Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A summer full of fun.....

Ahhh Summer, a time of slowing down and being in the moment! Enjoying the lazy little things and stopping to notice it all! BBQ's and friends, an iced tea under the wisteria, running around with no shoes, eating popsicles, splashing in the pool, riding bikes and lazing in the sunshine...ahh bliss!

This summer has been full of many beautiful moments...

Camping at Middle Fork, Copalis, Salmon La Sac and somewhere else I can't seem to remember right now.
A week at Seaside OR staying right on the beach.
Nana & Grandad visiting from Aus.
Thomas birthday and almost riding a bike with no training wheels.
Summer camps, playdates, picnics and BBQ's
Its been one crazy busy summer.

Pic's to come....

Sunday, July 31, 2011

July catch up.....

Summer Break is here and the kids are home for 10 weeks...yikes!
Summer camps are happening, can we say...yay!

Photos are being edited and I'll post pics and stories soon....

Monday, June 20, 2011

Mom of an Autistic child...I don't want to get up!

Beep! beep! beep! why am I dreaming of my alarm? I roll over as the reality of morning hits. It's 6am and time to start the new day, a day that is full of potential and fresh. The sun is shinning, the birds are singing, I stretch and feel completely refreshed in my perfect Snow-white wake-up! NOT!! Instead I try and hit the snooze button and miss, so I just lay there in bed, already anxious about what the morning will bring with its all-to-familiar but yet unpredictable challenges!

Ugh, do I have to get out of bed, can't I just hide from today and stay here buried under my safe, comforting covers? As I lay there still listening to the nagging sound of the alarm, scenarios of the day start to race through my head, preparing me for what may or may not come!

There really is no "thinking" about thinking of the "whats to come" and preparing on how to get through this day,  its completely automatic and is as natural as breathing in and out! Gone are the mornings of laying in bed excited about the day ahead, when the first thought that pops into your head are ones of the fun and joy to be had. I have come to learn that expectations and perfect scenarios are a setup for even more failure in an unpredictable, emotional day. I know, it sounds so pessimistic and I know what you are thinking...what does she expect if that is how she thinks? but again its all part of surviving and so much of this journey leaves you feeling like a failure, its hard to fail at something if you don't put it ALL out there to start with!

So instead my mind switches to strategising, "Optimistic Strategising" a plan on how to attack  work-with the intruder that steals the moments of joy from our everyday lives. In reality the moments are really quite simple, the thought of getting through the small task of putting socks on or eating breakfast, the act of saying goodbye or having to sit at the same table as your noisy brother (mind you he is only chewing his food, but to him its like a loud overwhelming fireworks show!) you know those small little moments that most people don't even think twice about or the moments that most mothers sit back and soak in, the simple moments of family joy. I wish, here in our home, every morning, it's these small little things that could be as huge as Mt Vesuvius erupting! The moments that drive this mama to tears and the longing for moments of joy and simple days.

OK, I guess the alarm has well and truly woken me up and my mind is awake predicting the morning ahead and planning for the impulsive, anxiety-driven tantrums to come. Is his blue shirt clean? Oh crap! It's Monday, he always has to wear it today, what was I thinking? OK, few its there! Will he have had a good nights sleep, that will help him to be more tolerable today? Will he lose it if I look at him or will he be in an affectionate type of mood? Should I be prepared to have breakfast thrown again today if he doesn't want it, but can't express it in words like yesterday? Will he want to be with his brother today or will he need space and reject all those around by yelling...go away, I hate you? OK (gulp) I'm going to wake him up! Quick little pep-rally....I can do it! I can do it!!! Beep! Beep! Beep! The snooze is going and it's 6:09 better get up.
I throw my hair in a ponytail and pull on my sweats foregoing the shower just to make sure I have enough time to get him off to school. Sometimes it's great and on a perfect day it will take 30mins to get him up and out the door. Let's just say it usually takes a little longer than that. And a perfect day...pffft, what is that!
"Good morning Harry! Time to get up!" I'll say in an easy-positive tone. Maybe I'll throw in a little pat on the back if I see he's not stirring? "Wake up" I'll whisper again, careful to not scare or startle him. "Ahhh I don't want to get up" comes the little groggy and somewhat grumpy voice from under the covers, all the while I'm thinking please be happy! Please be happy! Please have a good morning!!! Let's do this the easy way today, I think to myself! He slowly rises with complaint, (I understand I'm not a morning person either) but before I know it, kick right to the thigh...."agh, I don't want to!" he screams frustrated, anxious and clambering for his headboard! The day with Harry has begun! All I can think is how hiding under the covers this morning is sounding like a good idea and when is it my turn to scream "Agh, I don't want to!" either!

When people ask me what it is like being a mom of an Autistic child, I usually respond with a dumb-afied look, usually because I don't know how to answer it in less than hour long presentation or I have to really think and remind myself as its the only way I know (don't all moms go through this?)
I compare the mommy mind to a game of chess, I'll usually say. You always have to be at least 2 steps ahead of the game, anticipating the different scenarios, hoping for the best but prepared for the worst. Always ready with different strategies up your sleeve for when the play does not go according to plan. There is no cheat-guide here and definitely no easy way out, what worked one day may not work today and what didn't work yesterday maybe just what he needs today? It's the type of scenario where you are constantly blindsided and emotionally trampled, it would be nice to declare check-mate sometimes and just lay down and be defeated, that would be an easy and less painful way to end the game...ahhh, it actually sounds peaceful and honestly welcomed at the moment! But instead when game plan one, two and three haven't worked and there is nothing left after the mental and physical beating, no one wins! Only losers remain in this all to familiar scenario, a mom who is burnt-out and left feeling like she still doesn't know what she's doing and a gorgeous eight yr old boy who is innocently trapped and doesn't know how to control the outbursts or understand what his own little mind is telling and feeling! All for the sake of packing a school bag and a brain that works differently.

But we still have to keep going, us moms can't give up, we have to be that voice of reason for an impulsive mind, the peace and the calm for an anxiety driven action, the love and compassion when the hate and the hitting start...We are constant and unconditional with hearts as big as oceans and empathy as infinite as the universe.
The laundry can wait and those dishes are not going any where, our friends may take a back-seat and you become the "flaky" friend who can never commit. The needs of others always seem to outweigh the needs of your own, a shower...whats that? We all want a clean house and to be there for our friends, these are just some of our many daily "guilty feelings" We do what we can, just to get through a day without tears, maybe even living numb so it hurts less.

To all the mommies out there struggling with needs no matter how big or small! Know you are not alone, you have to make different choices, prioritize life differently, get through one day at a time! I pray that you have people in your life who support and not judge, love unconditionally and accept the what is!
Take joy out of those small victories and embrace the positives no matter how is now about searching through your day for a sign of hope and holding on through this crazy journey!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Tide-pool exploring at Indian beach OR

Barnacles, hermit crabs and all you can eat mussels! What a wonderful way to spend the second mostly cloudy day-in to our vacation on the Oregon coast, but hey no rain!

The boys had a ball climbing rocks, playing with crabs and exploring the many rockpools. We also found huge starfish, sea-an-enemies, sea cucumbers and did I mention the millions of huge yummy mussels! So happy for a shellfish license, those Yummers are coming home with us!

Here are some of our discoveries in the tidepools....

Thomas really fearful of barnacles but still happy to try with daddies help!

Heading towards more tide pools!

Harry showing no fear as he scales the barnacle covered rocks, Thomas on the other hand has a fear of barnacles which made exploring for him a little more cautious, which as a mom I didn't mind.

Family portrait, yes we are all in this pick see....

Dave collecting mussels for a yummy feast! They were huge, up to 4in long.

Heading back along the beach with buckets full of mussels!

Back over the logs, Thomas did such a great job, he nearly lost his balance on the way over and was scared to do it on the way back, but he did great!

Back up to the car we head, the hike to and from the beach was beautiful too, lots of birds and native plants to appreciate.

Ok, not the best photo, but getting one of my two boys smiling and looking at the camera is just completely un-heard of. Time for snacks looking out over one amazing view! We love new adventures!!

Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Solar power and science fairs

These last few weeks, a couple of mad scientists have been heard inventing around the house, as both Harry and Dave have brought life to their science fair creation!

How powered wind turbine, which shows the level of energy depending on the time of day sound!! Pfft easy hey! Well watching Harrys little mind you would think so, he's ideas are out of this world!

Time to hand in the paper work and commit to participating, he started stalling and I could tell the anxiety was starting to hit. Being in 2nd grade, the science fair is purely fun. No grades and no compulsive requirements.

Not only did he choose to do a working project, he also decided to do a presentation on it too! Way to go Harry, you blew it out of the water!

He had a ball showing everyone how it worked both staff and students alike. Mr confidence! I could not of been prouder!

On packing up after a day of presenting to his class and checking out other wonderful exhibits it was time to go home, but mom he said...where is the certificate? I assured him he would get his ribbon for participating next week. And off we headed for a celebratory dinner at McDonalds.

Today was the day he had been waiting for, his teacher presented him with a ribbon, but not just any exemplary ribbon!!

Only two students in second grade were awarded this distinction. He earned this as he passed everything on the judges list (this list is for 4th & 5th graders) Just when I thought I couldn't be any prouder, well tears of joy and big hugs all around. I am so proud of you scientist Harry!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

T-Balling Thomas!

The Renton Rascals....
All excited for their very first game! Uniforms worn with pride and all ready for a fun first time of playing ball.
T-Ball is played on a small diamond, which is just the right size for these little guys to run around. The rules are slightly more relaxed, ok totally relaxed! There are no outs and there is no scoring. Its a great introductory to the game with out the pressure of competition. Both teams have all players bat and all get to make it home. They all get to field and choices are based on alphabetical order so there is no favorites! Love it!
What a great little team! For most players they are getting their first taste of T-Ball. What a gorgeous site! Watching 5-6yr olds run around with bats, with permission to throw balls at each other. Highly entertaining! Then there is the usual outfield picking of flowers, building sandcastles in the pitches mound, practicing karate moves while covering 1st base and the wearing the base on your head as a hat...oh the laughs we parents have had!
Up to bat! Thomas is really enjoying his first season. While this is his first official game, he has been going twice a week to team practices for 3 weeks now.
He is so ready for some T-Ball fun! His little buddy Caleigh has quickly become his favorite team-mate and we are enjoying getting to know her parents. They have been long pracices for a little guy, he has been very tired towards the end, but soldiers on to get it done! He is learning to throw over-arm and hit the ball off the T.
Out field position! Ready for the ball...a min later he was spinning around with his t-shirt up over his head bearing his little white belly for all to see. You never know what you will see, but one thing is for sure, you are guaranteed a fun game!

Friday, April 29, 2011

April Post

Lots of fun stuff has happened this April. Will be posting a condensed April soon.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Creature comforts...

What is better a snuggle with your favorite Teddy or a big yummy scoop of peanut butter. Well Thomas says throw in a spoonful of Nutella and have all of the above!

Couldn't make up his mind so he went for both!

Then on to snuggles with his sweet Eddy Teddy. I'm so happy I was able to pass on the love. Eddy Teddy brought me so much comfort when I was little. It's so nice knowing Thomas is getting the same love from a trusted friend.

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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Unexpected visit!

First day back for school and already things were not going to plan. Harry got off on his bus no problems, but Thomas on the other hand was a whole other story.
The boys always get ready at the same time in the morning. While their buses are 16mins apart, Thomas will color or something to fill in the time. Well today we drew for a few seconds to long and he missed his bus! I couldn't believe it! Not on his first day back...grr!
So upstairs to get dressed and drive him in myself. We got to school only a few mins late, but still late enough that he got a tardy. I walked him to his classroom, he was so excited to see his teacher again!

I decided to stay and watch him enjoy circle time on the floor and then science labs at the sensory table. He was so excited to have me in his class, he kept tapping the kids around him and whispering "that's my mom!" it was such a beautiful feeling!!!

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Monday, February 28, 2011

Space rockets....

I don't know if I should refer to Harry as an artist or as an engineer? His drawings, designs, drafts what ever they should be called are just amazing. Getting more and more detailed all the time.

This one he spent hours drawing. He was so focused and intent on finishing it. He tried his best at spelling the words and labeling all the parts himself. My little engineer was so proud of his work! I'll get him to write a story about it with me later this week. Stay tuned....

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Sunday, February 27, 2011

It's okay, we have a shovel!

What a snowy adventure today turned out to be! We thought we would find some snow to go sledding. We had no idea the snow would find us instead! On the way to the pass for some snow play, we were dumped on. There was even a snowplow out and a snow chain advisory. And did we have snow chains? That would be a no! But don't worry honey, said Dave "we have a shovel!" lol!
We ended up having a beautiful snowy drive, a play in the snow with our sleds and no need for the shovel. It was a great day!!
Pics to come....

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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Northwest garden & flower show....

Its like going to Disneyland! Ahhh, makes me giddy just thinking about all the joy it brings.
So my garden buddies and I bundled up and headed into town for the day...
I couldn't believe today was the big day...Finally! After months of counting down and dreaming about my own garden, it was now time for the first glimpse of Spring. This show is always the first sign that garden season is fast approaching for the year...woo hoo! I could not wait to see what was install for us!

It did not disappoint, the displays were breathtaking and beyond inspiring. There was such a variety of plants and so many different ways to group them. So much creativity and talent. Not to mention so much garden love going on. My favorite garden was totally drool worthy and it was all I could do to not snap a thousand photos. These pics really don't do it justice...

What a gorgeous fresh and whimsical country garden! So much happiness in such a small plot. I could have just sat there for hours and soaked it all in, but thankfully I have pics so I can try and implement some of this happiness into my own yard...Loved it!

I was also there to get ideas for hard-scapes as I am dying to put in a path down the east side of the property (ie, side that gets absolutely no sun and is wonderful at growing moss!) Its screaming for a flagstone path like this....
I am in love with the large flagstone surrounded by moss and mulch, it is just so earthy and natural, the curves of the path adds a whimsy and playfulness to where the path is going. The moss provides a softness to the hard edge of the stone and adds again another playful element, a plant you walk mischievous!

 Here is some more visual yumminess....
Some of my new loves from the show are the beautiful little ground covers and the amazing array of succulents. In particular the living wall below by Ravena Gardens, beautiful display! Another fave is the use of moss. The varieties, the colors, the many different ways of grouping it with plants and hard-scape. I am sold and will be using more moss "on purpose" in my garden planning this year.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Its kind of a big deal....

Today "Polka Dot Galoshes" my gardening blog, was rated number one favored blog on Blotanical! Its quite exciting to think that not only are others reading my blog, but are enjoying it too! I am really enjoying being part of this community, its teaching me a lot about writing, blogging and not to mention gardening!! I believe there are over 3000 blogs from around the world that have been selected to be listed here, so its a huge honor to be selected by fellow bloggers...Thank you fellow Blotanicalists!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Our first Snowman!

After the dump of snow we had last night, not making a snowman was not an option! What perfect snow, powdery and sticky, fresh and perfect! The boys and I had such a blast, rolling snowballs to make his body, finding things to decorate him, until finally he came to life!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sneaking out to play in the Snow!

The kids were in bed and the snow was falling! What else were we to do than sneak out for a snow ball fight. I love my man and am so grateful that we can still have fun together...
 We turned Dave's car into lightning McQueen! I think it looks more like a monkey.
 I wrote "I heart DR" in the middle of our intersection for everyone to see!
We made snow angels on our driveway, the snow was so perfect and untouched, we couldn't wait to get in it and mess it much fun for the big kids! We have 5in on the ground and its still snowing. Can't wait to wake in the morning to see what fell over night. Let the sledding and snowman building begin!