his teacher under bean bags in the classroom.  Sigh ... poor teacher ... poor aide ... :(

Lately, Austin has been a bit off character.  The last time he presented any "rebellious" behaviour it was because he was being bullied.  That, apparently, is not the case, but I am getting ahead of myself.

After I picked up Austin yesterday, I asked him what was happening, why was he being disrespectful and disobeying the rules at school?  He said "Because my brain is topsy turvy!".  "What?  Topsy turvy?" I replied.  He said "yes".  He went on further to say that he was bored of the school rules and it was almost the end of the year and he had had enough.  Well, that is not how it works I explained to him.  He said that he was so bored of the rules his brain is upside down, "topsy turvy" he kept saying.  I told him that he is to listen to his aide, teachers and staff at school.  He pouted, but agreed.  He is to apologize today to both ladies for his behaviour.

Both my husband and I were talking lastnight about what happened yesterday and decided to ask Austin if he was being picked on again, he said "no".  We asked who he was playing with at recess and he said "nobody" (I ask him this almost everyday.).  He just plays on the structure.  He finally said "I want to play hockey!"  My husband told him he would get a stick for him for next year since school is out in 3 days.  (I am a little scared with Austin taking part in a playground hockey game, I worry he could get hit.  I am not very trusting of other children sometimes when it comes to Austin.  Past experiences have dug in and made me this way.)  My husband seems to think it will be alright.  I pray he is correct.  This may be part of why Austin is acting the way he is lately.  When he becomes frustrated, he acts out and does not want to listen.

My husband and I have an appointment with the psychologist tomorrow, we have been booked for months.  We are going to try and get some answers to why Austin is not listening, hiding, he running around screaming, mocking people and he hits his sister when she "bothers" him.  So much going on and we are looking for answers.  Most of the time, he is so laid back and a very sweet boy.  Something with his development must be happening, we just do not know what it is yet.  I pray tomorrow we will get some answers.

All the best!  *HUGS*

Thursday, June 13, 2013

"I Spread My Wings"

"I Spread My Wings" this was the theme for Kaleigh's preschool graduation today.  Beautiful message and theme, butterflies and balloons everywhere.  It was very special to me, not just to see Kaleigh ready to soar and have wonderful new adventures but what the school and teachers have meant to me, especially Austin.

It was all I could do to hold back tears through everything today.  (Although I did not make it, talking to one of the teachers just did it to me, tears.)  I feel like leaving the preschool is very difficult but I will carry the experiences with me always.  Had I not sent Austin there, who knows how long it would have been before we would have taken him for a diagnosis?  All the tears shed, all the struggles, the hard days and the good days.  The day I heard "Autism".  It seems like so much happened and involved this little school.  I am so grateful for it, forever ...

I am indebted to the teachers at the school.  They are both exceptional women.  So appreciative to both of them. :)

Well, this door is now closing and new one opening.  Just like the caterpillar turning into a butterfly.  Everything will be brand new.  Kaleigh will start school full time in September.  My baby is a big girl now.  Time passes too quickly.  I am lucky that my children were fortunate enough to pass some time with you C & F.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart ... for everything ...

All the best!  *HUGS*

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


You know, some times I think about how my parents used to say to me "Just wait until you have kids!"  In their minds, payback for all the stress I caused them and well, there was P-L-E-N-T-Y!  I was also boy crazy from the get go!  My poor Father, I still have no idea how he endured my craziness, and many boys pursuing too.  If it is any consolation, Austin has inherited that gene and is girl crazy.

Austin has talked in the past about "crushes" and he is going to "marry" a certain girl but not so long ago he came out and said, "WOW!  That girl is SEXY!!!"  I turned around and said to him, "What did you say?" His reply, "You know Mom, sexy, S-E-X-Y (watching him spell it out to me slowly almost made me pee my pants, it was hysterical!)  So I asked, "Okay, what does sexy mean to you?"  He replied something like, "Well Mom, it is a beautiful girl who is blond, tall and skinny!"  Oh my!  I explained that there are many sexy and beautiful women out there and they are not all tall, blond and skinny.  So I asked him, all sorts of questions about different types of women and he definitely makes a distinction between beautiful and sexy.  I guess I was surprised that he had such an opinion on the subject.

Interestingly enough, the little girl he adores, has sandy hair, wears glasses and is just adorable.  He also has admirers and it is cute to see girls batting eyelashes at him.  I always get a giggle when he tells me he is going to marry this sweet girl when he gets older.

My advice to my sweet son is no matter what, when it comes to real love, inner beauty trumps sexy ... as it should.

All the best!  *HUGS*

Friday, June 7, 2013

Situational Struggles

I received a phone call from Austin's teacher yesterday, he really struggles with situational math problems.  We have been trying all year to help but it is very difficult for him.  It really broke my heart to hear that he gave up and did not want to finish the exam even with the teacher there to support him.  It is hard to hear that he is so frustrated and I remember how hard it was for me and I used to give up too.  I pursued getting help for Austin to keep him from feeling the way I did when I was young.  Don't we all want that for our children?  I understand his frustration and we will get him help through the summer to try to overcome this obstacle.

We are, as always, very appreciative for the great support and understanding J gives Austin! :)  Thank you so much!

All the best!  *HUGS*

P.S.  Austin tells me all the time, "Winners never quit and quitters never win!"

The Scale

A little while ago, Kaleigh, who was not in a very good mood at the time, said typical 5-year-old not so nice things to me because she could not have her own way.  As she went on hurling hurtful words at me, I kept tiding up and not responding to her comments.  Austin sat there watching this transpire.  Kaleigh settled down after a few minutes and Austin said to me "Mom, my scale just went higher." "What scale Austin?"  "The scale that measures how much I love you."  "What do you mean?"  "Well, whenever Sissy (Kaleigh) says mean things to you, my scale just goes higher and higher and my love for you gets bigger and bigger (he holds his arms out as far as he can stretch them to show me how much)."  "Oh Austin, you are too sweet."

It seemed so interesting to me that Austin, who is not usually big in the empathy department, witnesses this behaviour and he feels for me.  It is just too cute!  Keep in mind, when I fall on my behind, he laughs his head off!  One thing at a time I guess.  I am not fazed by what Kaleigh says, and well, she is 5.  She is a pistol but she is also a sweet little doll too.  I am very grateful for both my wonderful babies.  My scale is endless ...

All the best!  *HUGS*

Thursday, June 6, 2013

"Wee" Wishes

Austin never ceases to amaze me, he is so sweet!  The other night, Kaleigh, who usually sneaks into bed with us no matter if we put her back to her bed, again and again, finds a way into our bed.  I normally give her a cuddle at night to settle her while Austin reads or watches his iPad.  A couple of nights ago, Kaleigh came down with a nasty cold so she went to sleep early.  A knock on my bedroom door and low and behold, it was Austin.

My husband and I told him to come in and he asked for a cuddle since Kaleigh was not taking up Momma's cuddle time tonight.  No problem, I said, "Come on Dude" and in he hopped!  He has always liked to be cuddled but rarely approaches me for one, goodness, he is almost as tall as I am now!  I was cuddling him when he told me he had a wish, I asked what was the wish?  He said "I wish I was small again so you would cuddle me every night!"  Awwww, my heart just melted!  I told him he does not need to be small again for that ... :)

All the best!  *HUGS*

Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Bike

I wanted to make sure that I documented a very important day, Austin rode a two wheeler yesterday ... we are so PROUD of him!

It has not been easy for Austin to learn how to ride a bike but we got one that was lighter and a bit smaller which made for easier handling.  We still need to work on his focus but he did AWESOME!

Mom and Dad LOVE YOU so much and HIGH FIVES!  :) OX OX

All the best!  *HUGS*

P.S.  New posts coming soon ... :)

Friday, April 12, 2013

Intensifying Imagination

The promised post!

I did a post sometime ago about Austin telling little tales mostly about the invisible man, when he first did this, we found out that is was a good sign of development.  Well, he has gone from a 2 to 10!  His desire to conceal the fact that he cut his hair was extreme for him, very out of character, but a good sign.  When he tried to conceal something else, I decided to confront the situation, not letting him know I knew about his haircut.  (What he was trying to hide is trivial but could be sensitive to him so I will not disclose the facts, just to say, it was not a big deal.)  Austin and I had a chat so we could resolve the situation.

I questioned Austin on why he wouldn't tell me about such a small thing that really was not an issue at all.  He said because he thought he would get "in trouble" and be sent to his room for a time-out.  He also was afraid of losing his Wii or DS.  I asked him, would he ever be in trouble for something so insignificant, he said "no" so why wouldn't he tell me?  (He rarely gets a time-out, it is usually if he and Kaleigh are fighting.)  I explained to him that I did not want him lying to me and trust is very important.  Lying can hurt trust.  He trusts me and I trust him, that is important to him.  I told him we had discussed enough at that time and would talk about it after school.

I took the kids to school and after I dropped Kaleigh off, a light bulb went off, I got it!!!  The night before I heard Austin crying in his room so I went to see what was wrong.  He told me he was afraid.  Afraid of what?  Spiders.  (Oh those spiders!)  He believes that there are spiders coming out of the ceiling where a repair was done.  There are not but he is convinced they are creeping around his room.  He went on for a few minutes describing in detail how they come out and go all over the walls.  Really?  I was floored on the amount of small details he described, it was astonishing!  I told him that there are no spiders but this did not settle him so I took him to my room and let him play on my computer for a while.  He was distracted and there was no talk of spiders for the rest of the night; he went to bed without incident.

After I picked up Austin from school, I asked him if he was afraid to be in his room for time-out if he got in trouble.  He said "No!  I am not afraid of anything!"  The way he said it was with such pride and bravery.  Then, he squeaked out, without almost missing a beat, "except spiders ..."  He told me he is only afraid of the spiders in his room at night but he is not afraid of anything else!  Not only is his imagination, speech and comprehension developing but now bravery too!  A lot of changes, all wonderful!

Austin is doing much better and we have had no problems with the spiders.  We put up a moon light over his bed that comes on automatically when it gets dark.  Way too bright for those creepy spiders!  Austin is sleeping soundly and is as happy as ever! ;)

All the best!  *HUGS*

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Promised Post

Sorry everyone for the wait and the post I promised is coming up next.

All the best! *HUGS*

What if it Was Your Kid?

This morning, I spoke to the aide that helped Austin yesterday.  The story she told me was a bit different than Austin's, it was more involved.  After hearing what transpired, I got upset, tears overtake sometimes.  The aide is very understanding and a really great person, I appreciate her very much.  Austin teacher also deserves a huge pat on the back because she is just AWESOME and does such a great job with him!  Thank you ladies!  I am grateful to both of you! :)

Right now, I am beside myself really.  I try to instill good values in my children; compassion for others, celebrate diversity, respect others, be fair and "do onto others as you would have done onto you"!  (I was raised very strict Catholic.  My Momma didn't play!)  I believe that it is important to treat someone how you would want to be treated.  Who wouldn't?

Talking to Austin lastnight, explained that what is happening is not right.  He should not be mistreated that way.  I do not want him to start treating people how other people are treating him.  It is very important to me that he remain sensitive and learn to socialize properly.  I do not want him to dictate and try to get control because someone is trying to do that to him.  I hope that my talk and guidance made an impression and he follows my advice.

I really want to address what makes these children like this?  Is it the parents?  Are they instilling this attitude in their children?  Even after Austin got his own ball, a child that wouldn't let him play and rejected him, went after his ball.  What is that? Seriously?  I grew up with kids who picked on others that were different, or smaller. (Goodness, I was targeted all the time, it is not easy growing up with red hair, freckles and glasses!) As I got older, I questioned why these kids did these things.  I believe, that insecurity, and not enough attention or love could be the reason.  Is it possible someone is bullying them and they are acting out?  How would one of these parents of some of the boys from yesterday, feel if it was their children being treated like Austin?  Even when Austin conformed to what they asked, they still reacted negatively towards him.  It think that is cruel and totally unacceptable behaviour.

I say to all the parents out there, what if it was your child that had autism?  What if he was called names on a daily basis and bullied?  What if he wasn't allowed to play? What if he did play they way the other kids wanted and he still was mistreated? What if you had to watch your child alone because no one wanted to be near him because he was different?  What if he did not want to tell on anyone because he was afraid of repercussions?  How would all of this make you feel?

It is with all my heart that plea, encourage acceptance and celebrate diversity.  We have the information, tools and power to allow for change.  Please, if it was your child, would you want them to be treated like mine?  I certainly would not allow my child to treat yours that way.

To all of the wonderful children who have extended then hands in friendship to Austin, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. :)

All the best! *HUGS*

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Got Game but No Play

Sorry, I know I promised to do a different post but needed to get this down today.

Austin came home with a tennis ball in his bag so I asked him where he got it.  He told me that it was given to him by one of the aides at school.  Why?  He told me that he had been trying to play with some other boys over and over and was told that he could not play with them.  The aide felt for him and gave him a ball of his own. This still really hurts my heart, every time I hear that he is rejected repeatedly, it just breaks me.

On the other hand, I get it, I really do.  I understand how children can be, especially at this age but that does not really help the sting and frustration I feel.  Austin does not always communicate rejection.  He told me that he did not want me to go and talk to the Principal (like the time the bully kept hitting and hurting Austin, both my husband and I went to see her).  I suppose he does not want the boys to get into trouble or more attention drawn to him.  I would not go that far, I may talk to the aide who saw what was happening and gave Austin the ball.  Some of his friends came and played with him.  I am truly grateful for what she did and will thank her tomorrow, with a hug too of course.

Oddly enough, I was just thinking this morning, since the weather is nicer, I would get Austin a ball to play with at school.  He usually has one once the snow starts to melt.  (There is a chance we could be getting snow later in the week, how I envy you my American friends!)  I guess I should have acted sooner ... should of, could of, would of ...

I wish that Austin was not so ostracised.  It is tough to watch him run off all alone most of the time.  I  know that he has a lot of kids at school who really like him.  His motor skills are not the same as most kids his age so he has to work a little harder at it but given the chance, he can do it.  The little athletes get frustrated and I do not expect them to understand but to see your son pushed aside is not easy.

On a lighter note, my husband got Austin and Kaleigh a mini-4wheeler.  Austin can drive it like nobody's business.  Too bad he can't take that to school! ;)

All the best *HUGS*

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Secret Stylist

Austin cut his hair the other day at school.  He has no idea we know and we promised his teacher that we would not tell him, he told her he would be in trouble, he would not.  He wanted it concealed and even LIED about it ... yes LIED!!!  This thrilled us all!  Sounds crazy, I know but it really isn't.  It is evidence that he is developing.

Austin never lies.  He tells the truth.  The child cannot keep a secret EVER!  I cannot even buy a doughnut without him telling my husband.  There are small things like Birthday presents or things like that he will keep to himself but he always has to let a little out of the bag to bait you.  For Austin to have kept his novice attempt at styling a secret, well, that is news.

Austin not only lied to me when I asked if anything happened at school, he lied to his Dad as well.  His Dad took him to the barber a couple of days later to have his hair cut and well, fixed (it really wasn't that noticeable, and according to Austin, he told his teacher it was too long and needed to be cut when asked why he did it) but Austin told the barber the truth!  The barber asked if he cut his hair and he said "yes".  His Dad mentioned to Austin after that he thought he heard the barber ask if he cut his hair and Austin replying "yes", Austin denied it!

We decided to let this one go and I even discussed it with Austin's speech therapist. We do not really find it a big deal and she didn't seem too concerned either just happy that Austin is developing.

This morning, I found out that Austin hid something else from me.  I questioned whether letting the haircut go and not confronting him was the correct decision.  I do not want him to keep things from me and trust is a very important.  I did question him about the situation this morning and it took me a while but I figured out the motivation behind his behaviour.  That, is another post.  Stay tuned!

All the best!   *HUGS*

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Working Out the Wolf

Austin has achieved so much in that last few years.  He can read so well but to comprehend and describe stories, especially chapter books, is a challenge.  The other day I met with his teacher and she had to show me his wanted poster which includes a description of the big bad wolf from Little Red Riding Hood.  I am really amazed at how well he worked it out, and of course, he has he own unique spin on it. I just LOVE how he makes me smile!  I hope it brightens your day too!

It reads:

"The wolf is super wild because he will eat you!  the wolf is also rude inappropriate words!  he is sneaky because he took granny out of the house he is also lazy because he needs sleep  He is also naughty because he was going to eat red!  the big bad wolf is wicked because he will grab you!  Look out!"

WELL DONE Austin! :)

All the best!  *HUGS*

P.S.  Thank you J! :)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Aspiring Artist

The psychologist went to Kaleigh's preschool to observe her and she said there was nothing that concerned her about Kaleigh.  I was very relieved!   I know that I can overreact but Kaleigh is very shy and opposite than me.  She is very much like her Father, really, they look alike, they like the same things and she is very shy, just like him.

I have to remind myself that Austin is a book worm and Kaleigh is a little artist.  I think for just turning 5 (yesterday actually), she is doing really well.  She loves to draw, paint and be all around creative.  Sad that my Mother is not around to see it because she is a lot like her in that way.

So, everything is fine with Kaleigh.  One of her teachers described her as sometimes being "intense" and was not sure if that was the right word or not.  No, it was the right word ... she definitely is a pistol.  We did get a few suggestions from the therapist and we meet with her in a few months, before Kaleigh starts school, to make sure her transition into Kindergarden goes as smoothly as possible.

Thank you for all your kind words, support and understanding!

All the best!  *HUGS*

(A self portrait by Kaleigh)

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Tunnel Vision

Lastnight I spoke to my husband about Kaleigh.  We both feel that so much time is spent helping Austin that we have not put the time in to make sure Kaleigh is where she should be for her age.  Things like spelling and numbers came so easily to Austin, it is more of a challenge for Kaleigh.  She is definitely the hands on and artist in the family.  Where Austin has strengths, Kaleigh has weaknesses and where Austin has weaknesses, Kaleigh has strengths.  They are polar opposites.  They are both very bright, just in different ways.

I am not as sad this morning.  I do feel a lot of Mommie guilt because I think that I have let her down.  Spending a lot of my time helping Austin and taking for granted that she is "typical" and does not need help, not like Austin anyway.  My husband and will put in time with her to bring her up to speed.  The child is as sharp as a tack and we feel she can learn these things easily, we just have not given her the chance she needs or deserves.  Sometimes it is really hard to admit that you made a mistake or taken something for granted.  I am there today but we will do our very best to get Kaleigh to the place she deserves and needs to be.  We love you Sassy! :)

All the best!  *HUGS*

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Hurting Heart

Today I took Kaleigh in for a speech assessment.  She has had two falls and lost some front teeth because of them.  I started to become concerned about her speech so I took her in today to be seen.  It wasn't too bad but the speech pathologist did have a few concerns.  We are going to work on somethings and bring her back to speech to make sure her speech develops properly.

When the speech therapist was speaking to me, she mentioned that she had a few concerns about Kaleigh's academic development.  There are a few things, not two pages worth but a few.  This is important because Kaleigh's preschool expressed concerns about her back in November.  After listening to the teacher, I decided to have the Psychologist come in and she will be there on the 16th of March to observe Kaleigh.  We are very interested to see what she has to say about Kaleigh.

Today, I came home and I am alone, which does not happen often, but the kids are out with Grandma for a while.  I became very sad so quickly.  I guess the pain of going through Austin's diagnosis is surfacing.  Thinking that Kaleigh may face some challenges, not the same, or as severe as Austin, but something, is crushing my heart.  I am surprised at my reaction.  I have prided myself in taking things in stride and being so headstrong, I run at things head on!  I know the sadness will pass but it is tough.  I will fight just as hard for Kaleigh as I do Austin.  Whatever may come of Kaleigh's evaluation, I know I can deal with it.  Some days though, I feel like my heart could drown in my tears ...


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Growing Up is Hard to Do

The other day we went to the mall, all four of us, to get Kaleigh's haircut.  She goes to a special place that caters to children.  It is pretty neat.  Next door to it is an indoor playground.  I usually let her play for a while after her haircut; there is a height restriction.  Anyone taller than 50" cannot enter.  Guess who was very disappointed?  That's right, Austin.

When Austin walked up to the sign and was well above the limit, he realized that he would not be able to go in with Kaleigh.  Oh boy, it was not a happy moment, not at all.  Poor Austin started to cry and I took him over to the food court to settle him down.  Meanwhile, my husband took Kaleigh into play.

I sat and cuddled Austin and explained that there are somethings he cannot do because he is getting so tall.  He is growing like a weed!  It was not easy for him to understand that he could not go in and play.  Oh my, it really broke my heart to see him cry like that. :(  The people around us watching and wondering why he was so upset.  I have gotten used to it and can ignore the comments where they used to really get to me.  Interestingly enough, because Austin is crying softly and not melting down on the floor, the comments were not the same.  They were sympathetic.  That's a switch!  Austin hid his face from everyone because he is starting to be embarrassed.  This is new behaviour for him.  He eventually stopped crying but only after I had finally figured out how to put a real positive spin on the fact he could not go into the playground anymore ... Disney World!  Good old Disney World!

I told Austin that me may not be able to go to the small indoor parks in the mall anymore because of his height but that it would benefit him when we go to big amusement parks.  He will be big enough to go on the big rides because he is tall enough " ... like at Disney World!"  That is what popped into my mind.  The smile on his face was all the reassurance I needed that all would be well.  He knows that we are going to try to make a trip to Florida in the next couple of years and also looks forward to the big rides at the local exhibitions.  My husband will go on with him! :D

There is one thing that will be a challenge, Kaleigh is only about 43" tall.  Well, you can win them all! ;)

All the best! *HUGS*

Delightful Dining at a Compact Christmas!

We had almost 20 family members over for Christmas dinner this year.  I have to say, it went pretty smoothly.  I was not expecting Austin to deal with the situation as well as he did.  Very PROUD of you Dude! :) OX

To start, we have a small house, it is very homey and quaint.  Almost everyone who comes to our house says that it makes them feel "welcome" and it is "cozy".  The wood stove in the living room helps.  Did I mention that is where we served dinner with two, or was it three, tables put together?  Oh well, I was busy cooking and getting the dishes organized.  It was pretty full in our little house but I believe, that is what makes some of the best Christmas experiences.  It is wonderful to have a whole bunch of family all together, so what if it is on the "cozy" side.  Well, unless you are dealing with a child on the spectrum, then it can be a challenge.

We told Austin that we would be having a lot of people over for Christmas dinner.  He did not react well to the announcement.  I thought "Oh boy!  We are in trouble now!"  I thought he would be bouncing off the walls, literally.  He was discussing "safety zones", not a term we ever heard from Austin.  The weeks leading up to Christmas Day, we thought it was best not to continue to talk about how many people were going to be here.  Austin approached me Christmas Day to talk about dinner.  Oh my!  I thought he was going to want to leave the house at first.  He was very agitated that all these "strangers" he called them, were coming into "his house".  I told him that they were all family and not to worry.  He was concerned that there were way too many ... well, it would be a full house for sure.  He did finally settle out when I reminded him that his "safety zone" was my bedroom and he could play on the computer and lock the door to keep people out.  He calmed down right away.  I thought, "That was easy, too easy".  I was sure he would get upset, I was ... wrong.

Once people arrived, Austin went to play in his room with Kaleigh.  They have a Wii, so they played for a while and were really good.  The house was filled with family when Kaleigh realized one of the cousins had brought a mixture of soda pop.  We had coke and ginger ale, things like that but you know kids, soda pop is much more appealing when it has colour!  Orange pop, grape pop, cream soda, root beer, the kiddies hit the jackpot!  I do not let Austin have this too much because he reacts to the dyes in the soda, especially anything red.  They asked their cousin if they could have one and she said it was fine so I thought, well it is Christmas.  I am sure my husband was wondering what I was thinking.  Anyway, they both had two pops each throughout the whole evening and Austin was fine.  He came out to have a bite to eat.  He does not eat Christmas dinner so I prepared something separate for him.  He went to my room and played on the computer, to his "safety zone".  He was pretty calm and very well behaved all night, Kaleigh also.

We all sat down and had dinner.  The food was great!  Everyone brings a dish and the hosts make the turkey.  Everyone enjoyed dinner even though it was a little warm in the living/dining room due to the wood stove and we squeezed almost 20 people at the tables.  All in all, it was a really nice Christmas.  Whew!  :)

So, all that fretting and worrying was for nothing.  Some habits are hard to break. ;)

All the best!  *HUGS*

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Tender Teddy

This Christmas Kaleigh asked for a golden coloured teddy bear from Santa.  She has a party at preschool the week before Christmas, so it had to be there early for the visit from Santa.  Kaleigh got her beautiful, soft, golden teddy from Santa and was so thrilled!  She would not put the bear down.

Kaleigh came home and showed Austin her bear.  Guess who fell in love with it immediately?  Right, Austin.  He begged Kaleigh to let him have it to sleep.  He said if he had the bear, he would go to sleep right away and sleep all night.  Hmmmm, I was not convinced.  With a bit of protest from Kaleigh, she finally let Austin have it and he did fall asleep quickly and cuddled the bear all night.  Wow!  I could hardly believe a teddy bear could work such magic.

After a few days, Kaleigh became a little annoyed, to say the least.  She wanted the bear back, and well, rightfully so since it was her gift that she desperately wanted from Santa.  Austin eventually gave up the bear but had a last minute request from Santa, he wanted a bear exactly like the one Kaleigh had received.  I promised that I would do my best to reach Santa somehow and see if he could bring one for Christmas, it was fairly close to Christmas Eve at this point.  Kaleigh and Austin said that it would be no problem, "the elves could just make one in Santa's workshop"!  :D  Right.

Low and behold, Christmas morning, under the tree, with a red ribbon, sat a very soft, golden teddy bear exactly like the one Kaleigh had received.  Austin saw it right away and read the card, he was elated!

Isn't Christmas just wonderful?  :)

All the best!  *HUGS*

Letter to Santa

This is Austin's letter to Santa from December.  I got such a charge out of it, I had to share it.  It is so cute!  I love how he asks Santa about his summer vacation. :)

This is huge progress for Austin.  So proud of his hard work!  Love you Austin! :) OX

All the best!  *HUGS*

Silent Nights

As promised, I am starting my posts about Christmas.  I apologize for the wait but I had a silly accident last week and needed a few stitches in my thumb, so typing is a bit difficult.  Lesson learned, do not cut frozen butter with a sharp knife.  That's what happens when you are rushing and not using common sense.  Enough about that ... Christmas was different this year.

Last year, and years prior, Austin has always gotten very excited and over stimulated by Christmas.  He would be bouncing off the walls and very hard to calm down.  This year, we decided that we would be prepared and know what to expect, not so much.  It was almost completely different from the last few years.  He was very quiet and even withdrawn, very different behaviour and concerning when you are expecting the complete opposite.

We, my husband and I, changed a few things this year.  We did not decorate the house as we normally would in the past years.  (Kaleigh was not thrilled to say the least and tried to negotiate how she could talk to Austin so he would not get excited by the decorations.  It is always a debate with her. :D)  We only put up a single string of lights around the lamp in the living room.  Austin really liked them, so I asked if he would like some in his room.  I thought that maybe the exposure to a single strand every night in his own space may help and he can be afraid of the dark so why not give it a try.  I took Austin to pick out is own lights, he really liked the ones with the soft glow.  So we bought them.  He did however, dislike being in the aisles with all the decorations.  He did not get upset like he would at Halloween but expressed he wanted to leave and quickly too!  When we got home, we put the lights around his headboard and turned them on for him.  They looked great and Austin was very happy.  I was waiting to hear him start bouncing on his bed or something, but no, he was very quiet and did not react at all to the lights.  Not what we were expecting but very pleased for Austin.

We did not decorate until a few days before Christmas, the same for our tree.  We only got it a few days before and it not decorate it right away.  Austin was really pretty good throughout the days leading up to Christmas.  We told him that we would be having Christmas dinner for the family this year, about 20 people.  This got him a little upset.  He asked for a "safety zone".  Could he use my husband and my room as a safety zone away from all the people.  He asked and reacted in such a calm manner, both my husband and I did not hesitate and said "sure" right away.  As long as Austin could get away from the noise and people he stayed pretty calm.

The first few days of this quiet spell we were a little worried.  We were really expecting him to act so differently but he sort of came around and his behaviour levelled out to a more typical everyday behaviour.  He did have a few times when he came home from school and was a bit excited because, well, all the kids are more excited at school.  The crafts, decorations, talk of Santa, presents and their excitement affects Austin as well.  He really did surprise us this year.  We, are, as always very proud of him!

I always try to just go with the flow and accept how Austin is feeling and reacting to situations as they happen.  I continue to learn that things can change and you cannot predict how a child may react so I try to take it day by day.

All the best!  *HUGS*

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Just When You Think You Got it, You Don't

This Christmas was very different from the last.  I have a few posts to do regarding the experiences of this Christmas.  Coming soon.


I cannot express, in words, how truly sorry I am for the terrible tragedy that occured in Newtown, Connecticut.  It brought tears to my eyes to hear of such a horrific act and the senseless loss of life.  I have to express to all those poor families who lost their children and loved ones, my deepest sympathies.  I am so very, very sorry.