Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas 2011

I had intentions of writing a nice Christmas letter but time got away from me. Hopefully I will have time in the next few weeks to detail some of the kids' highlights of 2011. Until then, here are some Christmas pictures!

Rylie's Photoshoot (with kids' fingerprints in the center of the lens, apparently. Oh well.)

Best Friends

"Rylie, smile!"

"C'mon, Rylie, smile!"

"No, not Wario. This is not Merry Christmas from Wario."'

There's almost a smile!

A smile!  And... it's blurry.

And... she's gone. Oh well.

Playing Lego Batman.

Hayden's Photoshoot

Sadie's Trick

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

My Grandpa

So, I have this belief, maybe you'll think it's kinda crazy, but that's alright.

My grandpa is my angel, and when I'm really down, when I'm really in a tough spot, thinking about how bad my current situation is and in need of some guidance, right when I'm feeling the worst, he sends an animal across my path to reassure me that everything will be ok. It's always an animal that is unusual, or shouldn't really be there in that particular situation. And within a few hours or days, whatever bad thing I was dreading is replaced by something good. Last time this happened was a few months ago, and I was worried about whether I could pay my rent.  I was walking through the parking lot at work, and it was really cold out.  A black butterfly flew across my path. It was much too cold out, and too late in the season, for butterflies. It came from behind me and went past, almost hitting me in the head.  Later that day I found out that not only was it ok for me to pay my rent a week late without a fee, because it was my first time doing so, but that I was owed a $40 credit and didn't even need to pay the whole amount.

I don't know how I came to realize this happens. It just kept happening after I had prayed for guidance. Those of you who know me know that I'm not a very religious person, but I am a very spiritual person. I believe things happen for a reason.  I believe in angels. I believe that there is some type of afterlife when you die. My grandfather died when I was in high school, and I felt really close to him. He's the only person I've been close to who has died, so I knew if someone was helping me it would have to be him.  For a while I wondered why he chose animals as the sign, though. Why not move a large object or make something else weird happen? Then I remembered Grandpa's funeral, and how everyone talked about his love for animals, and how he could get animals to do things that no one else could.  Chipmunks would eat out of his hand, for example. Grandpa would be a good choice for my guardian angel, and animals would be a good choice for his sign.

So on Sunday, it was one of those days.  I just needed some guidance that things would be ok.  I was beating myself up all day about how poor a job I was doing at keeping it together, of doing a good job, of making ends meet. (I know, silliness.) It was probably because Jason had the kids that day for Christmas, and seeing him always gets me down.  I went to the grocery and as I came walking up to my apartment building, this is what I saw:

That would be a hawk.  Sitting right outside my apartment building as I walked up, not 10 feet away, and looking right at me.  Not moving away as I walked toward the building. Do you see that one tree in the picture? Yeah, that's the only tree.  Well, there are maybe 5 trees. But this is not a hawk-type of area.  This is an "I live right next to the interstate and can hear the cars at night" type of area.

There was a guy in the parking lot waxing his car, and I said, "hey, come look at this hawk!" because I thought maybe it wasn't really there and it was just my imagination. The guy came over and said, "Huh! Maybe it's hurt?"  I don't know, I thought.

"I hope not," I said. The hawk just stared at both of us.  "Well, if he's still here in a little while I'll call wildlife to come check it out." The guy shrugged and went back to his car. I went inside and put down my groceries and came back out with my camera and took his picture. The guy in the parking lot called out, "Is it still there?"  Yep. "Huh!"  The hawk let me take his picture, and I just watched him for a few minutes. He looked right back at me.  And I knew it was my Grandpa behind those wise eyes. So I said "Thank you" and went back inside to put away my groceries. And I let my shoulders relax, and I told myself, "it will be ok.  You will be ok."

Half an hour later I came back out to check on him, and the hawk was gone. He wasn't injured; he had flown away on his own.

Now maybe there was a natural reason he was there: maybe he saw a mouse and wanted a snack, or was flying past and was pausing for a rest. Maybe he was just bored. Do hawks get bored? And why choose a busy spot in the middle of so much human activity?

Well, I think someone made him stop in that strange spot, at that particular time, because they knew it would mean something to me.  It was important. Because right then I needed someone up there to say, "You're doing great. It's going to be ok." 

Addendum June 20, 2012:

I got this msg from Hayden's BCBA today:

Your son is in LOVE with a lite bright. He got to play with one during OT today and told me that he wants mommy to know he likes it. :)

My msg back to her:

Aww! Ok, I have to tell you, that is funny for three reasons.

First, he used to have one before we moved. It's funny how he doesn't seem to remember things from before he was more recovered from Autism. Almost like he was zoned out and now he's more aware? This isn't the first time he's acted like he's never seen something that he used to use on a daily basis.

Second, I found a bucket of the pegs maybe two days ago while packing, and looked but couldn't find the actual light box so I thought about getting him a new one.

Third, my grandpa and I used to play lite brite together when I was Hayden's age. My grandpa always asked if I wanted to play it with him, it was our favorite activity to do together. This last year has been hard and I've felt that my grandpa was looking over me this past year and helping me.

So.... coincidence that I just thought about the lite bright two days ago and now he's used one at school, and loves it? Which made me come back and read this post, which made me feel that he was again reaching out to me. :)

Addendum 7/1/12

Had huge trouble moving into my apartment. Went to move in, it smelled like smoke, I thought I wouldn't have a place to live, but all my stuff was in a truck and I had no where else...When it was all set and done, I ended up with a bigger place for the same price, and no water behind for the kids to accidentally drown in. Bob and I went to return the moving truck and I checked the time. 4:40 (A significant number from college. The number keeps popping up when good things happen to me.)

Addendum 3/2/13

I just wrote that I might have found my life's purpose on my personal FB account. Hit Post. Looked at time. 4:40. O.o Wow.

Grandpa wants me to find a job with Autism. Anyone need to hire a parent liaison? :)

Addendum 1/24/16

I was hired later that year as a parent liaison at an autism center. :)  I still work there and love it.

Other 440 References:

An Autism Mom Named TaLesha

Monday, December 19, 2011

Is it break yet?

Just two more days until I get two weeks off, but I don't think I'm going to make it.  The constant whining and screaming by these two is getting to me. It's usually because Rylie wants to play with whatever Hayden has, or eat whatever he is eating, and Hayden is extremely not happy about that prospect. Today after I told him to quit whining because I was grumpy he said, "oh, you are? Oh... I was just kidding.  I was just kidding then, Mommy. Ok?"  And then he let her play with his toy food.

Also I'm annoyed that I owe a ton of money to taxes for being self employed (I had the money saved up and spent it all on rent when I moved out), so I don't have money for new supplements as I had planned. And I'm annoyed because I haven't had as much time lately to give Hayden all his supplements, and his bruises are coming back on his legs.  I feel personally responsible, like if I only had 2 more hours in my day I could get him all his supplements and he wouldn't have bruises.  I know it's silly, but I'm just burnt out.  I'm tired. I just want Hayden and Rylie to be as healthy as they can be, and I don't have enough time to figure it out or make it happen.  I want to create a new job as an Autism consultant to parents, so I can just figure all this stuff out all day. Anybody want to hire me? I would do a good job.  ; )

Now I'm going to sleep so I can do it all over again tomorrow. With a smile on my face. Because "love is patient, love is kind," and at the end of the day I know my babies are so worth it. But a break sure will be nice...  : )

Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas Letters

This is the first year Hayden cared about writing Santa. He wrote the letter all by himself!

(In case you can't read it:)
Dear Santa,
I want for Christmas Shadow and Dr. Eggman.
Love, Hayden

Mommy's note: this is not what he wanted (and what Mommy ordered) two weeks ago!  Good thing Amazon has quick shipping. : )

Black Eye pics

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Hayden's Joke

I got a new mattress last week, and put the old queen mattress on the floor of my room to get Hayden to start sleeping in his own bed. I had to bribe him with a giant Mario toy. That worked for two days. "If you get out of bed in the night, Mario goes back in the closet and you can't play with him." The third night he tried to get back in my bed and I told him that Santa won't come if he doesn't sleep in his own bed.  That has worked for a week so far.  The night he was sick I told him he could crawl in bed with me at 3 am, just for one night. My ulterior motive was that I thought he had a minor concussion, and this way I could poke him every once in a while and wake him up. He started to get in my bed, then stopped, and said, "Is that alright for Santa?"  Yes, Santa will let you sleep here for one night, it's ok. : )

Tonight Hayden and I read two of the Mo Willems books before bed. I love that he is branching out to read books with a story line, rather than just picture books for toddlers. I also love having a library so close, because I can pick out 10 books a week, and if he only likes 1, that's ok, because I didn't actually buy them.  The ones that he wants to read over and over I can buy for him later. So, tonight we read "Can I play?" and "I'm going."  Earlier today we read, "Don't let the pigeon drive the bus."  In that last book, the pigeon comes up with lots of reasons why you should let him drive the bus, much like a kid asking for candy at the store.  Things like, "my cousin drives a bus...I'll just steer...I have dreams, you know.  I'll give you 5 bucks..." It's a cute story.

After we read our two books I gave Hayden a kiss, said goodnight, and got up to get in my own bed.  He has been at Daddy's for two nights and wanted to know if the rule still stood. "Are you sleeping in my bed?"  No, I'm going to sleep in my bed. "I thought you changed your mind."  No, I like my bed, I'm going to sleep there.  "Oh. ...   I'll give you 5 bucks."  

Keep in mind that Hayden has no real concept of money yet.  If you handed him 5 bucks he wouldn't know what to do with it. A project for another day. But he did understand that the pigeon was trying to bribe the reader into letting him do something he wanted, and he applied it to his own situation.  Wow!

I started cracking up laughing and said, "Hayden, you just made a joke!"  He started laughing too, and said, "yeah. What's the big deal, it's just a bus?  That's a joke, too."

Oh, Hayden.  I spend every minute of my day working on rescuing you from Autism, and just when I feel like it's too much for me to handle, you go and make me realize that it's so worth it.  You are a treasure. 5 bucks wouldn't even cut it. : )

Saturday, December 10, 2011

November Pictures

Here are a bunch of pictures for you. Some out of order, because it's hard to move them in Blogger, and I don't care enough. : )

 This is Ry trying to eat a bristle block.  I think you'll notice a theme here with her pics.

Hayden sees carrots on his Blue's Clues show all the time, but they look nothing like the baby carrots he eats. I decided to buy him a "real" carrot the other day. He was very excited about it.

"Dang, I've been caught!"

Yes, it's very funny to take all the recyclables out of the box.

Maybe there's something in here I'd want...

At the Children's Museum.
Eating the play food.
While Hayden and his new friend build things....
Rylie makes her own friends.

She was talking to her and sharing her food. : )

Trying to eat another toy.

The guys took care of the turkey on Thanksgiving.

Hayden was so excited to spend a day with Uncle Bill.
Rylie wanted to be in the picture, too.

Bill said the towel over his shoulder made him the head chef.  Or something like that.

The crazy PWF (Puppy Wrestling Federation). Daisy (Bob's), Max (Mom & Dad's), Cruiser, (Bob's), and Sadie (Bill's).

Hayden loves Chuck E Cheese. He doesn't really care about tickets, just playing games with his school friends.

Hayden and his friend AJ on the rollercoaster ride.

Dancing with Chuck E.

4 of these guys are Cornerstone Kids. They did so well!

3 of these are Cornerstone Kids. The birthday boy was too busy to be in the picture, I guess.

Hayden has some sweet dancing moves, if you need tips.

Hayden's head injury.  He rolled from his peanut ball into the corner of the train table.


He was suddenly very tired, but I made him stay awake for an hour. He decided the best place was here so he could still see Rudolph.

This is usually the best spot for viewing Rudolph. Big tv, yet you still have to sit 2 feet away.

Rylie helps pack for her dad's by taking everything out of the bags. Half the battle is packing all Hayden's special food and supplements.

Hayden's injury is now creating a bit of a black eye. More pictures to come. He seems to be doing well, though. No vomiting, so that's good.  Rylie was vomiting Friday afternoon, they said Flu is going around the daycare.  She had an ear infection last week.  Hayden gets new therapists this week (though he has had them both before) and will be moving with them in January to the new 3 story building Cornerstone is renovating behind the current building. It will be for the older kids, with a mock classroom to help them transition to public school.  

That's all for now! Christmas post coming soon!  : )