Friday, June 29, 2012

Big News

We announced something amazing yesterday to everyone or rather Grace announced something


YUP. Grace is going to be a big sister in February / March of next year. We are thrilled but there is a level of trepidation that comes along with it. Yes, I know every mom get's nervous about having babies. I am no different, but adding the special needs cocktail into the mix and some moments my anxiety takes over.
There are no guarantees in life, no 100% anything, no promises, nothing that says lightening won't strike twice. Or in our case 3 times. I know so many people in the autism community choose to not have any more after they have their child with autism. I know , I understand, and I don't judge them in any way. We are all in different places.

I would resent Sammy and autism if I felt it had forced me to give up my dreams of a big family. I would be bitter and angry and heartbroken if I had to give up simply because of autism. No one should have to give up their dreams. It's just unnatural. Isn't that what I work so hard with Sammy for? I want him to see his potential, to see his dreams, and to not hold back. I want to see him fire off into the sky and shine brighter than the moon. WHY? Just having autism , doesn't mean he doesn't have dreams and hopes. He must. We may not know what they really are yet, but we will. He will be amazing!

He will be AMAZING and he will be cheered on by both younger and older siblings. Because autism has messed with me and my family enough I wont let it take this dream too.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Promise

The other day I saw a rainbow. In fact it was a double rainbow. Before you start thinking I went off the deep end like the double rainbow guy I assure you I have not. It was beautiful.

It reminded me that it's going to be ok. I am struggling with some stuff right now and it's really hard. i feel like I was treading water before but now I'm in over my head. It's a scary feeling, I assure you. My life feels out of control. My house is a mess, my laundry is a mess and as a result I am a mess. I always feel the need to be perfect and I ALWAYS fail at it. regardless of how hard I try it's a measure I cannot obtain. My days have often felt like an oncoming storm. Like my sky was dark and the  clouds were everywhere. I felt lost in the storm and afraid.

 I was thinking about all of my shortcomings when Nate pointed out the beautiful rainbow across the sky.




I suddenly had such a feeling of peace and happiness.It was a rainbow. It may have still had a few clouds but it was a rainbow none the less

It may not have lasted long but it was nice while it lasted.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Out to Dinner

I was so tired Saturday that the idea of cooking anything at all made me want to cry. We don't usually go out to dinner because Sammy just doesn't do well. Plus with 5 kids, two of them teenage boys, we often cannot even think about affording it. The older  boys are away with their youth group, so its just The adults and the littles. So off we went. Sammy wanted the place with the peanuts! Texas roadhouse it is. Sam was PERFECT. the food was good and the waitress was awesome. She brought out 4 kids waters and recounted the kids 3-4 times, smiled sheepishly and and said " Hmm, why did I think there were four kids" We had a good giggle and sucked down the water.

He ate, he stayed in his seat. he followed the rules and he used his manners. I watched him crack one peanut after another. Every time he was almost surprised their was soemthing inside. he found a giant peanut in one and started bouncing yelling "JACKPOT!!!JACKPOT!!!" Thankfully that place is loud enough that no one noticed and no one cared. I actually relaxed for the first time in a long time and just enjoyed the kids.
 

Grace was a hoot! she kept dancing to the music and asking Daddy and Sam to dance too. She kept kissing Sammy and singing to him. She learned how to be a zombie! I can't wait to get that on video!

Nate cracked every single nut on his head. Like the "I'm racking a nut" video a few months ago. He is such a unique child. He really does brighten my day.

He went off the BJ's after. We needed yogurt and eggs and a few other things. We were there less than 15 minutes...

Yup you guessed it. I pressed my luck and pushed him to far. He melted down in the checkout line. I had to hold him so he wouldn't hurt himself. The little girl beside me stared at us so shocked that a child her age would behave that way. We finally got out of the store and got calmed and he bolted across the lot.

I know better then to push him. I know better than to think 2 difficult things in one night are a good idea. WHAT WAS I THINKING. We should have ended on a good note, instead it was chaos.








Monday, June 25, 2012

Incongruity

Last week here the mercury (does anyone actually use mercury thermometers anymore) hit 98 with heat indexes over 100. I was very happy seeing as how happy hot makes me. I live for weather like that. it makes me sooo happy. Sam, not so much.

He kept asking if he was melting and if he was going to melt away. I tried not to giggle because he was honestly concerned he would. We pulled out the pool, we invited the neighbor, we enjoyed the water and  being splashed, had ice cream for snack and just lazed around. It was a pretty nice few days.

So far summer vacation hasn't killed me. When things are this good I start wondering if I could home school Sammy. If he would be happier in a less challenging environment. I begin to romanticize having him home and things running smoothly. I picture bunnies and tea parties and pretty yellow flowers.
Sammy filling the water gun and enjoying the bubbles it makes

Then yesterday I watched him suddenly punch his brother in the face. I heard the pop of his hand hit Nate. I watched Nate tumble. Then I remembered, "oh yeah, no, he NEEDS school"

Sam and Nate getting along for a minute
Even after all these years with him the incongruity surprises me. It still catches me off guard and makes me sad. I can't seem to wrap my head around how this awesome kid who is just now beginning to hug me can think nothing of punching his brother in the face! It still shocks me. It still makes me hold my breath. It reminds me that we are dealing with something I really don't have a handle on. Something I probably never will have a handle on. That is heartbreaking to me.


It's still , just one foot in front of the other. On step at a time.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Forward!

My Sam has been extra difficult at times lately, anyone who reads here knows the challenges we have seen the last few weeks. Something else is emerging however. Something AMAZING. He has started hugging me! They are still  out of the blue without warning. They are still random and completely unexpected. Regardless of when or where or even why they are happening...

I am still getting REAL hugs from Sammy.

Sometimes I forget where the real deficits lay because he talks so much, because of his behaviors, and because I spend so much time focused on fixing the negative stuff. It's so hard to see the stuff that isn't there, until it is actually there. It's hard to prove a negative right? So i often forget where we fall short because if it isn't there it isn't in my face. I didn't realize I wasn't being hugged until I was.


This may disappear. This may be gone in an instant. I want to hold it so tightly in my hand that no one even knows it's there. I want to stop time and never let it move forward. At an age where a lot of boys are starting to think hugging mom is "uncool" my boy has just started. He wraps his arms around me and buries his head in my neck. He snuggles in close and melts into me. He hugs me as though we are the only people in the world at that very moment. When my boy hugs me, I assure you... we are.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Second Chances

I have been puzzling something out. It's hard for me to feel like I don't have the answers. I just don't know what to make of things right now. I can't quiet wrap my head around any of it. Do you think there is such a thing as a Do-Over? Does God really do that? Is it possible? Maybe It's just wishful magical thinking?


On a side note Sammy has been super affectionate lately. He keeps rubbing his cheek against my shoulder when I'm wearing tank tops. It's probably just a a stim but Right now I will take it. I don't really get hugs unless I ask. I will get "hug-kiss-snuggle-hug" before I leave the house every time.

We finished our first week of summer vacation and we have all lived. I think that is an amazing feat in and of itself ! Don't you think so?




 Sammy has a behavior protocol at home he earns blocks for every half hour he follows the rules. Good choices,gentle hands,gentle words and respect. today he earned 12 total which has never happened before. However , even though he has the blocks he can count he is obsessing over them. every 2 minutes "how many blocks did I earn now?" over and over and over. enough to drive me insane. I think we may need a timer. Any suggestions?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

One Foot

I want so badly to write a happy post, I do. I feel like sometimes people think my life is always horrible. It isn't I promise. I am just a control freak who likes to micro manage the world around me. I get upset when things aren't my kind of right or perfect.
My friend has a great saying "avoid the wrecking ball at all costs" well....
Easier said than done my friend...easier said than done. However it's just one foot in front of the other
You see, the issue with a wrecking ball is it starts out small. By the time it's this giant mammoth of destruction you have gotten so use to it that it's too late. It's hard to see it with blinders on.

So back to that happy post. I woke up today to some unexpected stuff. While that is downloading and processing I will leave you with this.


This is where Dan found Sam the other day. In , yes IN, the dog food bag with a bag of chips.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Schools out For Summer

The school year ended on Thursday for Sammy and AJ, Tyler is still in until this week. I always forget to do something for Sammy's angels. I always spend the first half of my summer feeling sad and guilty that I forgot to do something for these lovely people who have loved on my son all year long. His team works hard and they listen. We really have been blessed with a fantastic team.

So often we hear parent's of kids like ours complaining about the team they have just not doing enough. I get it, we were there a few years back in a different school district. Now, we are blessed with an amazing team of professionals that love Sammy and work so hard with him.

This year I remembered to do something nice for them all. I made giant GF cupcakes and frosted them with homemade cinnamon chocolate frosting. Sammy made hand prints and I turned them into a hand signing " I love you" I put his name and the year on it. Each person also got a handwritten thank you note. Seriously! I was so proud of myself. Granted they were delivered 20 minutes before the day ended, but still

A WIN IS A WIN


Saturday, June 16, 2012

Planning

{this is by far the hardest post I have ever written or published. I am debating if I even have enough strength to publish this one. If your reading this , I must have put it out there. Please, be kind}
this is not my own photo. 


Planning what you might ask? Planning time for a nervous breakdown silly!

Yes, just a few days ago I sat at my very own kitchen table trying to see if I could schedule in a convenient time for a nervous breakdown. I don't do messy and I sure as hell don't love unplanned ANYTHING. I figured if I could keep it together until this family I am working with is done I should be fine to take it.

How absolutely control freakish does that sound?I know some of you (family & friends) are reading this thinking I am bat shit nuts! Well, yeah, maybe a little. the bottom line is I feel like there isn't time to go off the deep end. I feel such a weight of responsibility every moment of every day that I literally couldn't even find time to fall apart. Falling apart would also mean having to get messy. So many of you have commented to me about my honesty here at YLMB and I thank you for that. This place here, this sacred piece of space, is mine to deal with my demons. I vent here a lot, but I feel like I owe it to a lot of you as well to let you see all sides of it.

Not a big secret either, that I am Catholic. I talk a lot about my faith and my Savior so what I say next shouldn't surprise anyone.
My dear friend gave me something to try to help me through this, to get the "flame thrower" over the "bic lighter" of God's grace. The issue is never God, the issue is our humanness and the innability to let God into the spaces we need him to be in. Being the controlled person I am I tend to give him very little wiggle room. I love him and I still push him away and fight against him. Totally not proud of those moments , but it is entirely what it is.
So... I worked on this visualization that my friend Michelle had told me about .
What I got was Jesus beside me at the table. I kept expecting him to speak to say SOMETHING!! He didn't he just sat there silently with this look on his face. I don't know how to describe the look I saw but his eyes made me still. My mind was so still for just a moment and I heard this song



and then poof it was gone. I  know this sounds crazy to those of you that don't get it. I know to those of you that don't believe in God this must seem like pure foolishness.Regardless, I had to share this because, well, that's what I do here. No filter,no expectations, no limits. If I change that ideal now, then the last few years haven't meant anything.


Friday, June 15, 2012

Graduation




Grace with her favorite brother
My darling AJ graduated from middle school on Wednesday. I couldn't be any prouder of that boy than I am now. AJ gives me so much hope for the future. You see, when AJ was younger the doctors didn't think he would really be OK. He was very sick and frail and delayed in his development. He walked late, He talked late and he played late. He never gave up for one second though and was tough as nails from day one.

Band Director and AJ
He is that kid who hears a challenge in phrases like "That is impossible!" More often then not he proves everyone wrong, including me! He is charming, intelligent, thoughtful, and bright! Anyone who says teenagers are a drag have never met my boy. He. Is. Awesome.
Nani and Bapa with the graduate

He received his diploma, a certificate from band, and an award for keeping a 90 or better average through his time in Middle School. It hasn't been the best year for him with one of his teachers. AJ expects perfection from everyone, including himself, so when the teacher kept loosing assignments he got a little...angry. That is now behind us and we are looking forward to all honors and AP classes next year. Sports and Band are also on the top of the list, and secretly momma is hoping he tried out drama club too.

Proud parents and sister
He really is a star and I have to say, despite his issues he is TRULY one of the MOST amazing kids I have ever had the chance to know. I am so glad he is my boy!
love this boy



According To Denise
cool new link up

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Field Day

Sammy had field day last week. It was held at the rec center since there is no longer a yard at the school now that construction has begun. It was mostly nice. They did have some indoor events which Sammy struggled with. It was loud and hot and muggy. They blew an air-horn to signify change from one event to the next and Sammy covered his ears in pain each time. It bothered me to watch that. Couldn't they come up with something better?




Once we were outside things were better and I could see Sammy's body language relax and settle. He played the first 2 or 3 games fine but during the last one I watched his body language switch. His fingers , which earlier were relaxed and silent, began their flight. A mile a minute. I watched him try to stop and place his hands in the "quiet hands" position I had taught him many years ago. Oh I hate having taught him that. His eyes began to flip around and he flipped up onto his tip toes just ever so slightly. To most people he was just having fun, but I know my boy. he scanned the crowd, he looked for escape, he looked like he was in pain. I mentioned to the parent beside me "Uh-Oh looks like were about to hit a wall". He came to me and buried his head against my chest and took a deep deep breath. He was shaking. He said "this is too much, I want to be done"
My heart was breaking for him. This should be fun! Instead it took all my boy had to be part of it up to this point. I brought him over to his aide Mrs.L. and had him use his words "I am overwhelmed I need a break". Four times he tried and couldn't but the fifth time he did. She told him to take a seat, and I watched his entire body melt. Seconds later they were lining up to get back to school for a cookout. He again started to become upset and bothered. The transitions were not handled smoothly. I reassured him we would meet back at the school and that I would eat with him. He got into line fingers flying beside him hidden to anyone who doesn't yet understand my boy.

I met him at the school, he was under the tree waiting for me. We had a lovely picnic and then played on the playground. He kissed me and said "so glad you came over mommy"  He asked his friend A to join us. I really like that kid. He has fantastic manners and social skills and he seems to really like Sammy, quirks and all. We all need a friend that loves us for who we are. Sam has a few. He has Miss S. and Miss L., Mr. M and Mr.A.

I dismissed him from school and he was all smiles. It was the bright spot in our otherwise horrific week.

I'll take it!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Time to Let Go

I struggle with my emotions. I find them hard and cumbersome and bothersome. I hate the fact that every so often I get overwhelmed by random feelings and emotions. I don't know that I have felt any emotion fully since I was about 14 or so. I would much rather pull out my toe nails or file my own teeth than deal with how I "feel". I always think through the feelings to figure out if I should allow myself to feel them.
Is feeling this way expected of me?
Is this feeling justified?
Am I over-reacting?
Am I doing it for attention?
Can it wait until I am alone?
Is it my place to feel this way?

I guess that means I am emotionally stunted in some way. My friend Michelle over at Normal Chaos refers to this as "emotional duct tape" and in a way I guess that is it. I spend so much time thinking about how I am supposed to feel I have forgotten how I am supposed to feel. It has left me feeling keyed up and on edge and frustrated. I want to let go and just cry and I can't. I have tried every single trick I know to help me get it out. Sad songs, sad movies, sad stories, sad books and still nothing, Could I have broken myself?

I so desperately need to cry and let out everything that has been building inside of me for weeks and I can't seem to do it. I can feel the catch in my throat and the sting in my eyes yet it still eludes me

I know it's time to Let it Go but I seem to be wrapped far too tightly to let it happen. This blog is all I have to get my emotions out. The only way I can process what I think and feel is by writing them down. Still the tears won't come and I know they need to. I'm so afraid that they will show up at some crazy time as  they have before. Last time I felt this way I began to laugh at something and then it turned into sobbing uncontrollably. I don't want that to happen again... talk about awkward.

Pairing up at PYHO as always, why? cuz Shell rocks

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Concert

Wood School is being torn down. In just a few short days the old school will be a memory and the new school construction will begin. Sam is having a very difficult time with it. The staff  at the school have been so awesome with Sammy. I really feel blessed to have the school community that we do. It's been crappy here so Im going back to the good stuff.

They had their concert this week and it was awesome. Very emotionally charged because of it really being the last concert for Wood School. I watched Sam sing and realised how much fun he has performing. He likes to be on stage and singing or acting. A few years ago I would have said it wasn't possible, but it is now!
video



He was awesome Nate, Grace, and I watched the concert as they had their snack. Grace didn't finish hers so I left it on the bench. Grace got  fidgety. I brought her to the back of the room. We saw Sam in the hall after the concert while they waited to preform the finale. I got a great video of his teacher and him dancing,

When Sammy walked into the room for the finale he grabbed the rest of the bar I left and ate it. His poor teacher panicked. I felt so bad for her. I did make him apologize and he was super embarrassed. He just has absolutely no impulse control. To him he did't do anything wrong since HE knew it was safe. I bet his teacher is glad the year is almost over!



Long Days and Longer Nights

Sam has been having a rough time lately and as a result the entire family has been in a tail spin, I am being bombarded with reports from the bus, from school, from my husband while I am at work. He comes in ans starts bullying his brother or me. He is swearing at EVERYONE any time he gets even slightly frustrated. I am at a loss and I am just plain tired. Tonight he ran away... like really

ran away.

My heart stopped.

What can I do to stop this craziness? How can I protect him from himself? He has no idea what could happen and there isn't any real way i can explain it to him.
I just keep thinking what if he runs away when I am work. What if he runs away and gets hit by a car? What if I have to call the police and they take him away from me?
That last one hits home. I spend every waking moment dealing with this. I am doing my best. I give it every single thing I have in me.


What if it isn't enough?

What if it isn't enough to protect my little fluffy headed Sammy. My sweet boy who often smells like growing grass and smiles with every inch of his body is so vulnerable. So fragile, so...confused and there isn't anything I can do to help him.
No amount of tears will bring him back if something happens. He doesn't know where he lives, he doesn't know his address. He just knows his name and the name of his school, but school is out in just a few days. How am I going to do this? I can deal with the bad behavior, the PICA, the stories, I can deal with the refusals and the frustration. I can deal with it when he can't find the words and he gets so mad he screams. I can deal with the swearing.

I can't deal with the running away, because I have no control. I have no real say. I can't make it better.
I have to install locks he can't reach or unfasten. I need alarms on the windows. How am I going to afford all of this? How can I not do it? his life depends on it at this point.

I love this boy so much and I would do anything to protect him. I am 50+ miles away at work right now and I am so afraid he won't be in his bed in the morning. I would protect him from anyone that ever tried to hurt him. What happens when the person hurting them, is them. WHAT THEN?!

Monday, June 11, 2012

My Heart Monday ~ DDS

I have been holding on to the paperwork for the Department of Developmental Services for a while now. I keep looking at the web site and thinking about it. I just couldn't make myself do it. It feels like just filling out the papers means it isn't going away.

I know it isn't going away. I know he will always be Sammy and part of him is autism. I know that now, in fact I have known that for a while. This just makes it so in your face real. I put it off because I didn't want him to feel labeled all his life in case the doctors were wrong.

Even though I know they aren't wrong I am still having such a hard time with it.

The bottom line is he needs services, most of which we cannot afford. It's 45$ for each apt for co pay. 10 appointments a month and I can't feed the rest of the kids. We need respite care. I can't keep this up. I will not survive this summer if I don't get help. He has 3 weeks off before summer session. I may just have a nervous breakdown.

So the paperwork is done. It's sitting on my table beside my morning coffee. It took only a few minutes to fill out. Every time I look at it I am overwhelmed by abject fear and grief.

One step forward... stop...

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Mud Baby

We have been renting a car since our smaller car broke. I only rent it on the days I need to work because Wonder Hubby has to leave when I am just getting out of work. I work over an hour away right now in Newton and Wonder Hubby works almost an hour away in Westwood. He has to be at work for 7:30am and if he leaves any later than 6am he will be late because of the traffic patterns. I get out at 6am and drive to meet him and the kids halfway between the two. It's like a relay race. It sucks but it's life.
So we have been renting a car and it needed to be returned Friday by 5:30pm. I took Grace with me and left the two teens in charge of Thing 3 and Thing4. Thing5 was not happy to get into her seat but we got her in (picture trying to put a cat in a tux) and I was on my way. The kids were all in the yard playing.
20 minutes we were gone.

TWENTY FREEKING MINUTES!!

Daniel and I pull up and see Sammy riding a scooter outside the yard in a small circle. I burst into uncontrollable laughter as did Dan. We parked the van and this is what we saw...









Yup That's Sammy covered in mud from the garden. He was so excited and happy. He looked like a cross between hulk and a hobit! I found mud everywhere, both inside and outside the house. Apparently Ty went inside for something and this was the result.

Bath Time

Saturday, June 9, 2012

The Necklace

I received a gift in the mail this week. Completely unexpected and wonderful, more than enough to brighten my day. I follow an amazing blogger named Jess over at Diary of a Mom and she is just incredible. She often makes me cry, always makes me think, and sometimes even makes me giggle. She posted this site back in May   for Autism Jewelry and I fell in love with one of the necklaces. Jokingly I posted it to my page and told the world I wanted it for Mother's Day. Never did I think anyone was listening or really paying attention. In fact I think the only response I got was my boss / cousin asking for a diamond tennis bracelet. I forgot about it as Mother's Day came and went.

It's been a rough few weeks here. School transitions, end of year issues,temperature changes, allergies, returning to work, jury duty, and an intensity increase in Sam's fear of water have left me feeling borderline ... well just borderline. I spend much of last weekend contemplating what my family might do if I had a nervous breakdown and ended up in a padded room. I am not kidding, it was that bad. I even at one point just sat down and sobbed hysterically. Not my finest moment for certain and a dear friend (Mr.W) "I did not perform well". I am just exhausted both physically and mentally.

Then this week a package came in the mail addressed to me. I didn't recognize the return address and it wasn't my birthday, I hadn't ordered anything, and I wasn't expecting anything. I opened it to find a beautiful lavender colored box. There was a slip inside with a vague reference to a gift from someone not mentioned and a delay. Still at a loss I looked and found a business card from The Jewel Box Studio. suddenly I remembered the post I made and got super excited. I opened the box and found this


My Beautiful Necklace



It made my day. I still do not know who sent it.

Whoever you are.
Thank you,  From the bottom of my shattered heart. It came at a moment when I felt so alone I couldn't breath. I was drowning in self doubt and fear. I will spare you the details of the pity party I was indulging in because those details aren't necessary. What is important is that you know how very grateful I am for this gift. I don't know if it was just a simple gesture on your part or if you really knew how much this would mean to me, it doesn't matter. Thank you so much whoever you are.It.is.beautiful.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Just One Day

Someone pointed out today that I seem to question myself as a mother and they asked if I wanted to change it. I replied that I was working on it, and it was getting better. I thought about it on the way home. I don't know if better is accurate, different for sure but better? Let's be real, it isn't better.

I feel like a failure. I feel like a fraud. I feel like it's all my fault. I second guess everything.

Before Sammy was first diagnosed I thought about what I was doing wrong. What was different about`what I did with Sammy  vs. the older boys? Oh I worked, that must be it. I convinced myself that having a job, even though they came with me, must have been the root of it. I worked on a farm (oh how I loved that job) and the kids came too. I didn't leave them and that was awesome but being at work meant I couldn't attend to them the way I would have at home. I was convinced I must have damaged him somehow. When I stopped working I poured myself into him and still I was met by a wall. For years I blamed me, and some of me still does. A lot of me actually. It's better some days than others. Sort of like standing on the beach in the sand, if you get to close to the water the waves sweep the sand away. That wave is my grief over the life my children have, it sometimes comes out of nowhere, like a tsunami. Other times it's like the rising tide on a flat beach that overtakes you when you aren't looking.

The part that is so hard right now is I work now too. I worked when Nate was little too. I work nights. I like my job but I miss my kids. I hate leaving my family to be with someone else's children. It seems so backwards. I feel guilty every time I leave. It hollows me out inside every time. My house is never clean enough. My  tone is never calm enough and the laundry is never done.I wonder if that is why Nate is such a handful. I wonder if that is why some people see him as a spoiled brat. It must all be my fault. Am I setting Grace up for the same exact thing in a few years. Am I too indulgent to make up for leaving? Am I trying to make up for Sammy having autism?

I don't hold anyone else to my standard, just me. I just want one day where the demons of self doubt don't chase me. Just. One. Day



Wednesday, June 6, 2012

OOCH

Ooch~ Sounds like something you say when you stub your toe  or bite your tongue doesn't it? Well, while it may be true that something needs to be muttered when you find the chair leg with your foot in the middle of the night, those words aren't what I'm talking about


OOCH is a performer like I have never seen before. Sam.loves.him.
When I say Sammy loves him, I mean it in the way that most people love chocolate or potato chips or chocolate covered potato chips (*drool*). Can you live without those items...yes , but who wants to?? Life is just more all around fun with them in it. Sam has decided that Ooch is his very best friend and has been the only topic of conversation since seeing him this past Saturday at the Wood School BBQ.
I can't really blame him though. Ooch is pretty nifty. He has hoola-hoops and yo-yo tricks and plays great music and he dances. This guy has charisma coming out his ears! He does stuff with a yo-yo that just amaze Sammy.  There are some studies that show kids on the spectrum benefit from yo yo play. I don't know if it's the spinning motion or what, but really who cares. If it makes my boy happy how on Earth can I complain.
Here is an Ooch video for you. check out his skills!

So often it's hard for Sam to enjoy things out of the house. I don't usually take him to a lot of the school events since it's loud and chaotic. We almost didn't go to the BBQ but last minute figured we would chance it. It was a rocky start and an even rockier finish - but what happened in the middle made it all worth it.

We found ourselves on the playground in the rain after a near miss meltdown early into lunch. Sammy couldn't take the noise and the smell and the people and so we went outside to run. Run he did , around and around and around. He did finally calm enough to go back in and finish eating. Then Ooch came on.

At first Sammy stood in the back corner of the room just watching the freeze dance game that Ooch played with everyone. I asked  Thing3 to dance with me and he did. Before I knew it he was off in the crowd dancing all on his own. At one point though I did have to stop him from hugging some kids that he didn't really know. He watched everything Ooch did with intense focus, but the real magic happened after. Sam went over and talked to Ooch. Yes Really. He went over and engaged with him. Not just the everyday "I like your dog" or "I am a secret super hero" conversation started but actually went over and talked.

Now I am sure Ooch had no idea what a big deal this was, but I did. Ooch's manager/publicist/agent came over to tell me about it. Denise is total awesomeness as well and she gave me a bunch of info that is so going to help Thing3.

So often we forget about the daily impact on these kids by the things around them. Ooch knows he can make an impact, and does. His personality and attitude are amazing. Not once did he ever seem bothered or bugged by the kids. Not even when the show was over and a few kids (read Sammy and Nate) took out the hoola-hoops again. Sammy had 2 of them and rather than take them away Ooch stood by Sammy. He told Sam "Show me what you got" and Sam spun the hoops around and even kept them up for a little bit. Ooch  applauded and complimented Sammy. Sam was GLOWING and talked about it all the way home. Since Saturday he has mentioned it 5 bazillion times! "Hey mom, remember when Ooch let me do the hoola-hoops and I kept them going? He's my best friend."

I know this is Ooch's job and he is nice to all the kids. He may be this way with every kid, but every kid is not my Sammy. To see the smile on my boy's face, to see him really happy... made the entire weekend drama worth it.
So Thank You OOCH for being so awesome. You really made Sam's Day
Ooch with Grace,Sam and Nate


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Perfect Smile

Taking Sam to the dentist is not the easiest feat to accomplish. He gets anxious and upset easily when out in public. He also doesn't like not being in control, or being touched, or sitting still, or doing anything outside of the "plan". Four years later and I still hear " Mom?! I have school today?!?" laced with both fear and curiosity. No amount of visual aid seems to stop it. He asks compulsively. So for those reasons you can understand why taking him to the dentist Saturday morning wasn't on my list of Fun Things To Do.  In fact I would rather brush my teeth with sandpaper or put a jelly fish in an evening gown than take the boy to the dentist.

You see our pediatric dentist (WHO WAS AWESOME BTW) retired a bit ago and I do not like the replacement. MY dentist office Perfect Smiles Dentistry has been fantastic dealing with my level of crazy at the dentist. You see they cater to people like me who are afraid of dental work. I don't mean just a little afraid, what I mean is I can't even make an appointment without throwing up. Well, I can now actually  thanks to this office making me feel 100% safe. When I found out they had hired a pediatric dentist I made an appointment for Thing3.



 They were AWESOME with him. they explained everything step by step. I reminded the woman at the desk that Sam was autistic and she responded with a smile and "yes, we were talking about him this morning so the entire staff was aware" That alone made me feel so much better. Then, the hygienist began talking to him. She didn't talk to me about him, she spoke TO him. Mom's know this is a big big deal. She did talk a little to fast for Sammy to really get what she was saying, but she was engaging so he was happy.

The Dentist came in and again Spoke to Sammy, showed him each tool, spoke slowly, and moved slowly. We have a treatment plan in place for Sammy now and will be going back there in just a few weeks. They did such a wonderful job. If your in the Wesport MA or Seekonk MA area with a special kid, this is the place to take them. We even talked about Grace's lip tie and he actually had knowledge on the subject. So go ahead and check out Dr Ahearn and Associates at Perfect Smiles

Sammy picked out his toy from the treasure box and all was well.







Sunday, June 3, 2012

From my old live journal in 2008

talking with sam today 
Sam - Want Cocobar?

Mom - First breakfast then cocobar. Waffles or fruit?

Sam - Want cocobar (screaming now)

Dad - Cereal?

Sam - Momm said wapples!!!!!!!!!!!!

mom - Ok want waffles!

Sam - NO MY HATE WAFFLES WANT COCO BAR

Mom - first breafast then coco bar. waffles or fruit

Sam - Wapples..... and syrup

yay! of course daddy had to make them since now mommy said no coco bar. he ate his waffles and now happily stimming with his horse

fyi coco bars are not candy bars but snack/cereal bars that are gf/cf and he LOVES them





Another post

like last night sam asked "my heart in there?" while pointing to my chest. he meant to say "your heart " Im sure but none the less...the moment was amazing. I just wish he could tell me he loves me...i tell him and he ssays "hanksss mum"(thanks mom)



It is amazing how far we have come. but with the drama here today i am reminded how far we still have to go.