Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Noah and I are staying home. I am exhausted and have been catnapping most of the afternoon.
I just tried a peanut butter fudge recipe that turned out like a pan of gravel....I know I was not supposed to have any fudge God but I was hoping to share it with others.
I made it up to Arby's to get me a Reuben sandwich so I could get my official serving of "corned beef and sauerkraut" in for the New Year's Eve. It is already gone and was very good.
I am not sure what is wrong with me. All I want to do is sleep.
Hopefully I will wake up later in time to see the BIG BALL fall in New York.
Noah had McDonalds for his supper. He has party mix, cookies and chocolate he can snack on for later if he likes.
We want to wish you all a Happy and Blessed New Year!
You came out last night crying with your Juicy Juice box saying "Mom I won't be able to drink this anymore because even it says it is a product of China!" YES.....we watch and read our labels carefully and are very careful to avoid all foods produced and made in China.
However.....Juicy Juice packages their BOXED juices in packs of 8 with a cardboard wrapper around the part that says PRODUCT OF CHINA so when purchasing an 8-box pack of juice you cannot see that statement!
See it at the lower right corner of the box backside?
You told me it used to say PRODUCT OF ARGENTINA and I have to question the safety of even that.
I am SO ticked off. I cannot believe Juicy Juice is getting apples or juice concentrate perhaps from CHINA and passing it off to consumers here in the states. I am going to check Minute Maid because you also like that brand....and we will STOP buying Juicy Juice and drinking it forever (although you were very upset about this and crying because as you said "I love it!").
They market this to kids on PBS shows all the time....how it is 100% real JUICE!....blah, blah, blah.......and HIDE the fact that it is a PRODUCT OF CHINA!
I did some searching online and found this about it.....and some have written to Nestle's and here is what was said about it:
Apples can be a tricky thing if they are sprayed and who knows what the Chinese are spraying their apples with. It could be nothing, but who knows, since China can't even admit that there are problems once they are discovered in other products. Then there is a very simple issue that chemicals banned in the US are being used in China.
The risk for Juicy Juice is great, since "NESTLÉ JUICY JUICE products are 100% juice. They contain only natural sugars (fructose) in the fruit juice concentrates used." As it is, we are not buying any more Juicy Juice and will be sure to check our food products more often.
I did not find much searching Juicy Juice's site or the internet about this, but I did find the following comment posted at Amazon:
Product of China?, June 9, 2007 - I bought some juicy juice from Target recently. It had "Product of China" on the package. I won't take the risk of giving Juicy Juice to my children let alone given all the recent problems coming out of China involving poisened pet food, toothpaste, etc. Why take the risk? People from China living in the U.S. would rather not eat or drink anything from China. Take it from me - I am Chinese and all of my Chinese friends say the same thing. - Amazon
Juicy juice is a product for kids. I don't see too many parents getting excited over giving their kids juice from China when there are many other non-China options available.
HERE was a response From Nestle to another consumer's complaint about the same:
I complained about my Juicy Juice Apple Juice coming from China earlier this month at "Juicy Juice - Now From China". At the same time I did send an email to Nestle complaining about where they sourced their apple juice, explaining my concerns. The next day I received the following reply:
Dear Mr. Fry,
Thank you for taking the time to contact Nestlé® Juicy Juice® regarding to inform us you will no longer buy our beverage because it is a product of China. We welcome questions and comments from loyal consumers and appreciate this opportunity to assist you.
The juice itself is processed here in the United States. The apples come from China, which provides over 50% of the apple juice used in the United States. Nestlé is one of the world's largest buyers of apple juice and works with the largest facilities in China. We understand that you question the safety of the product, despite our supervision, but do please be aware that we have long-term relationships with these facilities in China and have established high standards for the apple juice supplied. [Is it juice or apples they are getting from China?] Our quality managers audit these facilities to ensure that they meet our high standards. Nestlé tests every lot of apple juice for both authenticity and compliance to our standards. Product quality is our number one priority and we will continue to follow this issue closely.
We would like to assure you that we have reported your comments to our Marketing department. We are committed to providing you with products that live up to your high standards for taste, quality, nutrition and enjoyment - in short, "the very best."
We appreciate your interest in our products and hope you will visit our website often for the latest information on our products and promotions.
Consumer Response Representative
I AM SO TIRED of accepting CRAP from CHINA. ESPECIALLY when it comes to FOOD products and toys given to our KIDS who get sick or worse from exposure to these same products. MOST harmful products from CHINA all seem to be geared towards our kids! AND PETs....CONSUMERS in general.....
WHY DO WE CONTINUE to sit back and accept this crap? CHINA does NOT regulate their foods like we do (and that is not always saying much even for us).....but I would trust US food products more any day than food items coming out of China. ESPECIALLY ones I would give to my child.
I have felt we needed to BAN crap from CHINA for a long time now. I STILL feel that way....even more so now than before. The US has plenty of apples to make juices...it is all about the almighty buck and big companies making even more profits from buying and using cheap CRAP from CHINA. AT the cost of our kids' lives and health? It is not worth it.
I am taking my Juicy Juice BACK to the store.....I will be checking all our juice bottles and foods more thoroughly than before to make sure it does not say anything about being connected to CHINA in any way or I will refuse to buy it.
I am concerned however....that we all better have a small lot of land somewhere to produce our own veggies and fruits because it could be one day when we go to the store our only choices will be crap from China.
Do you check your labels? Do you even care? You should.
Nestle also makes MILK CHOCOLATE.....which takes MILK. So far MOST labels I have seen about their chocolate do not connect it in any way to CHINA. However.....if it does eventually fess up.....think of the products this could affect that you might use on a daily basis? Like prepackaged hot chocolates? POWDERED milk connected with CHINA is a big no no....unless you like playing Russian Roulette with melamine and lead and who knows what other chemicals and crap.
Remember even DOG AND CAT foods were affected.......killing many people's pets here in the US before our government realized it was "tainted" with crap that was poisonous. ALL FROM CHINA.
Sorry Noah......You won't be drinking any more Juicy Juice.
I love you too much to take that chance.
XIAN, China — This is where much of America's apple juice now comes from — the outskirts of historic Xian, where the orchards stretch for miles and miles. Apples are so plentiful here that they are often left to rot in the fields. They are scattered on the ground in old farming villages and pitched against walls by playful little boys like red and gold baseballs.
There are so many apples in China — which over the last two decades turned itself into the world's biggest apple grower — that the world price for apple juice concentrate has been depressed for nearly five years. Apple juice makers in the United States purchase more of China's cheap concentrate every year — though they do not like to talk about it — and every year American apple growers complain of devastating losses. - Export Apple of China's Eye Is, er, Apples - NY Times Article, April 2003 / Posted at Mindfully.org
Here is this news item concerning Chinese products that have failed inspection:
The Government said, for instance, that canned and preserved fruit and dried fish contained excessive bacteria; that 20 per cent of fruit and vegetable juice was substandard, and that some children's products were defective or laced with harmful chemicals. - The Age, Australia
AND MORE....can you avoid products Made in China....do you know what food products you might be buying at the store that were made in China or elsewhere. DO you know the rules on what the US has to do in regards to marking items with that information for the consumer? READ this disturbing news:
The United States requires labels on seafood to mark where it came from. However, that's the exception. With most foods, companies are not required to label where ingredients come from, only where the food was packaged or processed.
That means it is possible a frozen dinner, for example, could have 20 different ingredients from 20 different countries, food analysts say.
Michael Doyle, the director of the Center for Food Safety at the University of Georgia, says the pet food recall earlier this year from a tainted Chinese ingredient, followed by the seafood ban, has brought renewed attention to "our potential issues with our food safety regarding Chinese imported foods." Watch strapped FDA only inspects 1 percent of incoming goods Video
"The Chinese have a long way to go to bring their standards up to ours," he says.
Doyle says it's incumbent upon food companies in the United States that bring food from China to be more vigilant about inspecting the products they bring in to "ensure that their foods are safe."
Some of the food products that come from China may surprise you. Take an American staple like apple juice. The USDA says 50 percent of the apple juice imported in the United States today comes from China. That's an estimated 161,000 tons of apple juice compared to the 110,000 tons produced in the United States, according to the USDA.
Garlic and pine nuts are also big exports. So are instant coffee and dried berries like the ones found in breakfast cereal.
So, can you avoid eating foods with products from China?
Experts say that is pretty much impossible. You can lower your chances of eating foods with Chinese products by staying away from all processed foods and eating fresh "whole foods," such as fruits and vegetables. Many grocery stores are beginning to label where their fruits and vegetables are grown.
Eden Foods, a provider of organic food in the United States, says the number of calls from customers asking for country of origin information has doubled in the past few months. Tonya Martin, a spokeswoman for Eden Foods, says the company foresees a day when it will change labels to indicate where each ingredient in a product comes from.
AND CHECK THIS SITE OUT......
HOW TO BUY AMERICAN
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
(Noah sitting in our refrigerator in our apartment we had a long time ago in Colorado....looking at all the food....with his coat and hat on)
I cannot believe you are now 10 years old.....and I cannot believe we are headed into a new year.
When we have the passing of time pushed in our faces so directly like this....it can tend to bring me down a bit or make me feel sad.....because some of "time" seems to be passing by too quickly.....while other portions of time seem to not pass quickly enough!
I am anxious for the changes to be here NOW that I want for you and myself in life....and it is extremely frustrating when they are not. I have to constantly block out all those little negative voices inside my mind that try to tell me things will never change or this or that will never happen when I know they will. But I also doubt it will be entirely easy.
There are times it is all just too overwhelming and it makes me tired. I become like Scarlet O'Hara then and tell myself "I will worry about that tomorrow."
I also still feel badly because yesterday on our way back home from running 2 errands while driving we passed an elderly man who looked a bit homeless on crutches trying to walk on those crutches carrying plastic sacks of items from the drugstore back to wherever he had come from. He had stopped on the sidewalk and you could tell he was struggling. EVERYONE kept driving past him....and while I know it is not always safe for a woman to pick up someone.....I felt his poor man certainly needed the help and was not trying to sabotage someone into pulling over to pick him up to then hurt them. I at least wanted to go back by and get a closer look.
I had planned on heading up the street and turning around to go back and ask him if he wanted a ride. I am so upset today because this morning I realized that I got distracted on the way up the street and I forgot to turn around and go back to see if the man needed help. I forgot until this morning. FORGOT!!!!!!!! Until THIS MORNING! How in the world did I get so distracted in a matter of minutes I could forget to turn the car around and go ask that poor man if he needed help? I know he did because I have been on crutches before and unless you strap bags around your head or neck and back..you cannot carry them on the handles of the crutches and walk without the bags swinging you off balance.
I am ashamed of myself that I somehow forgot this man.....until TODAY! MUCH too late to help him. I hope and pray he made it to wherever he had to go. I ask God to forgive me as I certainly flunked that test.
So this is a short post. I love you...I just made you some chocolate chip cookies and a fresh batch of party mix for you.
Monday, December 29, 2008
Today you turned 10 years old. It is so hard to believe you could be 10 years old already! Seems like only yesterday you were being born and in preschool, then kindergarten, then at home with me. Time definitely is how we perceive it.
Your "ideal" day for your birthday was to EAT OUT for every meal. We did not have breakfast as we slept in today so we had an EAT OUT lunch and EAT OUT supper. We called grandma C. as her birthday is tomorrow and we love her so much ...to ask her to come up and go out to eat with us. She did. She also wanted to see our Christmas tree. We were going to go to your favorite place..Burger King but..it was way too crowded! We ended up at Kentucky Fried Chicken instead.. driving HER car which you said "smelled like Motel 6" ...and we had a wonderful lunch. Then back to our house with grandma C......and later we a fabulous birthday cake from a local store bakery. THIS cake was superb! It smelled and tasted like a real bakery birthday cake should......NOT like that one we got last week from Kroger's which was so nasty no one could even eat it. So from now on we get all our cakes from the local store's bakery department. I mean this cake is soooo yummy! So grandma C. and I had hot tea and cake while you had milk and cake. It was wonderful .....
Then grandma C. went home...and later you decided you wanted to try Burger King again for supper if they were not crowded. I was not hungry but got a coffee while you ate. Your real goal was to play in their new play area. We pulled in and there was no one there.....so we went inside for you to play.
This flooded my mind with memories of the past...when we used to take you to a public place to play.....like parks....or fast food play areas. I remember times when we had to make sure no one else ever came to the park while you were there or the play area...as just the site of other children approaching would be enough to set you off into screaming and crying frenzies. OR you would start out playing pretty well with the other kids.....but would get overloaded quickly and end up pushing one down or shoving one too hard.....or things like that. Oblivious that what you did was wrong. You had a problem letting anyone else be first at anything..or taking turns with the play area equipment. Things you sometimes still struggle with.
BUT now you love to play with other kids....and usually cannot get enough.
I have to say you have made some amazing progress. Before entering the play area you saw another little girl in the dining room and you looked at me and told me "my brain is on alert as there is another little girl here that is smaller than me so if she comes into the play area I will have to be very careful!" I was thrilled that you realized this and knew this for once without me having to remind you. You told me you already KNEW this.....this means after YEARS of prompting that connection has finally made a permanent place in your brain so you can call upon it in similar situations again in the future! It is stored in your memory banks like a computer!
I sat in the Burger King play area.....still slightly anxious although nothing like I used to get....wondering if any other child came in....if you would be okay playing with them.....or if you would get too overstimulated too fast.....or get too rough. Or blurt something out loud that was inappropriate. I used to dread seeing another child come to a play area...and in fact......we would have to get you ready to leave most places if other kids showed up. We used to try to plan outings to parks and places where no other kids were.....or places we could leave quickly if they did show up as you just did not handle being around other people or kids well when you were younger.
MOST times now you do pretty well actually....and I felt myself relax a bit in the chair ...realizing I no longer need to "hover" and watch you every second and your every move in the play area. You interacted with the other kids very well in fact as they came in. At first it was all girls and you have always gotten along very easily with girls...and playing games with them so you were having a good time. One girl was a bit rough though...more like a boy would be...pushing you and actually almost choking you.....things like that. Pulling your arms......pushing you forward. In the past if I had seen this I would KNOW this would soon be enough to set you off to having a fit and body slamming them to stop it.
I watched....waiting.....you did well. You returned some of her pulling of the arms and things back always looking my way for reassurance or permission to continue as you know we do not play rough. Since the girl and you both were having fun and she wanted to play that way I let it go on for a bit. You came over the to fence and told me she was not hitting you too hard....and that you were fine...but finally as things from her end escalated a little too much and you had already been playing about 90 minutes....which is a record I think for length of successful playing time with other children without incident......I decided you better come down and take a break and we should get ready to go. I also reminded you we did not play "rough" and pull arms or push and if someone else was doing that we should not play for awhile as it is just not a good idea to play rough.
Then the BOYS showed up.....3 little boys......"toddlers" you called them. You had become pretty bossy over the play area by this time and were giving commands to your Princess as you were the PRINCE and you and she were apparently protecting your kingdom from these little boys. You both were determined to not let this other little boy come up and play in the same area you two were. BUT you were so determined that when the little boy came up you sat down and tried to grab him or keep him from coming up in the play area....and I knew this poor little kid was a little afraid of you...even though you were not hitting or being rough.....it was not very nice to not let him come up and to a little kid.....I am sure he was afraid of this bigger boy not letting him come up to play with his brothers.
SO I made you come down. You tried. The little boy was in the way. You finally blurted out to me "I'm trying to come down but this annoying little toddler is in the way and I can't!!"
I about lost it. While it was funny actually and maybe even true.....it was totally inappropriate and I let you know it when you came down. I explained it all to you...and how that was inappropriate to say that and not nice...and how it would make you feel if the situation was turned around. In fact you have been in that situation before and I reminded you of it and how it made you feel. SO I said it was time to go. You handled that well too......got your shoes on.....your face was beet red and you were so tired anyway...I think you actually were ready to leave.
From there we hit up the Goodwill store...and then to Wal*Mart to get you a few things. You were so worn out you had to ride in the cart...and I had to pick you up OUT of the cart at the car because you could not walk. It still worries me you get that exhausted from that short of a period of time of playing. I know some of it is physical and due to your low muscle tone and stamina and maybe your heart issue....deconditioning.....etc...but I need to make another appointment with the cardiologist as you now have 4 characteristics of Marfan's syndrome.....so I want to discuss that with her as well as get another check on your aortic valve situation.
Anyway.....you said you had a wonderful birthday! You were hoping you could go back to Burger King and play with that little girl again sometime....you had a ball!! And you said next year you wanted to do the exact same thing.....KFC for lunch......BK for supper and the play area....then Goodwill and Wal*Mart. I don't know too many kids who would be so content with so very little.
I love you Noah Wesley. You are growing up into a wonderful young man...but so fast!
Sunday, December 28, 2008
and one of the presents I got for you that you love....is your GYM SPIN! You have spent a lot of time on it.....spinning.....sometimes fast......sometimes slow. You told me you love it. We took it along with us on Christmas day to grandma's house and I know it helped you remain intact and not get too overloaded as the day's events unfolded. You would periodically go off to the other room where we had it set up and you would spin awhile.....and then come back and remain "fine."
It is one of the best investments I have ever made for you as far as a gift goes.
Here you are spinning.....
you use your body in different positions to make it continue to spin....as fast or slow as you want. You can lie down on it.....on your stomach or back....and go super slow......anything you want. For anyone with a child needing vestibular input and with sensory issues....or autism......you know many times those children need to "spin" in order to meet their needs. This gadget is wonderful for that. If you want more information on them please check out their web site at:
check under SENSORY INTEGRATION and WEIGHTED ITEMs.. then click on SPINNING.
It is a great site and has MANY helpful tools one can purchase to help your child ...it extends Noah's occupational therapy into home now as while this is also fun for him......it is similar to things he also uses in occupational therapy.
Here you are testing out your 40 inch mini tramp......which I also got you as you love to jump on them.....again extending your OT time into home ......
you got many many wonderful presents from your aunties and grandparents and daddy.....as well as gift cards, cash and more. You had a good Christmas this year....
your birthday is tomorrow. I cannot believe you will be 10 years old already!
I love you!
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
The circuit board inside the furnace was bad and something burned completely through the board and almost through the metal plate that was behind the circuit board! I am so thankful we had no fire!!!
I also got some nice heaters if we ever need them again. They sure do warm a room quickly! Super nice.
BITTERLY frigid cold temps outside.....single digits tomorrow. Windchill worse. Hope and pray Joe and Tom are doing okay outside at grandma C's. We will go see and them today.
Christmas is coming Noah Wesley!
I love you!
Saturday, December 20, 2008
This is NOT our furnace but ours does not look much better....and this is what they attached (RIGGED) up a brand new central AC unit to when I moved in. I was worried then as we had wires out that to me should not look like they were out.....my house is still using FUSES!!!!!! and they rigged crap up in the fusebox.....so who knows what is wrong. I am not sure why I am thinking it might be something really bad......like the house needs all new wiring or something......then what would we do??????)
ACTUALLY I did take the front plate of the furnace and saw a wire had melted and burned off the electronic plate inside...so that is probably the problem. I WORRY and wonder WHY the wire MELTED and burned off.....that does NOT make me feel safe at all. No wonder I have felt like putting everything into a storage locker recently...maybe there is a reason??? Maybe I know something will happen I don't really yet know will happen.....you know? (lots of you knows there)
Yesterday I smelled something in the early morning hours.....smelled like melted plastic. I was worried my computer was going out or my Christmas tree lights had something wrong with it. It smelled pretty strong for awhile and then slowly faded. Everything worked well after that.
This morning I get up....and it is already only 65 degrees in the house. The furnace is out. THIS means I will have to call our landlord.......who is currently in FLORIDA..........over 1200 miles away....and see if he can hopefully get someone out here ASAP today.
WHICH also means I need to hide OPIE in my truck in the garage the entire time someone is here working......as I am not allowed to have a cat.
WHICH means I also may not be able to work this day once they do show up......as THIS room I work in is currently a mess.......much more like a disorganized storage room than an office/craft/school/misc room......with all these boxes and crap piled around. WHICH I was going to work on later today finally.
WHICH also means I will need to sweep the floor and clean the place up just a little before anyone comes....
which means today is going to be a hectic weird day.....and I have no idea if we will get heat back on later or not.
which means the landlord takes a chance with the pipes freezing under the house......
which means only more of a possible mess.....
which means I better take Excedrin Migraine pills now! (just kidding...though it may be a good idea).
BUT I am THANKFUL it is not MY house now as I DO NOT have to PAY for someone to come here to fix anything......as I DO NOT have the money now for anything like that......and I DO NOT have room on all my charge cards to go into even more debt to charge an after hours furnace repair bill .......I am thankful it is not my PC.....I am thankful it is not bad wiring or electrical issues for the tree......I AM SO THANKFUL.
I hope the landlord will feel as thankful and not raise my rent even more.
I need to plan on moving somewhere cheaper by next June anyway......
more money needed for that.......
God will provide......even though I have no idea how.
SO Mr. Noah......you will have to dress warm in the house today!
I love you. I had a sleepover in YOUR room and it was very nice and cozy and warm in there!
UPDATE: I just ordered a few heater fans and a ceramic heater from Lowes we will pick up this morning. Hopefully I can still contact the landlord and he can get someone over here today! It is now down to 63 degrees inside....and while we like it chillier than most in the house....that is getting nippy in the winter when it is only like 23 degrees outside! I need to put some gloves on to type today for work I think as my hands are very cold!
Thursday, December 18, 2008
This is not a post to complain about my dad or anything like that because I love my dad ....but dad did make a comment to me last night when I talked to him that got me thinking. He has made similar comments like this to me before. We got to talking about you Noah....and how you used to be....how far you have come.....what you might be like one day in the future....etc. We talked about issues that have bothered you in the past and things you struggle with now.
In the past when we still lived in Colorado and would only come back to Ohio for an annual visit...my family did not really know you or understand you and they did not really get exposed to who you really were and what you were like. A lot of time has passed and you have made a lot of progress. BUT back then and even today with many people other than just my dad....I will hear from time to time (when the topic of having a child with autism gets brought up).....the inevitable question, "How in the hell do you stand it?"
Last night on the phone talking with dad....as we were talking about you and autism in general and others we know who have children with autism or even more than one child with autism....dad said to me again "how the hell do you stand it?" "I don't know how you stand it!" (and not said in the same way one might when talking about a parent dealing with a severely handicapped child or sick child....where the question then is given with sad undertones). I imagine people on the outside looking in do wonder how we can handle it.
I jokingly said to dad one day "that's why God gave me a child with autism and not you," ...."maybe he knew you would have a hard time handling it?"
Dad is dad and will always be dad but even he has made huge progress over the years. Dad struggled to handle even us "normal" kids...whatever that might be. I do not doubt for a moment that he would have had a very difficult time with an autistic child.
I know dad meant no harm to me or anyone by asking that. He just probably really wanted to know because he has said many times he could not handle it.
He then added "I suppose you get used to it with time don't you and you probably don't even know anything different now with Noah do you?" "It's always been that way and that is all you know?"
This got me to thinking. He is right in many ways. I try to think back Noah when you were first born....and as you slowly started to grow and develop and we could tell some things were definitely not right with you.....if I ever wondered that same thing dad and others did? I don't remember feeling like that....I guess because dealing with you or any issues that came along that you might have were things I just needed to address and I did not have time to really think about them.
Even with all the toileting issues (which still go on today to a much smaller degree...and you will be 10 years old in a couple of weeks).....even then...when I wondered how long this would go on and I would get so frustrated wiping your butt for you 20 times in a day or more.....I don't recall ever wondering HOW the hell I handled it. I just did.
It is funny...but over time..all the "quirks" you have - - to me now are so "THE NORM" that I barely notice them. I don't question why you must eat only macaroni and cheese where the noodles are not broken or have slits in them (as I sit picking out only good noodle pieces). I GET the fact that trying to sneak a non-name brand food item your way will fail every time. I understand that everything with you has to be so-so.....the french fries in the oven not too brown and yet not too under-baked. The cookies being baked just right....or else they go uneaten. I understand you cannot handle certain smells and textures .......certain sounds. ALL things in your world and now mine are like this. AND yet all these things that should seem like extremely pain in the butt things to deal with.....don't seem to bother me so much anymore if they did in the past. I just try to make your world and everything in it a bit more "tolerable" for you so you can just handle being IN the world.
So when asked "How the hell do you stand it?" I would have to say right back....."how the hell could I not?"
I cannot possible imagine a world without you and other children or adults like you in it. You are here for many reasons ...of this I am sure. You have a purpose. To say to someone with an autistic child "how the hell do you stand it?" is almost like saying to them "how in the hell do you handle having your child at all?" which sort of stings.
I am not mad at dad or others like him who have asked me this before or the doctors or teachers who upon hearing all your diagnoses say "oh no....that's a shame." I have never seeked a "CURE" for your autism....I only seek ways to make your world easier for you to handle so you can blossom into the being God created you to be. So you can make a difference.
Sure there were times I had very short patience with you....and I think that is probably what dad was talking about more than anything. How does one keep the patience and perseverance going? How can one do the same things over and over and over and tell you the same things over and over and over maybe hundreds or even thousands of times before one day that magic light bulb in your brain gets turned on and that new SYNAPSE/CONNECTION is made and you GET IT?
Did I ever question? I don't think so. If I did I imagine I soon realized there was no time for questions.....I just needed to understand that was just how you were...and that you would and will continue to change and grow...and learn things....and handle more things over time. Yes it can be exhausting at times Noah. Sometimes I wonder if you will ever get certain things and yet in the back of my mind at the same time I hear a voice telling me ....I know YOU WILL......maybe in a week.....maybe a month or maybe in a year.
I love you Noah.....
Mommy....who does what she has to do for you...because I am your mom ...and I love you. You are not a pain for me.....or a chore.....but a joy. I don't feel like I just can't stand being around you and I certainly don't see all the downsides to having a child with autism I guess. YES there are challenges.....maybe more than the average family....but I truly feel God blessed me with you.
UPDATE: You just came into my office....and jumped in my lap..asking me if tomorrow I would take you out and buy you lunch somewhere.....and I asked you if you could do something or sell something to make some extra money to help pay for all these eating out episodes. I asked you if there was something you could do to make some money (teasingly). You said "I" could just "give" you the money. THEN you put your head on my chest.....when you suddenly realized you were staring down at cleavage...something that has sparked interest in you recently.....and you began BLOWING air down my shirt....and that made me laugh and then you laughed ...
You stood up and we were both laughing so loudly......and you suddenly announced "THAT is what I could do!" And I asked you "What?" "You would blow air down women's chests for money" "WHO do you think you would be doing that with?" (as you kept struggling to get back at my chest to blow down my shirt some more)
TO which you promptly replied, "no....that just wouldn't be right!"
See......you ARE learning things........you stinker...you totally get the "inappropriateness" to that entire scenario!
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Was a question I asked you today. I get curious from time to time to see what your thoughts are. You said you had some ideas but you did not think you could share them with me. I pressed on....yes...that is what us mothers DO.
You finally gave me a few ideas. You said you would own your own Railroad Company one day and run it.
You want to be an inspector of "everything" except electrical lights like light bulbs...
You want to inspect elevators and toilets especially. AND escalators.
You want to be a videographer...and record things like toilets. You said you could record things while you do inspections. To be honest I think you came up with the idea to be an inspector of things so it would provide you with a legitimate reason for looking at some of your most favorite things....like toilets, and elevators and make sure they work by flushing the toilets over and over and opening elevator doors and riding in elevators (something you used to NOT want to do).
I got a phone call so our "discussion" was cut short. In the past you have also included "building your own homes" and "building new highways and roads"...things you have also always been fascinated with.
I am raising you to BELIEVE you can do anything you set your mind to. SO no matter what you decide on one day....I know you will be a success.
I love you Noah....to the moon and back and all the stars as cousin Audrey says......
forever I will.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
You did well while there....drawing on your Doodle Pad until you finally reached your limit. You wanted to stop by to see Grandma L and aunt Melissa and cousin Audrey on the way home after picking up your staple of Domino's Pizza first. We had a nice visit with everyone and you still also managed to get some school work accomplished before we left.
I talked with your intervention specialist on the phone today for 30 minutes. The school stuff is slowly but surely falling into place more and more as time goes on.
Last night you were late getting to bed again......and you started to say something to me about how I should have autism like you....because then I would be your father.....and I was confused about what you were saying and why.....and when I asked you....you could not explain it. There are times you will choose and use an improper word or terms to mean something entirely different than their understood meaning. SO I think this is an example of that......"father" I am sure in your mind means a bigger version of you or LIKE YOU.....or something to that effect.... I think I get it...and I can see where that analogy would be difficult to explain.
BUT we have a lot of school work cut out for us this week. I am also going to have you continue on with a few things over Christmas break....nothing major...but try to continue to get ahead on some things while we have time.
Monday you did not wake up until 11:15. I finally had to go in and check to see if you were breathing.
I wonder if that ever stops......
I love you.......my stinky little man. Tomorrow we must bathe you and wash your hair! NO more excuses!
Monday, December 15, 2008
and ended up eating at CiCi's Pizza for lunch....you love CiCi's pizza about as much as Dominio's Pizza.....you ate EIGHT PIECES of pizza!
We then went to Webb's Antique Mall in Centerville, Indiana.....WE LOVE going there! We had a good time.....ran some other places.....ended up in Eaton, Ohio at Fort St. Clair to see the Christmas lights in the park......we got there 1/2 hour too early...and you started having a meltdown in the car......not wanting to wait.....wanting to go home.....etc...but we got through it....
YOU finally got your act together......and I let you take some photos...not too many turned out as they were blurry.....we were moving and it was hard for you to take photos riding in the car. You said you did the best you could.
Here is what our tree looks like this year.....we usually have a star on top that lights up.....but the star's bulbs are not working and I do not have a ladder to get to the top of the tree anymore either as you can tell the ornaments get skimpy at the top as well as the lights! I MUST get a ladder! We have BUBBLE lights on the tree again this year.....
and at night....all aglow....
I LOVE to put icicles on the tree but with the cat....it does not always work out. I will probably still put some up higher and here and there...it just makes the tree look even more old-fashioned.
Here are some up close shots of some of the ornaments....
I could go on and on.......we have so many ornaments on the tree.......but I am sure this took your computer awhile to load the way it is.
I love you Noah...I am tired......we will probably go see Grandpa L. tomorrow in the hospital.
I love you...
Saturday, December 13, 2008
to introduce herself to me and get to know you better. Mondays we will get a phone call from your intervention specialist teacher and then we will all meet after those calls on CLASS CONNECT.......an online classroom type of arrangement where we keep up to date on things and go over concerns and they can even talk to you in person over the computer.
We ran some errands today and our grain/animal feed drive-thru had SANTA inside an area where you could get your picture taken for FREE with Santa but you immediately hid behind your coat and underneath your hat begging me to not make you do it. You started to cry and everything.....wanted NOTHING to do with Santa and having your picture taken.
At grandma C.'s house last night you all of a sudden shouted to me "MOM, I found a sample of ABSTRACT ART COME HERE AND SEE!" and sure enough, around the corner on the wall was a quilt square that had been framed....and according to your art lessons in school this past week..that would indeed be an example of ABSTRACT art! SO if I ever think you are not learning or paying attention in school here at home....moments like that make me realize you are!
Your mouth is sore again. You have been getting a lot of sores inside your lip on the bottom....which makes it even harder for you to brush those front teeth upper and lowers to keep them clean. I tell you to get more rest...and take your vitamins......drink lots of water.....but it does not always work out that way.
Your grandpa L was taken back to the hospital tonight....so we will be saying a special prayer for him.
I am so tired tonight I can barely see to type this...so more later.
I love you!
Thursday, December 11, 2008
only has 2 things on it....(2 video games to replace the same ones that shattered in your hard drive in the past).
You originally wanted elevator door control panels.....(which I did try to find some discarded ones for you) but to no avail. I wish I could find that for you as you would have a blast playing with that for hours on end. If you could have doors too that would be even better! I wish I had a way to MAKE some, maybe out of wood....little elevator doors to play with.....with a fake control panel with buttons. I may have to think about that still while you are asleep. Maybe I can figure out something....even if I have to do it out of cardboard! I think I have a way I could do it. You also had on your list I think a replacement camera like your old one...and now I seem to have misplaced that list so I cannot remember for sure what was on there but it was not much. You made things even simpler now with only listing 2 items for Santa. We will drop your note off to him at the mailbox today.
Otherwise the season is going along.....your school work is going pretty well....and next week is the last week before winter break already!
You started occupational therapy Monday and here it is the same therapist you had in the local public school and I was excited to see they will also address some of your sensory issues. ONCE in the OT room for kids in the basement it reminded me all over again of another reason I would like for us to get a bigger house ...hopefully one with a basement....so I could create a room like that for you to use at home! ONE with the pulleys and swings and things to climb and spin on and crash on. You need that.....especially the swing......the type that can do more than just swing.
I am going to be done with work early again today. In fact I ran out of work and since I won't be able to keep the pace I had started out with....where I could have done about double what I normally do....I will now have to settle for at least the minimum.....and have to wait on that to roll in.
The other night I think you had an episode of sleepwalking or a night terror...I think more a night terror....as you had no recollection of the event the next day....were not totally awake when you came out from your bedroom at 12:30 a.m. You came out with your hand to your mouth and crying and I thought you had to vomit. I was asking you what was wrong and you said you were not sick but just wanted to tell me something. BUT then seemed to not be able to remember what it was....walked back to your room.....laid down and was out! Now you did not scream like most kids do with night terrors...but you were visibly upset...very much so, about something.
I decided you needed a hair cut...so I got the clippers out and trimmed your hair up. You are adorable. I will have to post a picture later as you are still sleeping!
I love you Noah!
Saturday, December 06, 2008
Last night we decided to take a trip to Bears Mill's Christmas Open House to participate in their lighted luminary walk through the woods to a bonfire. It was so cold outside but we went anyway....and it was a perfect night! The luminaries were so beautiful....the water by the mill was almost completely frozen over...and under the moonlit glow everything looked and felt misty and gray.
The luminaries lit the paths we walked...which were many.....
As we walked along....steam escaped from our mouths every time we spoke and rose in small clouds all around us......it was very misty out.....yet beautiful.....
We soon reached the bonfire....where people were roasting hot dogs and marshmallows over the open fire.....and drinking hot chocolate. This was the FIRST TIME you have ever seen a bonfire up close and personal....and you soon found an empty hay bale to sit on and watch. You took your gloves off and held your hands outstretched to the flickering flames of the fire to warm them....
We had a very enjoyable night. On the way home we decided to drive around and look at Christmas lights on people's houses....and guess what we found??? YES....a house with the LEG LAMP straight out of the movie "A Christmas Story!"
yes....what's that in the window???
could it really be? In this gorgeous NEW huge home with a GIANT tree?
Could it possibly be a tacky leg lamp.....sitting in the FRONT window?? hee hee
YES....in all it's blazing glory for all the world to see.......
We had a very good time last night. It is snowing today and super cold ...tonight is the walk at Shawnee Prairie to the log home....if weather permits we will head out there for that too!
One week of school down.....officially.....and you did pretty well.
I love you Noah....OH.....last night you wanted to sleep in my room. About 3:30 a.m. this morning I awoke to find you completely sideways in the bed with your legs across my chest.....and I figured maybe you got turned around and had fallen asleep like that. Soon you sat up and was looking all around.....so I DID believe you had fallen asleep like that. BUT you started to cry.....and then told me.....I HAD BEEN SNORING!!! YOU thought if you draped your legs across my chest it would stop me from snoring. Well I suppose ultimately it could.....via stopping me from breathing! It never (and never has since you have been alive) occurred to you.....to wake me up by touching my arm or SPEAKING WORDS to me like "Mom!"...."Wake up you're snoring!" ....shaking my arm or something like that the entire time. You have always been this way. If you ever need anything in the middle of the night you never come and wake me up....I just feel a presence in the room and awaken to find you standing beside me and my bed......waiting.......silent.....no words......just waiting for me to wake up on my own. Once when very little you finally sat down and started to doze off waiting for me to wake up.....
WHICH I always do pretty quickly...since I am used to you and sleep light around you. I DO NOT snore however except apparently when I flip onto my back which is something I do not ever seem to do unless you are in my bed......hum.......I think I am too busy getting you back on YOUR side and then I fall asleep mid turn back or something. I guess my "snoring" scares you. We made fun of it today and hopefully next time, if there is one.....you can get me to wake up and stop snoring!
I love you lots Noah!
Friday, December 05, 2008
Sometimes it does not feel like we do all that much...and other days it seems we are doing a lot. I imagine things will all smooth out once we get more of a routine down. We have to be flexible however because of my work and a lot of time doing school work will depend on my work flow.
We went to see grandma C. last night. Sure was cold outside! You were so wound up.....I mean OVER the top and required a lot of sensory INPUT to keep you grounded. So you did a lot of body slamming onto the sofa and pillows and crashing onto the floor and you were having a good ole' time but wow....talk about energy overload!
This was followed by lots of sounds once you got home. You also had a very difficult time sitting for school work yesterday. EVEN on the bouncy ball as a seat. SO I seriously need to give you MORE sensory stimulation throughout the day.
There are a LOT of Christmas activities in our community and tonight we may go to Shawnee Prairie Reserve for a luminary walk in the preserve for Christmas that leads back to the log cabin where we can learn about the early pioneers (which is one of your spelling words this week by the way) and they will serve hot cocoa and snacks. It might be fun! BUT it has been so cold so we will have to really bundle up tight!
MANY more holiday events.....some drive through...others walking. We are starting to enjoy the holiday season. Hopefully we can get the tree up this weekend too!
OH...you WILL receive speech therapy AND occupational therapy right here in our town via the school which is GREAT news! I was hoping it would be some place local and it is!
OKAY....I need to finish up here.....I love you lots! You also have been telling me you want to have your birthday party at Burger King.......not sure about that one.....I will have to think about it!
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
according to BLOGGER's terms of service a SPAM blog is one that has lots of links usually all referring to the same site. I don't think I have done that here.....
so if you can read this great......if not they are saying there is a message everyone else is getting that says this blog has been LOCKED due to possible Violation of Terms of Service?
Monday, December 01, 2008
Dear Noah.....your school supplies arrived tonight and today was your first day of school here at home!
SOME of the boxes!
I have to admit the quantity of boxes and what was inside them amazed me! I am SO impressed! There is no way in public school you would have ever had all this at your fingertips!! BRAND NEW computer and monitor.....BRAND NEW books and hardback text books......all study materials....study sheets and worksheets.......subject KITS containing all the books and materials you will need for the year.
I was so incredibly thankful and feel blessed we made this decision to homeschool you via Ohio Virtual Academy. I am also adding in some additional studies on our own to the curriculum....because I wanted to make sure to include studying the Bible as part of your learning....along with some other things such as cooking and doing things around the house......sort of like Home Economics I guess.......and learning to do BANKING stuff and social skills.
I am THRILLED and SO excited! I am not sure but I may have even been more excited than YOU to see all these wonderful resources right here in our home for you to be able to use!
Study guides....teacher guides.....workbooks.....and more.....
PART of the Language Arts kit.....ONLY part.....must have been 30+ books and materials in this box alone!
In the ART subject kit we even got big full-sized bottles of paints and brushes.....ART books to learn about famous artists and types of art....and gallery posters to look at different types of art and paintings.....I was quite impressed.
NOW I KNOW why I wanted to finish getting this room organized for all your school stuff...and this motivates me to finish doing that this week! I cannot wait to unpack and put onto shelves all your supplies and my teaching guides ....along with things I have purchased or had here for you as well. I am SUPER excited about this year of school for you!
Today we did 5 lessons in MATH......as you wanted to keep working ahead as we are basically starting out reviewing some old Third Grade math to make sure you know it before moving onto Fourth Grade. You are starting out in Fifth Grade language arts so that is exciting too!
We also did art today and your project was working on a self portrait. We are learning about different types of art ...
We did your spelling lesson today as well.....but could not do too much more as at that time we still did not have the textbooks we needed to continue.
We went to the library and picked up 2 of the novels you will need this year.....so we can begin on those....we had a very good day.
THOUGH you started out grumpy and did not want to stop looking at You Tube to get ready for school. In fact you used the F-word......so we talked about your punishment....and I have heard kids can sometimes set worse punishment for themselves....and when I asked you what you felt would be fair punishment....you said to be banned from watching You Tube until Christmas ...that is over 3 weeks and I felt very fair....so for saying the F-word you are locked out from watching anything on You Tube until Christmas Day.
You are also keeping a precipitation chart for December to monitor our precipitation so we can graph it out at the end of the month.
AND you learned about David and Goliath tonight from the Bible.
All in all not a bad beginning......
Now to get you in bed as it is that time already!
I love you Noah!