So this week I decided to share a video of B and I going shopping. He loves to shop and usually does very well. Grayson is doing great learning to cope and regulate himself. We will have to do video of him one day as well. I am a novice at video but I plan to learn how to make the good vlogs and share those through this site linking with our youtube channel.
Enjoy!!! Also next time I will hold the camera the right way. Lol
Monday, February 26, 2018
The subject of home schooling comes up alot in the special needs community. Largely in part to the lack of cooperation and understanding in many schools. Especially when it comes to moderate to lower ability students who have autism. Private school is expensive and not all areas have a school specifically for non-verbal kids or children with minimal communication skills.
I am not opposed to Home schooling in general. However, I have no desire to home school my kids. For one thing both of our boys are social and want to have friends and be with people. I know they both struggle daily with social interaction. I know my child who is in public school has been picked on. I know my oldest can be the mean one. Despite that they both like and need to be in school. I have learned alot about child development through early intervention and early start in the school system. I know my 1st grader is learning things I didn’t have to learn till I was several years older. The demands today are much higher than when I was growing up. Which applies a great deal of pressure on our kids. I think in the case of G its good. He needs the challenge and thrives on it. At least for now school provides for him more than I can and honestly I need the village. I like just being Mom and that job is by no means easy.
B and school is complicated. He needs alot more than I could ever give him. We need his special school just as much as he does. They have made home life so much easier. We have been able to teach him at home because we have his school. Everything we do at home carries over to school and school to home. Its a well oiled machine that keeps B moving forward and we will keep him there as long as we are able. We appreciate just how lucky we are to be able to send him to IA.
Lastly, I give a lot of myself to my kids. I spend most of my day taking care of my family. So I need my hour or two break on those four days a week that they are both in school. So if you can afford to keep your village and spend just a little time taking care of you then by all means do it.
Wednesday, February 14, 2018
So the dreaded flu hit G like a ton of bricks last Wed night. Vomiting, fever and body aches. We immediately went to the Pediatrician. So thankful for Zofran. They gave him a pill first but he was so sick he vomited as soon as he ate it. So they gave him a shot. Which totally stunk especially since I told him he wouldn’t need one. We have never had zofran before so I didn’t know. Anyway we all four got on Tamiflu immediately. Poor G relapses as usual but now he is fine and finally both boys are back in school today. The bad thing is that there is still alot of crud going around. Including another strain of flu. There is supposedly three different ones and some people are getting sick more than once. So scary for us. As much as we are trying to be careful but also live life it’s still difficult. This would definitely be a case for saying we should homeschool but ultimately that isn’t whats best for our family. I believe it really does take a village to raise kids but especially so with special needs kids. As of right now both of our boys get bored when they are home too much. They love people and getting out and doing stuff.
Today I am hopeful to get a few things done. Take advantage of being out of the house and catching up on things I might have on hold.
Lets talk about kids youtube. I told you all I would explain why B no longer has this app on his ipad. First of all he started to retreat into what we call the blackhole that is youtube. It is so easy to just drown in all of the information and different types of things to watch. Its instant overstimulation that certain videos can cause that lead to behaviors. He had become completely absorbed and no longer came out of his room unless he wanted something. So we compromised with Netflix and Amazon Prime as well as some kids channels like Nick Jr. ultimately his first choice is Netflix. Sometimes he still finds videos that overstimulate but not very often. He is really social again and wants to play and go outside. So we reeled him back in by taking it off. Plus giving him an alternative keeps him from being mad at his brother because G still has it on his ipad. G can handle it. He doesn’t spend all his time playing games or watching youtube. He is very balanced when it comes to those things.
Now it is Wednesday and I just finished pedis and lunch with a friend. I haven’t been out of the house for anything fun in over a month. Except I did get my hair done which always makes me feel great. A few weeks ago in my exhaustion I opted to wake up 15 mins late. I never hit snooze. Also needed a shower but instead threw on sweats. Now most of you are going to think “So what I do that all the time”. Well my friends I don’t and here is why. That day of no shower and sweats I was a hot mess all day. I was just off my game completely. I thought to myself this is what my kids feel like when something is out of there routine. So funny!!! But a few years ago I decided that my goal was to always have it together first thing in the morning. Meaning shower, makeup and a cute outfit. May seem like a shallow goal to some but its kind of like making my bed in the morning. It just makes me feel good. Happy and focused because I don’t feel like I look so tired as well as I feel like actually doing things. I realized my entire attitude was different just by doing those 3 things. You wouldn’t think such a small thing would do so much but if I want to be on my game then not hitting the snooze is a must.
Thank you all for sharing our life.
Wednesday, February 7, 2018
Sunday sitting on the couch doing my online grocery shopping. So awesome to have services like this so you can avoid being out with people. Flu season is no joke and we still do everything we can to avoid it. If that means being home bodies then so be it. Anything to protect our B. Also ourselves because who can afford to slow down? Not me as so many of us are in the same boat as Mom’s.
I am on a mission to reorganize my house and make it more functional. Honestly it wasn’t all that bad but my laundry room and a few other spaces really did need updates and changes. One of my biggest motivators for getting my house in order are youtube vlogs. One of my favorite organizing specialist to watch is ClutterBug. She even has a book on amazon. She also shares cleaning videos and favorite products. For lunch ideas and kids activities I enjoy watching The Family Fudge. Her kids of course are completely different than mine and actually eat a variety but I still like to gain ideas that may work for us in the future. She also has some good road trip ideas and tips as well. My favorite autism family vlog is Fathering Autism. The Maas family works hard to create good content and even though the vlog is for autism awareness they also show daily life. Positive but real is what I like to see. I have a few favs for cleaning vlogs as well but you can find several of those on your own. I think we all have individual preferences in that area. I have actually watched several and picked up tips here and there from various people.
If your just starting your autism journey Cooper’s voice is an excellent blog for families with a little bit younger kids than ours. If your looking for a good blog about having a young adult with autism The transitional truth blog is really good. I follow both of these on Instagram too.
So guess what just happened? G’s school is closed tomorrow and Friday due to illness and poor attendance. Its not just his school its for the entire county. He is going to be so upset. I was really hoping to see another good testing Friday. Last week he got 4 Excellent’s and one was his reading comprehension test. I’ve been reading to him and asking questions. I also gave him a pep talk the morning of. I really think his problem is focus not that he doesn’t understand whats being read.
B’s picture day was today. Yesterday they had dentist practice, today movie practice and tomorrow lunch practice. Its so nice to have extra help with life skills. We have his parent teacher/meeting soon and I can hardly wait. He is doing really well with Ms. Lindsay and her class. Yesterday on the ride home he kept asking for a DVD every few minutes. Till finally I said No, No, no that was after telling him he could have whatever he wanted at home. His reply was No, no, no, all done, all done, all done. Well played Braden. His ability to argue using his talker makes me laugh. I am so proud of him for being able to use his talker in creative ways as well. He has never mocked me saying something more than once either. He is big on clearing his sentences after a comment or fixing it if he selects the wrong word. So it goes against his usual to repeat the same words. Thats how I know he was mocking me. Clever that boy is so clever.
That is all for now friends and thank you for stopping by our page.
Friday, February 2, 2018
Four days a week I am still driving approximately 4 hours just to drop off and pick up our boys. G and I get up at 5 and B 5:30. Neither of the boys like the early morning wake up call but we have simplified our mornings in the following ways. As I mentioned in the previous post both boys have 5 days of clothing already picked out and are in plastic drawers under their beds. This helps them get dressed quickly and easily in the morning. I fix Bs sandwiches over the weekend so all I have to do is grab one out of the fridge. Since both boys eat the same lunch everyday I just have things organized so I can ensemble their lunches in 2 mins. G is pretty easy in the am because he just needs to get dressed, brush his teeth, wash his face and put on his shoes. He doesn’t eat breakfast. B can do all those things but they have to be done in an order and assisted. So G will get up and go to his room to play for 30 mins while I make coffee, get dressed and make Bs breakfast. Then I wake B up at 5:30. Make sure he goes to the restroom. He still goes on a schedule. Then he helps make his bed. I help him with the use of the Pictello app to get his correct day of the week drawer and help if needed to put on his clothes. Then we head to the kitchen for breakfast. I let him have his ipad while he eats and I put together the boys lunches and eat too. After B takes his supplements which he doesn’t enjoy taking but with lots of prompting usually cooperates. He also gets his breathing treatment. Then Ill warm up the car make sure their teeth are brushed and faces washed. Put on coats and grab everything we need to leave by 6:30. We drop off G about 7 am. Then head to Bs school and generally get there by 8 unless I wash the car which we do regularly because there is a place close to his school. Bs school starts at 8:30 so we usually have about a 20 min or less wait. He does not get himself out of the car. He use to do really well. However he started taking off his seatbelt and his brothers a few months back and I had to get a Beltlock so now he cannot get himself out. It requires a key to undo. Beltlock is the brand and we found it on Amazon. Its approximately $20 and doesn’t look like much but it does work. So worth it. It is not for children who can escape the seatbelt even if its buckled. Thankfully we haven’t had B try and escape all together. Usually he just does it out of boredom because G wont let him have any control of the dvds. Its a struggle. G is a bit of a control fanatic especially after school because he has held it together all day and just needs his time. But so does B. G has his moments where he gives B free reign however B changes his mind alot and that doesn’t help him in the long run.
After I drop of B to school I run errands like groceries, post office, Sams, oil change, hair appt, whatever we need. Somedays after I go to the store Ill just go home and clean, have lunch and get Gs drinks ready for pick up. I leave our house again by 1 pm so I get to Gs school around 1:20 and wait in the car rider line till he comes out about 2:10. Then its off to get G food because he barely eats whats in his lunch. We stop once before picking up B and once after. Im not really sure where he puts two meals and 24 ozs or more of fluids but its his daily routine and he usually eats and drinks more after we get home too. B rarely snacks in the car but usually wants fresh water. So I pack one for him. We usually get home around 4:20-30. We unload the car and the easiest way I have found to do groceries and after school clean outs of the van is to use laundry baskets. The rectangle ones work best. I also have a small garbage can from the dollar store in the van as well as a sturdy plastic bin on my passengers side for plates, emergency coffee supplies, and Bs Whole cut snack basket. That way if B is feeling particularly sneaky I am not outside unloading while he is flooding the kitchen playing in water or throwing things at his brother because he hasn’t been guided towards his room. Use to we just handed him his youtube but now he doesn’t always want his ipad because we took youtube off of his ipad. Which I will talk about why in another post. So once all things are inside I get B settled before looking through their backpacks and sorting through their lunch boxes. Let the dog out and see if G needs anything before I get something prepared for Bs dinner. Our family doesn’t usually eat together. Its just not something that works for us most of the time. The boys diets are limited and Bs is also restricted. So we would have to work really hard to figure out a family meal that everyone could or would eat. Too much work for a school day in my opinion.
Well thats all for now. Love and Peace y’all.
Sunday, January 28, 2018
Granted we are already a month in but I decided to start blogging again. I find myself worried about people comparing our family to theirs or even criticizing the way we do ours versus there way. But sometimes you have to believe that others opinions don’t always matter. If someone choses to compare themselves that is on them and really has nothing to do with you. I’ve never really cared much about what others think but I have always been cautious to spare others feelings just out of respect but even that sometimes really isn’t on you either. So with that said I’m writing for myself and hopeful that anyone who wants to gain something from it does and if you don’t relate to us I am sure you can find somewhere else to look.
I have resolved to limit our social media and some tech time this year in an effort to focus on our family. I’ve been working on organizing our house and finding new tips and products to clean. Taking care of our home and making it more functional in turn makes our house run smoothly. A clean organized space to come home to makes me happy.
B just turned 10 this month. He had a rocky start to his school year. I won’t get into too much detail. We had him in a classroom that was more like a regular school setting. More kids, more demands, and more things he doesn’t love to do. The idea was to push him a little more academically and socially. Well B being the rebel that he is rebelled. So we moved him to a quieter setting and now he is doing much better.
G is doing really well in school. He got the Top Dog award again this year. We are so proud of him. He has been reading chapter books almost daily. He is excelling in Math and spelling. His only struggle is reading comprehension. He likes to read but he is too distracted when listening and isn’t retaining whats read.
We bought some new swings for the boys last week. A web rider and a tire swing. Only I bought a real tire swing the kind apparently for an actual tree and not necessarily for the either/or a swing-set. So we need to figure out how to make that work. My concern is the weight of the chains and our swing-set is getting old. The frame may not be able to support it.
Currently the boys either like each other or are in some sort of battle. The things they enjoy together are playing outside, foot wars, wrestling, games like Pie face or bowling and Everything Sponge Bob related. Individual interests for B cars, trains, his dvds, Netflix, and we ban him from kids youtube. Yup we did and its not been bad. He is interacting with us more. Although he does have a few new struggles like wanting to throw cars in the dog bowl, and playing in the sink and trying to flood the kitchen. Just to name a few. So less ipad time means good and bad things. You have to replace down time with different activities which usually means taking time to help him play or do chores (life skills). Which isn’t always easy but with the changes I’ve made to better organize and manage the house we are able to do more for the boys. I will get into more detail later in the blogs ahead.
G is my little helper. He is doing alot of his own self care. Much more than last year. Both boys have their Monday though Friday outfits in bins under their beds. G is about 50/50 during the week and B does his morning routine fairly well but still needs some prompts and assistance. I try not to push them too hard in the mornings because as most of you with autism kiddos know you can blow their entire day really quickly if you push too hard. I prefer to encourage and praise when they are helpful. Regardless of if they are capable or not my kids respond much better to kindness and help then being yelled at or forced to do something. Thats not to say I never yell or that I don’t loose my temper. I don’t have the patience of Job. I wish I did but I am human and have my bad days too. But those are the times when I sit back and realize how badly I messed up. Usually it makes things worse instead of better. I also apologize to my kids when I’m wrong and I make sure they know we as parents aren’t always perfect. We always tell them we love them and always make as much time as I can for them.
My hopes for the blog this year is to share how we do things. What we eat. Our daily routines. What we do for fun. How I’ve organized our life and what I do to make things easier and better for us. We do our own thing as many families do. I’ll also be sharing some of my favorite blogs and vlogs. Ones that I draw inspiration from and that have helped make me better at my job of SAHM.
Tuesday, January 23, 2018
Ten years ago today we lost our little girl. It’s amazing sitting here tonight thinking “has it really been 10 years”? It has but it still feels just like yesterday. I play that day over and over in my head. I can see people’s faces, feel my fears coming back and the feeling of knowing what I was walking into when I made it to the hospital. But above all I also remember getting to hold her and telling her goodbye.
There is no way to describe it really but I always feel empty on this day. I will be fine then out of the blue I can’t hold the emotions back. I try to keep myself busy to keep my mind off of it but it never really works. There is a hole in our hearts that will always be there knowing Kaleigh isn’t here. But as I have written before we do know where she is and that is truly what gives us comfort during these difficult times. While I won’t see her tomorrow or even the next day, there is a day coming where I will get to see my baby girl again.
We miss you each and every day Kaleigh.
Love Daddy, Mommy, Braden and Grayson
John 14: 1-4 Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.
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Stripes & Camo
- I am a stay at home Mommy to two beautiful boys ages 8 and 6. I am also Mommy to one little girl who blessed us with 13 days of life. Our road may be crazy and full of surprises but in this household Autism exist but doesn't define who my children are or will become. I am also a blogger. I love to write about our families crazy journey through life. We love, laugh and suffer sometimes but we stick together and always seem to keep growing and going.