Saturday, December 31, 2011

Goals

It’s still amazing to me how goals change when your child has any special needs. As some people are teaching their toddler rote counting we were trying to teach Blu enough words that we couldn’t count them. At an age when most people begin teaching ABCs we were glad to see Blu FINALLY singing a song. Blu is almost 5 now, and he sometimes has a hard time counting to 10, but he can get dizzy now. My friends son, a boy I love like my own, has severe special needs, at 8 some kids are learning multiplication and reading chapter books, we’re glad to see him walking and he’s started to hug people!

Blu is big for his age. No, I mean REALLY big. He can wear size 7 clothes, even some size 8. People see him and expect so much more of him than he is capable of because they think he is older. They see him having a 4 year old tantrum in a public place, and eyeball him, he’s a brat, a bad child, or I’m a bad mother. They don’t realize that him having the words to have a fit is a blessing to me. They don’t realize that he was once so anxious in public he would not laugh if you tickled him, or cry if he hurt himself. Him feeling open enough to throw a fit in public is something I never knew if it would happen or not. I know kids his age, and older, who are non-verbal, and for their parents hearing their child throw a fit would be a blessing.

When you ask my child how old he is, and he answers you at all, even if he says “banana” is a blessing I never knew when to expect. When he steps 10 feet away from me to look at a toy I’m glad he’s confident enough to be that far away, so forgive me when I don’t chase him down.

One day you will ask him how old he is and he will say the right number, AND hold up the right number of fingers. One day he will write his name in the proper order. One day he will do any number of amazing things, that perhaps your child did at a much younger age. On that day I will dance inside, cheering, thinking of how far he has come. Maybe instead of judging, maybe you could cheer too.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Our Home Library

We have a rather generous amount of books. Seriously as many as a small library probably, and Blu has officially clued into that fact. Tonight while at the table in the dining room I turn to look at him and he is standing on a step ladder, with a rope tied to the ladder and around his waist, pulling books (one at a time) off a higher shelf. He says “Isn’t this such a good idea? A rope incase I fall!” So smart and funny. Then he spent quite a bit of time using the ladder to pull a book, sit on the top (it wasn’t a standard ladder shape, the top is like a step with a raised up handle) and flip through the book.

But the real library part came in when he said:

“You can take a laptop to the library, and you can read books or magazines. But you have to be quiet in the library. And Daddy! No video games in the Library!! (Nick had pulled out his PSP since we were all just hanging out) You HAVE to turn that off right now! I will count to 3, and when I get to 3 you will have it turned off or you will be kicked out of the library! Playing games is not allowed. You’ll have to get a laptop, book, or magazine, or look things up on the library computer!”

Ha! The whole experience was just one of those lovely reminders of how much I love that spectacular little boy. And I wanted to share.  Although I admit the downside, the higher shelf he was reaching was my vintage and antique books that I tried to purposely put out of his reach!!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

It’s Happened, Well before I was Ready

I am a car seat stickler. When Blu was born I got Britax, and swore to never use anything else. His carseat would suit him up to about age 6. It would expire (Yes, carseats expire, and it’s important! Check your seat if you are not sure it’s good!) and he’d outgrow it all at once. Then move to a booster, OR even better the Britax they used to offer that goes up to 85 pounds.

I’ve been known, more than once, to spend 20 minutes installing Blu’s carseat in another car so we could ride with someone. I’ve taken it on trips to install and use. While his slightly younger and mildly smaller cousin already used a backless booster in Grandma and Pappys car, I would install his big Britax with the 5 point harness. I didn’t care if it made us late to places and my Mom complained. He was using that seat.

Originally our plan was to have him rear facing until he was 2, he outgrew the seats rear facing ability at 18 months. I cried and turned him forward. That should have been a sign.

At 4.5 he has maxed out the height on his carseat. Completely unexpected. I truly figured it out in the middle of the night Monday. I shopped around, and was disappointed to see that Britaxs new big kid seat isn’t as great (in my opinion) as the old one. I also didn’t want to have him in a seat that is to small, and therefore not safe, while we saved up the $200+ to buy it. And so, at 50” and 53 pounds, 4.5 year old Blu has gotten a “big boy” booster.

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I’d be lying if I said I didn’t cry a bit. And I’m crazy nervous. He sat it in yesterday and I took his picture, but today will be the first day ever that he rides in a booster seat. Some of you may think I’m crazy. Frankly, I don’t care. Careseats are a big deal to me. I don’t care if Blu is the size of a 7 year old. I am SO not ready for this.

Driving today for me will be just like how Nick felt driving us home the day he was born. There is no such thing as to careful.

And did you know, the carseat, a Graco Turbo Booster, comes unassembled!! While my neighbor helped me put it together I screamed “This is insane! A carseat should be solid! Preassembled!!!! This pieces bit if freaking me out!”

To which, she calmly said “It’s not a carseat it’s a booster.”

And indeed it is. Indeed it is.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

And then the Reality

As fun as it was to keep a day in the life post, today is off to a much more accurate start. Blu woke up okay, when we started talking about our day he started to melt down. He doesn’t want to go to OT, and he’s trying anything he can to stay home. But the problem with OT is that not only does he need it, he especially needs it on days like today, and if he DID need a break their policies are similar to a Doctor. If I cancel last minute, I pay anyway. He’s crying, he’s inventing monsters. He’s taking 30 minutes to get dressed. I bribed him with breakfast from somewhere, he picked a muffin from 7-11, but has since decided he’d rather fight than get ready to go get said muffin. He’s making up things to be upset about. Wasting time by talking about his friend’s love of small spoons. He’s spending 5 minutes just to snap his pants (which he has to have help with anyway)

We’re supposed to go to the craft store after the OT, and he’s upset by that. He’s supposed to get his hair done and he’s upset by that. His clothes are hurting him. He’s upset that his friend likes small plastic spoons. Next time he has one he’ll give it to her. No, wait, next time he has one he’s going to show it to her then throw it away to be mean. We’ve been awake for less than an hour, and he’s pulled out all the stops already.

And THAT is a usual time in my life. Yesterday was fun, but today is accurate. Which means I won’t be blogging again today. I’ll be fixing meltdowns.

A Day in The Life

I’ve been wanting to do a day in the life post for while and it just wasn’t feasible. Today I’m going to give it a shot. So if you aren’t interested in all the details of my day, I won’t be offended if you don’t read this. This is my day, with as much detail and fun info as I can muster for October 24th.

I’ll start with a little bit of last night. Blu’s sleep problems have been worse lately and our night was horrible. First he went to sleep at 8 with no fuss, then he woke up around 9:30 like he had just had a nap. He finally went back to sleep around 1:30 AM. He slept in our bed.

He woke up at about 10:15 this morning. Waking me up right after, but I managed to linger in the warm covers with my cold pillow for about 15 minutes.

We stumbled down stairs, or at least I did. Blu ran like a maniac while fighting the dog (for fun.)

Blu ate some trail mix. While the coffee was bubbling in the percolator I started cooking some beans in the crockpot. I made Blu his smoothie, super thick with a straw. He drank most of the cupful and say he can’t drink it, it’s to cold. I manage to get him to let it sit a minute and drink a bit more as it warms to room temperature a bit. 

Blu is running around in a Janga Fett costume, with boxing gloves on, a brown belt, a long skinny duster as a weapon, and a light saber on his belt.

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Cooked myself some eggs and toast around 11:15. Drat! I overcooked my eggs, they’re not drippy like I wanted. Blu eats one, so I cook another dippy one for myself.

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It’s now 11:35. I’m sitting and eating my breakfast. Blu is running around again, sans boxing gloves this time. Since he’s not bugging me, much, I’m going to watch some stuff on Netflix while I eat. Probably Sister Wives, because I just started watching it, and I’m hooked!

11:40, Blu is still is costume, because he’s wearing it with no clothes underneath. He seems to be playing with his dremel (a small weak dremel tool with no bit.) I hear the noise it makes coming from the living room.

11:45 Most people are starting lunch, I just took the last bite of my breakfast. Now to finish my coffee.

11:50 We’re heading outside. Get some energy out, of Blu that is. I intend to sit on the steps and watch TV on my laptop. 

12:00 I headed back inside for a second cup of coffee. Blast it! We’ve run out of creamer. We’re back outside. Blu now has a football. And just for the record, I’m still in my pajamas. I have a feeling I won’t be getting dressed today.

12:32 Still outside. My neighbor has come out, so Blu is putting on a show for her little one. Also, just so you know all the details, he has a leaf stuck in his hair. And he is still in costume. He’s also hitting the football with a baseball bat. He manages to break the inside of the bat.

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1:15 Yay! Our friends are here! The friends we usually study the Human Body with are here for a play date. So we’re playing outside with the neighbors while the Mom and I discuss OT. Her two sons go to the same place Blu does. I’m questioning if our OT is actually going well or not. She might have some insight.

Around 1:30 we head inside. The boys play in Blu’s room a bit, and also hold our Guinea Pigs. I throw the remaining undrunken smoothie away.

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2:03 Blu has changed into normal clothes.

2:37 What do ya know! I got dressed! Switched from yoga pants to jeans, changed my ugly house sweater to a hoodie. The boys are riding bikes to the park.  Maybe Blu will actually sleep tonight??

3:54 We’re back from the park. Let’s see how much all this playing affects Blu’s sleep tonight. My overactive crock-pot have overcooked my beans. Supposed to take 6-8 hours, mine are mush already, after 5 hours on the lowest possible setting.

4:12 Friends are gone, Daddy is home. Banana Nut Muffins are in the works to use some nearly bad bananas.

4:30 – 4:37 Muffins are baking, Blu is lounging and “reading.” I’m finally getting some form of lunch, a small cup full of trail mix. I was debating a grilled cheese and tomato soup, but it’s to close to dinner time. Blu asked “Is the monkey bread ready? I mean banana bread?” I told him there IS something called Monkey Bread, he asked if it tastes like monkeys. He just fixed himself a bowl of trail mix, only he tried to use a cereal bowl, and he filled it. I fixed it for him. And he’s headed back outside, I’m going to see if I can stay inside and clean up.

4:38 That plan has failed, Blu just came and told me I had to go outside.

5:30 Inside again. Half the Banana Muffins have been eaten already. Now time to clean the table and cook.  Cook what? I have no idea.

6:07 While we were outside Nick had cleaned up, a lot. The trampoline for Blu is now out of the living room, and steps have been taken toward doing the sensory room in the basement. I decided on soup for dinner, but dinner is running late. Usually we eat at 6, but the noodles aren’t even cooked yet.

6:12 The sink is dirty and it’s bothering me. Usually I scrub it with baking soda but I used the last bit on muffins. So I searched the house, remembering buying a carton of Comet like 5 years ago, and it HAD to be in a closet or something somewhere. Found it, and it was empty (Ha!) but found another one from a box in the closet that was left in the house when we moved in (double HA!) and finally cleaned the sink. Now I kinda feel like Comet with Bleach is sinking into my pores, and all the years of clean green living have been spoiled. But the sink is clean!! See why holding on to stuff sometimes pays off!?!?!?

6:28 Soup is almost on! Here’s the recipe I used, or to be honest, made up while I was going. It’s based on a soup my friend made the other day.

Boiled a pot of water and added one packet of onion soup mix

Added a ton of Pasta

When the pasta was cooked I added a bunch of frozen mixed veggies, and several scoops of white beans from the crockpot. 

I’m letting it cook until it’s hot throughout, Then serving it with a box of “Cracker Flats.” I bought these because they looked cool, it’s essentially a giant cracker, as though they made a round loaf of artisan bread, then sliced it cracker thin. But they’re yummy.

Blu is downstairs enjoying the 5 sg ft of Sensory Room that Nick put together.

AND I just hooked up the new laptop cooling fan he bought me. Snazzy.

6:43 Dinner! Boy it’s late. I hate when I do that! I scooping up bowls and calling the guys up from the basement. After putting about 6 ice cubes into his soup Blu gives me the thumbs up.

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7:00 Nick is already finished eating. he’s packing up some leftovers for lunch. Blu is now drinking his broth with a straw. I’m still eating. When I’m finished I’m going to freeze leftover soup in muffin tins, for easy lunches through Autumn.

7:12 We’re all finished. Kitchen clean-up has commenced. That’s Nick’s job. Blu received a dose of “Super Calm Child” with Valerian with his dinner. Soon he’ll be off to get ready for bed. Then it’s family quiet time until 8. He’ll probably play Sensory World on Nick’s tablet, with headphones. It has a calming effect on him.   I must say, knock on wood, that we’ve had a great day! No meltdowns, no fights, nothing. If everyday was like this my life would be SO different. Usually there is no way I could carry a Day in the Life post throughout the whole day. Usually he’d have a meltdown and we’d be calming and soothing for a few hours. Or we’d be to on the go to even consider the idea. This post makes my life seem boring.

8:12 And we’re off, to read that is. I’m off to read to Blu in bed. He gets to pick a short book, usually a Berenstain Bears, then I read a chapter book, right now we’re reading Stuart Little and Charlotte’s Web. I let Blu pick one of the two, because sometimes the spider part of Charlotte freaks him out.

9:14 Blu is still awake. I’ve been reading for an hour. Right now he’s claiming that he needs to go potty, the kind that takes awhile. When he’s done we’ll be reading some more. I have no idea if he’s going to sleep anytime soon. Or how long I’ll be reading. I told him that I’d read as long as he’s trying to go to sleep, and he is trying so far. I’m not sure how many more nights of this I can take. But tonight it’s Charlotte’s Web, a personal favorite.

10:14 Well it’s not working. Blu is still awake. He played for hours straight, he laid still and mostly good and tried to sleep for the two hours I read to him. Now he’s in bed by himself. He says he’s going to look at books. We had a talk about how he can’t call me all night because daddy needs to sleep. He says okay, he’ll see me in the morning. And I’ve realized one reason I dislike soup. I mean really I adore soup, but I have noticed it wears off and leaves me hungry. So I’m off for a smackeral of something.

10:24 I’m back upstairs. While downstairs getting a snack Blu stood and caled me over and over from the top of the steps. Then he asked me to heat up his beanbag for him to sleep with (like a hot pack.) I’m just starting to settle in. Blu just walked into the room and says “Here’s some coupons you can take somewhere. It was in my new newspaper.” And he hands me a sales paper for a local grocery store. Then leaves. Walks back in and says “Enjoy your new coupons.” Gotta love that kid. He always takes our free local paper when he comes, and he reads it like crazy until the next one comes a week later. And what a sweetie!

10:51 He might be challenging, but that child is something else. He just asked me if he could go to the bathroom. He KNOWS he’s allowed to get up to go to the bathroom, he only asked to talk to someone. So I say yes, and I notice it’s taking him a really really long time to get to the bathroom, but I hear him shuffling around. Finally he appears in the hallway, carrying his newspaper, stopped at the hamper to read it. He’s pointing to the paper and talking to himself. “Blu! What are you doing??” He looks up, seemingly surprised I am there at all, and says “I found a map, so I’m pretending I don’t know where the bathroom is, and I have to use the map to find it.” Ha!!! Sure enough, there was a map about a new traffic pattern here on the back of the newspaper section he had. That nut!

11:13 While I’m going to the bathroom Blu comes out upset. He’s scared. I decide to teach him a thing I imagined as a child, the Dream Machine. A thing that helped me pretend to pick my dreams and not be afraid when I was little. We spend some time learning how it works, and he picks a dream. He asked me to stay and sing to him. Which brings us to now:

11:39 PM Blu is officially asleep. I have between now and when I fall asleep to do whatever I want. Which obviously doesn’t give me much time, or many options. The house is dark, crafting is out, it’s to late to do anything that might keep me up. It’s been a long day, but in the nighttime silence I can hear all the men of the house, dog and cats included, snoring just a little. Sleeping happily.

11:58 This post has been proofread, I added details I forgot earlier to existing times. I scour the main floor for the USB cable for my camera. I’m uploading today’s pictures, and by 12:15 of tomorrow, this post will be live.

12:13 I’m hitting the Publish button. Goodnight!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Our Staycation

Finally, I have some time to post vacation pictures! With the crazy schedule and spending time on the weekends I’ve not even been able to see all of our vacation pictures. I do have more than this, because I also use a Polaroid camera, and took pictures with that, Those will come one day when I post those separately.

On the first day of our Vacation we went to the Science Center at the Inner Harbor, a nice day trip for us. And yes, there is a picture of Blu shaping letters out of fake human bones. We also dug for dinosaur fossils, made dinosaur footprints, played with water, did fun hands on building, saw what noise does to water. The splashing water in a tube, was my favorite! You controlled volume and frequency of a horn type noisemaker to see how it made the water in the pipe move. Blu even played pulley Tug o’ war against Daddy, and with my help, won!

Then we puttered around the Harbor a bit. Watching boats, decompressing, did a speck of shopping. I found a candy store with 6 pound Gummy Bears!! Also a 5 pound box of regular gummy bears. But instead of that I got a pack of giant Twizzlers.

Then we went to the Aquarium. Which I wasn’t in love with. I’ve been to better aquariums before. But that said we had fun. Some friends met us there and we made a good night of it.

Then we had to eat right? We found a restaurant called “Blu Bambu” !!! And we ate there. Here’s Blu pointing to his name on the menu.

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When we got home the boys were exhausted. Nick and Blu literally crashed into the bed and were asleep. I puttered around a bit because that’s what I do.

 

On the second day we went to our Larp group and played, and went to a favorite pizza place for dinner. Apparently I didn’t get any pictures of it. Weird.

Then for day 3 we went to the beach! Not just any beach, a local fossil hunting beach. I found 11 sharks teeth of various sizes. Including one I literally grabbed right out of the sand! I think Nick found 1, our friends went with us again and found a lot, and the kids, well they just ran, and swam, and threw sand, and acted like maniacs. It was a great day. You’ll see a lot of Blu’s favorite person, our friend Alex. Their clothes even match. Alex knows how to do all the Dad things that Nick doesn’t. It works our really well, and Blu just adores him. Other than that I’ve left most of the picture of our friends out of the blog.

We topped off the weekend on Monday by  going to a few local stores just for fun, got some ice cream for lunch, and other fun stuff we never do.

And here is our happy faces after the beach, the only family photo of our whole vacation.

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I think we all agreed that in this case the Staycation was better than any vacation we could have put together.  Have you ever been on a Staycation? What do you do?

 

(For this post I’m using the “photo gallery” option available through my Windows program. If it doesn’t work then I’ll be fixing it later. )