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How Much Longer, America?

I can’t believe my sweet little boy is 8 years old today!  He’s been such and angel and blessing to all of us.  We love you!

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Happy birthday, Zane!

I know that I don’t post nearly enough about Zane, but to be honest, he hasn’t been doing that great.  A lot of tantruming and a big increase in is OCD behavior (which leads to the tantrums most of the time).  My guy who used to be happy 90% of the time and upset 10% has now flipped and is upset 90% and happy 10%.  He used to have a tantrum and be over it in just a couple of minutes, but now they go on and on.  Also, most of the time when I take pictures of him, he squints due to the flash and his overly sensitive eyes, so most pictures have him making a strange face.  Nevertheless, I’m going to post a few cute pics and a video of my sweet boy.

Bed head

There are a few guys from my church that would love to wake up with hair like this! 

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Not loving the flash.

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My attempt at making a bad picture look “artistic”.

We’ve all had days like this.

I don’t have a whole lot to write about.  Maybe I’ll get some pictures of the kids up in the next few days, but today I just wanted to post a link to this story at the blog Age of Autism.  This is a sad, yet eye-opening story.  Unfortunately, we can’t rely on doctors to know everything.

I know it’s been a little while since I’ve posted anything substantial, I’ve been very busy so cut me a little slack. 

Yesterday I sang at Elevation Church like I do almost every Sunday now, but I got to sing at the 6 pm service that just started a few weeks ago.  The energy there was amazing and I was so pumped up for the rest of the night!

My mom just sent me a webcam, so I set that up today and set up a free video calling account.  We’re pretty excited about that.  I connected my laptop up to my flat screen in the living room so the kids could see better and hopefully Zane would be interested in it.  No such luck.  Anyway, the boys we’re getting hungry and my mom, who I was talking to at the time, suggested just leaving the call open since it’s a free service.  I agreed, but was very unsettled.  I kept looking up and seeing my mom sitting there on the TV and felt like I was on display.  I don’t think I’ll be hooking it up to the TV anymore.  Kalliope loves it and even asked if I could set my laptop up on her nightstand so she could wake up and call her Grandma.  My husband and I are amazed.  When we were kids and watched futuristic shows like the Jetsons, everyone had video phones.  Now it’s common for people to have webcams.  What’s next?  Jetpacks?  I can’t wait for that to come!

123108-004Miles, my youngest, is now 16 months old and upon the suggestion of my friend, I’m compiling a list of words he’s saying.  I just decided to post them rather than write them on a piece of paper that would eventually get lost in one of my many junk drawers.  Since Zane is autistic and lost of his most of his words at around 18 months old (not that he had many to begin with), I wanted to keep track of Miles’ progress. 

Without further ado, I present to you…Miles’ list of words:

  • juice (spoken very well and many, many times throughout the day)
  • dada
  • nana (banana)
  • tickle
  • dog
  • ball
  • box
  • eyes
  • nose
  • hi
  • thank you (his first words, actually)
  • Elmo
  • mouth
  • uh-ho (meant to be uh-oh, but we’re working on that)
  • no no (his latest, with the finger shake and everything)
  • tiss (kiss)
  • Say (Zane)
  • book
  • Cici (Lucy, our dog)
  • hello
  • doooooo (dude)

Every Friday morning, I meet a group of moms for breakfast.  All of our boys have autism and it’s an unofficial support group.  I can only imagine what the people at nearby tables must think of us.  Sometimes we reinact our boys’ stims or talk about poop…in great detail.  Many of our boys have digestive issues which leads to some very interesting #2 conversation.  The idea has been brought up by Jennifer that we should write a book with some of the crazy stories we have.  I wouldn’t even know where to start.  I think that this and this would have to make it in there somewhere.  You know, with the recession, we really could use the extra money.

Also, I want to give a shout out to all my FB girls.  I love you all!

I just had to use the term “shout out” because in the past couple of days I’ve heard a number of people that were over 50 using that term and it sounded ridiculously funny to me.

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Unfortunately the 80’s party is the only picture that I could find most of us in.  Hey girls, how bout next time we’re all together, we take a normal picture?  Mmmkay?  Thanks.

Saturday the family headed up to Lowe’s Motor Speedway for the annual Walk Now for Autism.  It was a beautiful day for it and the kids held up pretty well.  Surprisingly Kalliope didn’t complain very much.  As of this post, the walk raised over $340,000 to go towards autism research!    Here are some pictures from that day.

This school year is proving to be a busy one.  I’m really trying to get a good routine with home schooling this year, which means sticking to my schedule, and that doesn’t leave much free time.  I try to schedule things for Kalliope to do all day, so that she doesn’t get bored and we don’t slack off.  As a rule, she isn’t allowed free time to just play video games or watch TV until her brother gets home from school (unless it’s an educational game or TV show).  School for Zane has been going well and he loves it.  Miles is walking now (when he wants to) and saying several words.  He points a lot, eye contact is great, and responds when you call his name.  My autism parents out there can appreciate that.  Some of the words he’s saying are:

  • Thank you
  • da-da
  • ma-ma
  • that (while he’s pointing to whatever he wants)
  • shoe

I’ve been pretty good about going to the gym, however I haven’t seen any big changes yet.  Our weekends are full with karate, serving at church, birthday parties, and chores around the house.  Singing at church has been a lot of fun and a great outlet for me.  I get a weekly break from the kids to do something positive and productive.  Jason has started gigging out and in the past month done 2 gigs, both playing kids music.  He really enjoys that and wants to pursue that more.  So if anyone out there is in need of a singer/guitar player to perform at festivals or kids birthdays, he’s the man to call!!!

Well, unless something exciting happens or until bloggers block goes away, I’ll be posting some pictures and videos of the family.

It’s been a little while since I’ve updated everyone on Zane’s summer, other than the bug incidents, so here it goes.  Zane has become particularly anxious this summer.  I really don’t know why.  It may just be a side effect from the medication he started about 3 months ago.  The littlest things set him off and he’ll go into a full on meltdown.  Throwing himself on the ground and refusing to walk, is just one of the lovely behaviors.  Gotta love summer vacation!

Let’s see, it was about a month ago when I lost Zane at the mall.  I was just there to exchange a couple of his birthday gifts.  I litterally glanced down to read a price tag, and when I looked back up, Zane was gone.  I was in the middle of a department store and Zane is shorter than all the clothing racks, so I had no idea which way he had gone.  I frantically called his name knowing that he wouldn’t verbally respond but hoping he would come back to me.  He’s been running off a lot more these past few months.  Anyway, I could feel the panic setting in and the tears welling up.  I had the baby in the stroller and Kalliope too, so I could only look but so fast and I knew the more time I spent looking in the wrong places, the further he was getting away from me.  I was in a little run down mall in a small town and frankly, they didn’t have a missing child protocol other than to call security.  Most malls now go into complete lock down the second a child goes missing.  As I ran around, I kept thinking of all the automatic doors that Zane could just walk right out of and into traffic.  After about 20 agonizing minutes, I finally I found him at the other end of the mall circling the gumball machines.  My relief of finding him was short lived.  The minute I grabbed his hand he threw the mother of all tantrums!  Everyone stared and I ended up just leaving the mall in complete tears.

Yesterday we had a playdate at a local park here after Zane’s open house.  Jason was working, so it was just me and the kids.  I had gone in prepared for the worst (or so I thought) and was prepared to have to leave at any moment.  Since it was late in the day, there were only a handful of other kids.  A father and his son, I would guess around 9 years old, were reading and having sandwiches in the pavillion.  Zane was good running around and playing until he happened upon this man and son.  I was with the baby, but watching Zane like a hawk.  I saw Zane run up and grab a bite of the boy’s peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and then I was on the run.  It’s a big park and it was like I was running in slow motion.  The man had taken the sandwich from him and Zane proceeded to absolutely freak.  Screaming, stomping, punching himself, etc.  The man literally grabbed his stuff and ran about 20 feet from Zane and just stood there and stared at him looking completely horrified.  I finally got there (yes, I will be returning to the gym once school starts!) and apologized profusely.  I decided it was time to go and after another big tantrum and some bribery, we left.  I was okay with the events that transpired until I talked with my husband.  I just broke down.  I could tell he was ticked about the man, but I wasn’t.  Heartbroken.  That’s the exact word.  All I could see is the man staring at Zane with such fear it his eyes.  I couldn’t blame him, he didn’t know why Zane was acting that way.  Sometimes I’m glad that Zane doesn’t notice other people’s reactions to him, and this was one of those times.

I really don’t have a point to these stories.  I guess sharing just helps me to process everything and remember to be patient with other people.  Having Zane is a constant adjustment for me, and I live with him day in and day out.  Oh well, tomorrow is a new day.  And school starts on Monday!  Yeah!

BTW, I got one of these for Zane.  So far I’ve only gotten stares, haven’t heard any comments…yet.