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How Much Longer, America?

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We’re almost 2 months into ’09 and I thought I’d give a quick update to my yearly resolutions.

1. Stop spanking my kids. 

I think I’ve only had to spank Kalliope once or twice.  HOWEVER, since she knows we’re trying not to spank her, she’s been pushing my buttons a lot more.  Testing me to see what she can get away with!  ARGH!!!

2. Have more patience with my kids, especially Kalliope. 

I’m getting better, but it’s a work in progress.

3. Lose 30 lbs.

So far I’ve lost 10 lbs. doing the Special K diet!

4. Keep my house clean 75% of the time (a big number here considering it’s usually around 10%) and fold laundry straight out of the dryer.

I have yet to let any clean laundry pile up unfolded.  My house has been a little cleaner, probably about 50%.  I don’t want to go too high too fast, I’m might give my husband a heart attack.

5. Be a better friend.  I don’t call my friends and don’t tell them how great they are nearly enough.

This one has been tough for me since I’m not a mushy person.  Don’t worry, I haven’t given up!

6. Get and STAY on a budget!

Don’t ask.

7. Read through my entire Bible! 

I’m getting to it.

8. Learn to let things go. 

Another work in progress.

9. Get my kids out of the house more. 

I’ve been good about getting Kalliope and Miles out while Zane is at school, but it still gives me a headache just thinking about running to Wal*Mart with all 3.

*A quick side note.  My girl, Jen, recently had a 70’s party.  Pictures will be coming soon!

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)

Here are a few pictures from Christmas Eve through yesterday.  I’m not as dedicated as those who got pics of their kids opening presents up on their blogs on Christmas.  I did want to add that I plan to blog more as another resolution for the year.  Yeah, we’ll see how that goes.

Miles with Elmo Live, his big gift this year.  Do you think he likes it?  I’ve also got a video of Kalliope singing at church but I’m having trouble uploading it.  I’ll post it if I can get it to work!

I have done some year end evaluations of myself and have compiled a list of resolutions for 2009.  In no particular order:

1. Stop spanking my kids.  Yup, we’ve thrown away the spanking spoon.  It doesn’t really work anyway.  Taking away Hannah Montana toys or writing sentences for an hour is much more effective.

2. Have more patience with my kids, especially Kalliope.  She’s my little mama and I depend on her for a lot of help.  That’s a huge responsibility for an 8 (almost 9!) year old.  It’s easy for her to really get the brunt of my frustration from her brothers.

3. Lose 30 lbs.

4. Keep my house clean 75% of the time (a big number here considering it’s usually around 10%) and fold laundry straight out of the dryer.

5. Be a better friend.  I don’t call my friends and don’t tell them how great they are nearly enough.

6. Get and STAY on a budget!

7. Read through my entire Bible!  I tend to read passages here and there, but there are books that I’ve never even cracked.

8. Learn to let things go.  I’ve gotten better, but still have a long way to go!

9. Get my kids out of the house more.  Right now Zane goes to school, church, and Awana, and that’s pretty much it.  It’s hard to go to the store or playground with all 3, but I just need to suck it up and do it.  How else will he get better?

ball

I’m sure I’ll think of more, but that’s what I have for now.  How about you?

I pray that you all have a prosperous and blessing filled 2009! 

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

And one more thing, we have a sitter for the kids tonight for the first New Year’s Eve in 6 years!  Woo hoo!!!  We have no idea what to do with ourselves!

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.

081508-005

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.

Yes, I’m still here.  We’ve just been so busy!  Anyway, this past week my family was blessed to be able to attend the Joni and Friends family retreat.  It’s a great organization that, amongst many other things, provides a retreat for families with special needs.  We met a lot of great and inspiring people and got a much needed break.  Zane got a one on one buddy all week, the baby went to their nursery, and Kalliope got to do all kinds of fun things with other kids her age.  She went horse back riding, rode the zip line, and climbed the rock wall.  Jason and I did the zip line too; it was a blast!  We tried to get Zane to do all those things, but he freaked right when it was his turn to go.

All in all it was a great experience and highly recommend it to any family with special needs.  But it’s always great to be home too!