Dec 30, 2008


It's been nice not to have any appointments or therapies lately. I feel like I am on vacation. Our Christmas was very nice; very quick and fast. There wasn't much time between Thanksgiving and Christmas, so maybe that's why it felt like a whirlwind.

We had not one, not two, not three, but FOUR turkey Christmas dinners delivered to our house. I wonder what kind of list we got ourselves on. :) They didn't all arrive at the same time, just random times by random people. A neighbor, and the rest were strangers. People can be very thoughtful and kind. I only wish we could be on the giving side of things more often. We just don't have a lot to give. I did make some fudge and gave it to our neighbors. One neighbor uses his snowblower and does our driveway, which is such a help because of Bill's bad back. Sometimes we'll send the boys out there to shovel, but they really have a hard time staying on task and remembering what they are supposed to be doing out there in the snow. You know, snow is for playing in, not working in...

Ryder's stomach is a little better right now. He has been VERY loving and wanted me to pick him up a lot today. He gave me a pat on the back and said, "Mammmaa". I just want to bottle up these precious times when he is more tractable--and save it for one of his crappy days.

Hunter has his first real playdate planned with two of his new-found friends (who have similar issues) on New Year's Day. These boys met through a "friendship skills class" offered by the school counselor. He is really excited. I think we need an advent calendar to count the days down! They will be sledding down our hill and having hot chocolate. The exciting part is that the boys' moms are coming and it will be so much fun getting to know other mom's going through similar challenges. Maybe it is I that needs a count-down calendar!

Dec 23, 2008


by Cindy Waeltermann

Twas the Night Before Christmas

And all through the house

The creatures were stirring

Yes, even the mouse

We tried melatonin

And gave a hot bath

But the holiday jitters

They always distract

The children were finally

All nestled in bed

When nightmares of terror

Ran through my OWN head

Did I get the right gift

The right colorAnd style

Would there be a tantrum

Or even, maybe, a smile?

Our relatives come

But they don't understand

The pleasure he gets

Just from flapping his hands.

"He needs discipline," they say

"Just a well-needed smack,

You must learn to parent..."

And on goes the attack

We smile and nod

Because we know deep inside

The argument is moot

Let them all take a side

We know what it's like

To live with the spectrum

The struggles and triumphs

Achievements, regressions...

But what they don't know

And what they don't see

Is the joy that we feel

Over simplicity

He said "hello"

He ate something green!

He told his first lie!

He did not cause a scene!

He peed on the potty

Who cares if he's ten,

He stopped saying the same thing

Again and again!

Others don't realize

Just how we can cope

How we bravely hang on

At the end of our rope

But what they don't see

Is the joy we can't hide

When our children with autism

Make the tiniest stride

We may look at others

Without the problems we face

With jealousy, hatred

Or even distaste,

But what they don't know

Nor sometimes do we

Is that children with autism

Bring simplicity.

We don't get excited

Over expensive things

We jump for joy

With the progress work brings

Children with autism

Try hard every day

That they make us proud

More than words can say.

They work even harder

Than you or I

To achieve something small

To reach a star in the sky

So to those who don't get it

Or can't get a clue

Take a walk in my shoes

And I'll assure you

That even 10 minutes

Into the walk

You'll look at me

With respect, even shock.

You will realize

What it is I go through

And the next time you judge

I can assure you

That you won't say a thing

You'll be quiet and learn,

Like the years that I did

When the tables were turned.......

Dec 13, 2008

Since everyone I know is struggling with maintaining some sort of economic cash flow, I thought I'd do my part and throw this idea out there for those that are looking for an easy, frugal gift for the person that has everything.

Here are some centerpieces that I made for some members of our family for Christmas. I don't think they ever view my blog, so I felt it was safe to post. :) I found everything at the dollar store, or in my own house. You can switch it up by changing plates (these are the heavy ceramic kind), candles, and the decor inside the goblets (goblets are upside down). I figured it would be good to use throughout the year with different holidays and themes.

Dec 7, 2008


I thought I'd give an update on how each of the kids are doing lately. This may be boring for ya'll!
Mercedes: She continues to have Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis (the dr's aren't totally sure because the labs came back negative, but everything else points to it). She has to go down to Salt Lake again in 6 weeks for a checkup. She is hating jr high and the boys that go with it. She is a fun girl who likes to laugh and giggle. One thing we are working on with her is 'How to take a 3 minute shower' vs. her 30 minute shower. With her ADD she forgets what she is doing in a square cubicle with water spraying on her, apparently. :)
Hunter: He is in 4th grade, with casual friends. He has never had a close friend--and he's never had a friend over to play. I guess for him, he enjoys being by himself and not having that added pressure of being social. He was recently told by Dr Darold Treffert, an expert in Savant Syndrome, and a consultant for the movie Rainman, that he is an Artistic Autistic Savant. I hope that he will be able to provide for himself with this talent as he matures. There are too many starving artists out there. Hunter has recently taken up playing the ukulele. Don't ask me why. :)
Mason: He is doing great in 2nd grade. He was retained this year (an August birthday) and I'm glad we decided to do it. His self esteem is better being the oldest and biggest in his class. He is reading above grade level now--a super improvement from just a year ago! His IEP was the other day, and they are thinking he won't qualify for Speech and OT by May. He and Hunter take a special needs gymnastic class on Tuesdays, too. The instructors want the boys to learn a gym routine and participate in Special Olympics. Both boys are active in the Scouting program, too.
Ryder: He continues with gut issues. His school calls me often to come pick him up if he is having a bad day--usually it's because of severe gas pains. I wish we could get to the bottom of it...literally. He loves to give squeezes and pats on the back and is very loving, even though he has autism. That tells you that kids with autism aren't all the same. Some really are loving. He likes to be sneaky and at times will escape from the house and, of course, this creates a lot of drama in the family! I pray every day that angels will watch over him, because I can't be everywhere at once.
With the hubby, after several years of filing for disability, he was finally approved. It took an attorney to push it through. I feel validated now. This probably isn't something that people talk about in general, but I don't care. We have fought a long and hard battle which justifies a little celebration.
As for me, I recently started exercising in, yet again, another attempt to lose weight. With the new year approaching I will be taking a refresher course to get my LPN license current. And then we'll see where that leads. Bill and I might be doing a "role reversal". Me, the bread winner, and he the house-husband.
All in all, it's been a good year with some successes along the way. We still have a ways to go. My babies are getting older and bigger--if I had a super power I would squeeze them back down to when they were babies--oh, but for a moment!



Ernie and Oscar learn they like different things-great for kids on the Spectrum!