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Dec 24, 2013

Canning Jar Lid Ornaments

As an autism mom, sometimes it's hard to have autism-proof Christmas decorations.  We have learned to change all the ornament hooks to ribbons, only use shatterproof ornaments, have a kid-friendly nativity set, etc.
Last year we tied a bunch of ribbons to our tree.  It looked great, and my kids weren't walking off with all the ornaments.  This year I wanted to try something different.  We decided to get creative and make ornaments out of canning jar lids.
What we needed to make these ornaments were canning jar lids, a tin hole punch, mod podge, foam brushes, and of course any paper we would want to mod podge onto the lids.  I used cute wrapping paper for mine.  I was able to personalize them for each person in our family.
We traced the canning jar lids onto the wrapping paper, cut them out, and then mod podged them to the jar lids.  Once the mod podge had dried, we punched a hole in the top and made a loop out of ribbon to hang it on the tree.
 These are the ornaments I made for Kevin.  He collects vintage Coca Cola stuff, and I found this great wrapping paper to use.  It made me happy.
Caiti loves all things Dora and Sesame Street, so you can guess who these were made for.  She doesn't necessarily leave the ornaments on the tree, but she is so happy carrying around the different characters.  :)
Of course, the Cars and Thomas the Tank Engine ornaments are for my little guys.
These last ones are for me.  All I did was draw a snowman face on them, then punch an extra hole in the bottom for a felt "scarf."  
Merry Christmas Everyone!

Dec 9, 2013

Seat Belts So We Can Be Safe


As an autism mom, I'm grateful for Dora the Explorer.  I personally think she's super annoying, and I hate that every show is basically the same show with different places.  But hey, that's not what matters.  Dora taught my kids about seat belt safety.
Caiti used to climb out of her seat belt in the car.  It was scary to take her anywhere.  I ended up having to be creative, and I put together a youtube playlist about seat belt safety and pretty much played it nonstop for a week.  That helped a lot.  To quote Dora, when Caiti would be resisting putting on her seat belt, I would just have to say, "Seat belts... so we can be safe," and because Dora did it, she would comply.  Hooray!
The other morning I was helping my kids get on the bus.  Garrett concentrated really hard and clicked his own seat belt into place.  He looked up at me with happy, proud eyes and said, "So we can be safe!"  That made my heart melt.  I guess I can forgive Dora for being annoying.

Nov 25, 2013

Jason Snuggles

As an autism mommy, I'm so grateful for my Jason (who I like to refer to as my warm fuzzy).  He is the best snuggler ever.  He shows his love every day giving perfect hugs and kisses.  I'm also thankful for his Aunt Michelle, who is his roommate, and who captures these moments when I'm too spaced out to even think about it.  Cuteness!!!!!!

Oct 2, 2013

Insight into the Nonverbal Mind

As an autism mom, I'm so very grateful for the resources out there that are actually from people who have autism.  Most people have heard of Temple Grandin.  She is a high functioning autistic woman who is very successful in her career.   I remember the first time I heard of her, I was so excited to read her books because she had first-hand experience with autism and was able to explain the mysteries of it in a way that was easy to understand.  I had previously been recommended a stack of boring books by clinicians, etc. Let's just say, I devoured the information in the Temple Grandin books, and that other stack of books is still unread.
The thing is, all three of my kids are basically nonverbal.  Sure, Garrett can talk some.  He can tell me what he needs.  He can quote TV and movies with the best of them, but he can't converse.  He has to learn the answers expected of him for basic questions.  Caiti has a very hard time remembering any words.  She has always struggled with language.  Jason tries sooo hard, but he is basically nonverbal as well.  Sometimes we, as parents, forget that just because our kids have a communication deficit, this doesn't mean that they don't understand us or what is going on around us.  I remember the first time I saw the below video about Carly Fleishman, a nonverbal, low-functioning autistic girl.  It was amazing to see the person underneath the veil of her autism.  
The part that affected me the very most was when the father was stating how he realized that he had said so many things in front of her thinking she didn't understand.  Don't we all make that mistake. This video helped me do a better job considering my children's feelings when speaking to others about them.
I think my very favorite resource out there that is written by a nonverbal person with autism is the book, The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a 13-Year Old Boy With Autism, by Naoki Higashida.

I would give a super good review of this book, but the author of Cloud Atlas, David Mitchell, who also has a child with autism, said it the best in his own review: http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/books/2013/09/autism_memoir_by_japanese_teenager_david_mitchell_translates_the_reason.html
I love this book so much because it is a Q&A book.  Basically, so many questions that I have had about my kids and what they feel, how they see the world, why they do what they do, are answered by this boy.  It is an eye opener for me and a life changer.
That is why I am so thankful for those people out there with autism, especially severe autism like my children, who were able to find a way to communicate what is going on for them.  Anything that helps me to understand my children better is wonderful.

Sep 28, 2013

Thoughtfulness of a Friend

As an autism mom, I'm grateful for an experience I had when I was pregnant with my third child, Jason. The reason this has been on my mind is because I have a sweet, brand new niece, and I've been wishing I could be there and wondering what I can do for my sister and her cute little baby.
Anyway, it really isn't the norm to have a baby shower on the third kid, and I didn't really expect one. However; a friend of mine took the initiative to do something awesome for me.  She was my guardian angel during a rough time.  
When I was pregnant with Jason, almost ready to pop, my husband left for basic training.  I was left home dealing with the stresses of being by myself, and raising my two older kids (both of whom I had finally accepted had autism).  I also was dealing with the stressors of gestational diabetes, figuring out whether or not to move when my husband got his orders, etc.  I had had a very difficult year financially because Kevin was out of work for a lot of the time while we went through the process of enlistment in the military.
So, this friend of mine (who I met at church) decided to throw me a shower.  She told everyone at church that instead of the normal gifts for a baby, they should give diapers.  She also noted that they should give all sizes of diapers.  I was amazed at her thoughtfulness.  Yes, I would need diapers for the baby, but I also had my two other kids who were nowhere near being ready for potty training.  
The day that my friend brought over all the diapers she had collected for my family I was just in awe.  There was a giant pile of them in my garage.  I felt the love of my church family when I saw so many packages of diapers, and they lasted me for months.  They really helped me to get through that first little while with a little less stress. I will never forget the kindness and thoughtfulness of that friend and my church family. 

Sep 18, 2013

Spinny Chairs


As an autism mom, I'm grateful for the spinny chairs we got from ikea (IKEA PS LÖMSK).We originally got one for Garrett for Christmas last year.  When my parents were here they saw how much all my kids liked that chair, so they gave them another one from "Grandpa Claus."  :)


There is a quote in my now-favorite book about autism, The Reason I Jump:  The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy With Autism, by Naoki Higashida.  It talks about why people with autism like to spin:
"Everyday scenery doesn't rotate, so things that do spin simply fascinate us.  Just watching spinning things fills us with a sort of everlasting bliss-for the time we sit watching them, they rotate with perfect regularity.  Whatever object we spin, this is always true.  Unchanging things are comforting, and there's something beautiful about that."

Sep 17, 2013

Shaving Cream


As an autism mom, I am thankful for shaving cream.   I could tell Garrett was antsy and needed something to calm his nerves.  Shaving cream did the trick. He loved running his fingers through it.  I made Garrett take his shirt off before playing with the shaving cream.  Good thing because he soon was smearing it into his hair, on his face, across his tummy.  Jason even came over to help.  Lets just say that Garrett was in a very happy, mellow mood the rest of the day.

I think Jason was glad when Garrett had to go have a shower.  Now he had a turn in sensory bliss.


Aug 22, 2013

Lunchtime

As an autism mom, I'm grateful for rare moments like our lunchtime today.   Everyone sat down to eat (never happens), and all the kids were FULLY CLOTHED!!!!  Had to record this moment for posterity.


Seeing them like this reminded me of the journal post I wrote back in April 2010 describing mealtime at my house:

"I just wanted to capture a moment.  Last night, I sat all three of my kids down for a dinner of salad and pork.  So imagine the typical family sitting around the table eating their salads...I poured them all lemonade.  I want Jason to learn to drink from a regular cup, not just a sippy cup, so I gave everyone regular cups.  I then watched as Jason tried to drink out of the regular cup, then thought it would be fun to watch it pour out on his shirt.  He poured out all of the drink, and then tried to drink some more even though it was gone.  When he realized there wasn't any more, he dropped his cup on the floor.  He then tipped his plate over and used his fork as a rake to push the lettuce leaves,  vegetables and pork around on the table top.  While this was going on, Caiti was using her fingers to rake through the lettuce...ignoring her fork entirely...and just picking out the bits of frozen corn to eat while once in a while sucking the dressing off the lettuce leaves.  Afterwhich, she started grabbing handfuls of salad and flinging them in the air joyfully and watching them fall every whichway.  She also thought it would be fun to fling her full cup of lemonade on the floor.  Needless to say, the spot underneath her chair was a wet and veggie-filled mess.  Good thing my kitchen has vinyl flooring and not carpet.  Garrett, on the other hand, was eating great, but every couple of seconds, he would make a dash for it.  I kept having to yell at him to sit down.  His ABA tutor had told me to be firm and follow through so that he knows exactly what I want, so I would have to grab his hand and lead him back to his chair, where he would proceed to whine and scream in-between mouth fulls.  At one point, he made it all the way out the sliding glass door to the backyard, so not knowing what to do, I said, "Fine, you are having a time out," and locked him outside.  He didn't seem to mind.  Not so effective I guess.  Five minutes later, I went and got him and made him sit down to finish his meal.  He did fine after that; I guess he just had the wiggle bug.  I was feeling parently and decided to teach Caiti a lesson.  I cleaned up the lemonade myself since her cast cannot get wet, but I made her scoot around on her little bum and pick up all the lettuce and pork off the floor and put it in the garbage.  While we were doing this, Jason was using his plate as a broom and scooped his dinner in a nice little pile...he does this every night. 

Typical dinner at the Roach house...anyone want to join us."

Aug 21, 2013

Our Little Protector

As an autism mommy, I'm grateful for my doggie, Dougie.  He is our family's little protector.  Case in point, today was a horrible day.  My Garrett had yet another seizure.  I hate them soooo much.  And my cute doggie, Dougie, was by his side until he knew Garrett was okay.

Aug 20, 2013

ID Helps for our Nonverbal Wanderers

As an autism mom, I'm grateful for products out there to help us mommies who are worried about our kids getting lost.  I know I recently addressed this when I was talking about big kid harnesses, but I just wanted to share a couple of other ideas.

First thing's first, an easy way to keep kids safe on family outings is to just write the necessary info on the back of their shirt.  Here's an example:

A similar idea that I find super cool can be found at https://www.qrcodeid.org/.  Basically, this website has a bunch of products with a scannable code, including shirts, bags, etc.  You register your child with the code, then if they are found while wearing the code, all someone would have to do is scan it on their phone to get the information needed to get your child safely back home.  I think this is a great idea, especially if you don't want the world to see your phone number, like they would in the shirts above.


There are some pretty high-tech products out there.  An example would be GPS bracelets.  These can be found at http://www.lifeprotekt.com/autism-community/.  We tried this once, but it was hard for us because the bracelet BUGGED Garrett, and wasn't worth his unhappiness, but if your child will tolerate it and has a big problem with wandering, it might be worth taking a look at.

Autism Speaks has a whole page dedicated to safety.  There are links to a bunch of great products on that site as well: http://www.autismspeaks.org/family-services/resource-library/safety-products
Some of my favorites are the Kid Safety Band 

These temporary tattoos are a great idea.  I tried them in the past, and I couldn't get my kids to hold still long enough to actually write our phone number on them.  They might now though.  If not, though, they have kits where you can custom order them with your phone number already on.  A couple websites for these tattoos are: http://safetytat.com/ or http://www.tattooswithapurpose.com/



They also have the link to the IDSafe Child Kits:
 "Each child safety kit includes forms to document each child’s medical and personal information, including allergies and medications, blood type, height, weight, hair and eye color, birth date, a dental chart for primary and secondary teeth, a 10-finger fingerprint chart with a safe, non-toxic ink strip, instructions for obtaining a DNA hair sample with a heavy gauge storage bag, two Safe Shoes Child IDÔ labels, two pages of comprehensive safety tips, and a chart to denote any unique physical features."

If you are like me, these are a little intimidating and kind of morbid, but they are important because they help law enforcement in identify your missing child.

Garrett's Personality

As an autism mom, I'm so grateful for all my kids.  Today I'm super grateful for my cute Garrett and his adorable, totally unique personality.  He makes me happy.  Here's some examples:
Garrett is super cute when I ask him questions.  He definitely has the scripted answers down.  But my favorite is his very own version of "What does a horse say?"
I also remember the very first time I ever heard Garrett say the PBS announcement you hear so many times. He wasn't even three yet.  We were sitting at McDonalds.  He was sitting across from me eating some fries, and all of sudden I hear the entire PBS "Brought to you by..." speech pour forth out of his mouth.  It totally caught me by surprise.  He still says it all the time:

Jul 29, 2013

Solution for Soap Dumping

Just a quick post. All of my children like to dump liquid soap...literally the whole bottle...into the bathtub...or wherever else they want to dump it. It can get pretty annoying, and pretty expensive, when you have just bought a thing of soap or shampoo and it's gone the first time someone's little paws grab ahold of it.  
My very smart sister came up with a solution.  We started putting the soap into used medicine bottles.  My kids don't open medicine bottles because they have the childproof caps.  We relabel the bottles with 'shampoo' or 'conditioner' or 'body wash,' etc.  This way, we can continually refill the bottles without worry the kids will just dump them.   (I am a dork, and I like to print out pics of the shampoo or soap that it is in the bottle.  I then, of course, use my favorite product, mod podge to glue it onto the bottle.)
Some things that have also worked for our family:
In an earlier post (http://autismmomsgratitudelist.blogspot.com/2011/11/shower-curtains.html), I talked about how we used the shower curtains with the sewn in mesh pockets to prevent dumping when my kids were younger.  But, unfortunately, as they grew taller, they figured those out way too easily.  It didn't help that I thought putting Caiti's toys in the top pockets when she gave them baths was a good idea.  That resulted in ripped mesh pockets after Caiti's rescue attempts.
Another idea that we have tried and has worked pretty good was an idea we found on www.plumdoodles.com.  
That website suggested putting an additional tension rod in the shower to store shower cleaning supplies.  We just modified it to store...basically anything we didn't want our kids to get.  We also stood on our tippy toes when hanging the tension rod so that it would be super high up. This worked really great for us until Garrett decided it would be fun to hang from the tension rod (don't ask how he could reach it)...Luckily, tension rods are very easy to put back up and don't need any hardware.  They also don't damage the walls.  Woot Woot!
Anyway, I'm so grateful we have figured out some ways to deal with all that soap dumping.  

Jul 19, 2013

Turning off the Dr. Frankenstein Mindset


As an autism mom, I'm grateful for the rare times where I have actually been good and kept a journal.  It helps me to look back and see where we all were and where we are now.
So, this is one of those posts that I would NEVER have posted when I actually was experiencing the below emotions, but I am in a better place, and I wanted to address it because I know I'm not the only one out there who has felt guilt or responsibility for the disabilities that our children have.

I was looking through my old journal today, and it was talking about a conversation I had with my therapist.  (Yes, therapy is awesome):
"I told her I was in a good place as far as my children.  She asked me how I got to that place, and I told her that I think I just went through a grieving process.  Earlier this year, I couldn't get out of my head that I was like Dr. Frankenstein, and I couldn't create anything normal.  I always felt really guilty when I would think these thoughts because I absolutely love these kids, adn I don't think of them as monster-like or anything.  I think I was just projecting their disabilities and struggles onto myself and giving myself the blame for their struggles because I was the one who "created" them.  However, God changed my frame of mind and really helped me to focus on what is beautiful about my children and the happiness and wonder that they give me.  He helped me to be able to celebrate every little accomplishment and to celebrate them as my offspring."

Just have to add one last phrase that you hear a lot in the special needs community:  "My child doesn't have a disability, he has a different ability."  Being positive and focusing on the successes and the beauties really has helped me to overcome my guilt and "Dr. Frankenstein Mindset."

Jul 13, 2013

Family Fun - a.k.a. Oh My Gosh! We Did Something Normal People Do!

As an autism mom, I'm grateful that the adults in our house were brave enough to actually get out and do something today with the kids in our house.   Kevin and I had a great time with our cute boys.  We took them to Despicable Me 2 (more for Kevin's benefit than the boys; seriously, Despicable Me is Kevin's FAVORITE movie).  Anyway, if you have sensory kids and didn't see my previous post about AMC's sensory friendly films, you need to check them out: http://www.amctheatres.com/programs/sensory-friendly-films
I learned from the last time I took Garrett to the Sensory Friendly Films (for Shrek the Third).  He stole other people's snacks...thus I ended up spending a fortune on treats/drinks just to keep him happy.  So, this time we were sneaky and hid a bunch of movie theatre-type candy in my giant purse to deter treat thievery during the movie.
These are some happy boys wondering what in the world is going on, since they are in the car with BOTH mommy and daddy at the same time and not just going to McDonalds.
Such good boys sticking with mom and dad.

It was fun to be with all the boys and watch a fun movie.  Jason kept dumping his candy on the floor and trying to pick it up and eat it...so Kevin didn't love that part.  Ha ha.  We had him come sit on my lap afterward.  Garrett was very attentive and narrated the movie with his own little words the whole time.  Good thing there were other kids in there doing the same thing.  Ha ha.  Love me sensory friendly films for that reason alone.  Hint: Don't go if you expect to actually be able to watch the movie in peace.  Do go if you want to give your kids a fun experience at the movie theater without stressing.
Now, don't feel sorry for my cute Caiti.  She and her super fun Aunt Michelle got to go swimming.  Swimming is Caiti's own personal heaven.  :)

Jul 6, 2013

Something to do With Popsicle Sticks

As an autism mom, I'm grateful I found a fun idea on Pinterest to do with popsicle sticks.  First though, funny fact about me.  When I was little, I really wanted to collect something, i.e., stamps, dolls...that kind of stuff. But I didn't really have the resources for that, so I ended up washing off all the popsicle sticks after we had popsicles.  I ended up with a great big bag of them, and I had such ideas of what I was going to make with them...that never happened.  So, today, I have finally made something out of popsicle sticks.  It might not be the same, since I bought these sticks at the Dollar Store.
I decided to try out the popsicle stick puzzles they have all over Pinterest.  I found some pics my kids would like on google images...



I printed the pics off, and then modpodged the popsicle sticks to the backs of the pictures.  After they dried, I cut between the sticks and then remodpodged (is that a word?) the fronts of the sticks so the pics would stay on securely.  

I was originally going to put a strip of velcro on a laminated sheet of paper and then the other side of the velcro on the popsicle sticks, but I was too lazy.  Instead, I found some old magnetic tape and put strips on the backs of the sticks.  That way, they can just put the puzzles together on a cookie sheet.  As always, who knows if they will actually use them...but at least I did something with those popsicle sticks.

Jul 2, 2013

Safety Harnesses for Big Kids and Adults

As an autism mom, I'm grateful that my sister and one of our ABA tutors took the initiative to find safety harnesses for kids that aren't toddlers.  I mean, really.  How many of us autism moms out there have to deal with elopement.  If you are thinking elopement means we're all worried about our kids running off and getting married...take off the "getting married" part, and you have it right.
A good definition of elopement can be found on the Autism Community website in an article by Abby Twyman, M.eD., BCBA,:
 "Elopement is when a person leaves an area without permission or notification which usually leads to placing that individual in a potentially dangerous situation. Elopement, wandering or bolting from an area (i.e. home, classroom, etc.) is a relatively common problem in individuals with autism. A survey study conducted by Interactive Autism Network (IAN) found that nearly half of all individuals with autism (based on 800 responses) engaged in elopement behavior."
It was nice when they were little, and we could take them to a public place with their cute little monkey backpack that had the "leash" on it.  Yes, it sucked to hear annoying people comment about how bad it was for us to put our kid on a leash, but we would grin and bear it because that kid on a leash was safe.
(This pic makes me laugh.  It was the only time I traveled with all three of my children.  It was for our family reunion back in 2010.  We were staying in a cabin by a pond, and my kids are way too tempted to run off and play in scary water, so they were wearing their harnesses the whole time).
Anyway, now that they are MUCH bigger, those harnesses really don't work.  It has hindered our efforts to do much of anything fun anywhere that has lots of crowds or is too big.  So, back to my first sentence. Hooray for my sister and our ABA tutor for finding a website with harnesses for all sizes.  I don't have any more excuses to not use those zoo passes.  ;)  If anyone else is interested in finding an older child-to-adult harness, the website is: http://www.childharness.ca/2strap.html



Goodbye to Carpet!

As an autism mom, I'm grateful that I was finally able to say goodbye to our carpet.  Here are just a few of the reasons carpet wasn't a good thing in my house:
1.  Children who are still potty training...still...yes, still...after years and years.
2.  A child who is obsessed with water and likes to flood...everything.
3.  This same child who is also obsessed with making bubbles and will pour dish soap or any other kind of soap on the carpet.  (Including a Costco-sized dish soap that she poured the whole thing in one spot.  Needless to say, that was fun to try and get out.   No, it never fully did come out of that spot.)
4.  Mold!  When you have a combination of all the above, and are shampooing your carpets on a daily basis...mold is a very likely visitor.

The main reason we were able to get rid of our carpet was #4, and a letter from my kids' awesome doctor.  I just have to quote some of it, just to show you how awesome he is:
We live in military housing, and they are really good about meeting special needs when there is a doctor's note involved.  It was actually a pretty hard experience to go through, and we did feel very judged, and felt that they didn't read the underlined part of the above letter, but in the end, we were able to get vinyl flooring throughout the house.  We were worried it would look like a hospital, but luckily, they gave us flooring that looks like hardwood floors.  They also put in high-impact drywall in the bathrooms to prevent mold from any flooding.
Can I just say this has improved the quality of life in our home by about 1000%, just with the ease and quickness of cleaning up alone.  I'm so grateful to housing for making these changes.  


Jun 3, 2013

"Open"

As an autism mom, I'm grateful for another spontaneous word that Caiti said yesterday morning.  She woke up in a bad mood, and as always, it was a guessing game figuring out what she wanted.  However; she came up to me and said, "Open?"  She then grabbed my hand and led me to the bathroom.  So, I opened the bathroom (which was locked for reasons I will explain in my next post), so she could have a bath (which is Caiti's favorite thing in the world).  Her bath was very soothing to her and cheered her up.  Yay for some functional language!  

Apr 24, 2013

Be Still

As an autism mom, I'm grateful for this song,Be Still, by The Killers.  I was driving home from getting my son's prescription last night.  I was feeling overwhelmed and discouraged, and this song started playing.  I felt like the message was for me, and it also brought to my mind that wonderful scripture, Psalms 46:10, "Be astill, and bknow that I am God..." that reminds me to give my worries to God when I am unable to do anything else.

Apr 21, 2013

Autism and Dental Work

As an autism mom, I'm grateful for pediatric dentistry.  The dental aspect of autism is especially hard for me. My kids are not so good at letting me brush their teeth, and they'd rather chew on the toothbrush than brush their teeth themselves.  Their school OT suggested vibrating toothbrushes.  I had never tried them before because I thought the noise would totally bug them, but actually, they really like those.  I'm grateful for their ABA programs for implementing tooth brushing.  They are starting right at the basic, desensitizing them to the feeling of a toothbrush in their mouths and working up to total brushing of their teeth.  This might not sound good to those out there who don't understand because how long will that take?  But, I'm glad they are doing it a little at a time, so toothbrushing will no longer be so aversive to my kids.
Needless to say, my kids have plenty of cavities.  Also needless to say, they will not tolerate any dental work (xrays, teeth cleaning, procedures).  This is why I'm grateful for pediatric dentistry.  Our primary care doctor referred them to the pediatric dentistry clinic at the hospital.  For those of you who are curious how to get this kind of dental care, the primary care doctor is who I would start with.  Most know where to refer your child for specialized dental care.
Our pediatric dentist wants to see my kids every four months for checkups.  This is basically so that they can get used to him and more comfortable with dental visits.  He does a visual exam of their teeth when we visit.  If he sees any visible cavities, that is when we schedule an entire day for dental procedures.
For Jason, in order to even be able to have this done, he first had to have a physical exam.  The day before the procedure, we had to go to the hospital for preop.  The morning of the procedure he couldn't have anything to eat, and he could only drink clear fluids up until 2 hours before his scheduled procedure.  After that, he wasn't allowed to drink anything.
When we got to the hospital, they changed him into some nifty hospital pajamas.  I like those a lot more than hospital gowns...even if Jason does have a cute little bum.  Jason was super comfy in his pajamas, and he was lucky because Aunt Michelle sent him with his SUPER SOFT blankie.
While we were waiting, the anesthesiologist came to talk to us.  He explained how they would put Jason under for the procedure.  The procedure would last anywhere from 2-4 hours for the xray, cleaning, fillings, any major dental work.
I was so glad they had the swivel chairs in the room we were waiting in.  Jason was very entertained and resourceful, using the sink and the hospital bed to propel his spinning.  :)
Anyway, the anesthesiologist came and got Jason and told me where the waiting room was.  I waited forever for them to finish.  They ended up doing three mini root canals in the back of his mouth and pulling one tooth.  I'm so grateful that they could do this all in one visit (even if it did take all day).  I'm grateful my baby boy was asleep and didn't have to freak out about what was happening.
We spent a couple hours in the recovery room waiting for Jason to come out of anesthesia, and then we were discharged to home.  Jason now has a much happier mouth.

Apr 18, 2013

Zoo

As an autism mom, I'm grateful for the zoo. We have zoo passes for the kids, and one great thing about the zoo is that if your child is disabled, the accompanying adult is free. This was also true at Sea World and Birch Aquarium, so it's always a good idea to check these place's policies to see if you might save some money that way.
Today was a good day to take Jason to the zoo. He had a pediatric dental procedure this afternoon where they will be using anesthesia to put him out, and he isn't allowed to eat anything at all or drink anything after two hours before the procedure. The zoo is actually only about 10 minutes from the hospital, so it was a convenient way to distract Jason from his growling tummy.
He was so happy to be at the zoo and have his mommy all to himself. He especially LOVED the Skyfari tram ride. Me...not so much.







Apr 10, 2013

Hungry and Swing

As an autism mom, I'm grateful for any new words that come out of my kids' mouths.  Caiti and Jason are "nonverbal."  They definitely make lots of "words" with their mouth, but not words that I understand.  Caiti is adorable when she plays with her toys, and she has them talk to each other in Caiti jabber.  Jason is so sweet when he's just sitting there doing actions to the songs, so then I know that in his brain, he's "singing" Eensie Weensie Spider.
Yesterday Caiti came up to me bearing a plate.  She has always done this when she wants something to eat, and I usually prompt her to say something by asking, "What do you want?"  She normally will respond with her go-to word, "Drink."  However, yesterday, I didn't even have to ask what she wanted.  She came up to me and said, "Uh-bree."  So, my baby girl said "hungry" to me.  That made me so proud and happy to hear her using a word spontaneously and correctly.
When we were at the park, later in the day, I asked Jason what he wanted, and he said, "Weeb"  which in Jason terms is "swing."  He's so cute and sweet, and I gladly took him over to the swings and gave him a push.
It's the little things, that are huge in my house, that make it all worth it.

Apr 3, 2013

Sewing Machine (for the DIY Hammock Swing)

As an autism mom, I'm grateful for my sewing machine.  It took me a while to like it cause I didn't get how to work it, everything I made looked like crap, etc.  And it still does...but it has proved useful.  For instance, if you saw our earlier posts, you know that my kids LOVE swings.  We were fortunate enough to be given a swingset for Christmas from a local charity.  Unfortunately, my kids have already broken all the swings because they use them constantly...and they're pretty big kids.
So this morning I got on pinterest and looked up DIY hammocks.  I figured maybe my sewing machine could help me out on that one.  And it did.  I found an old blanket and followed the directions in one of the pins on pinterest to sew hems on both sides of the blanket.  They said to then thread rope through the hems and hang it from a tree.  I don't have a nice big tree to do that, and I've used rope before, that soooo doesn't work out at my house.  I did have the chains from the broken swings, so I connected two chains together per side and threaded them through the hem.  I then hung them from the hookie thingies on the swingset.  It worked great.

But I got to thinking that maybe the blanket would rip...especially if my kids can break the plastic swings.  So I got a scrap piece of leather (Yes, I cut the leather off of my old couches for future projects).  and sewed it to the back of the hammock to provide reinforcement.  I also realized my kids were looking super hot when they'd come in for swinging.  So...
After thinking how hot fleece would feel surrounding you, like it does in the hammock form, I used one of our worn out sheets and sewed that the front and over the hem to provide a cooler seat for my kids.


And hey, it worked out...at least for now...or until I have extra money to buy the expensive swings that will hold the weight of three enthusiastic swingers.  :)

Mar 23, 2013

Caiti's "Mirror"

As an autism mom, I'm grateful for cameras that have the ability to switch the view finder to face you.  This is because my kids think it is a mirror, and the results are very cute movies just for me.

Mar 22, 2013

Miracle Naps

As an autism mom, today I'm grateful for the miraculous event of all three children napping at the same time ( not to mention Dougie).