Tuesday, March 31, 2009

If you're blogging for autism awareness in April

As many of you probably already know, April is Autism Awareness Month and it's just around the corner. I made this button to use for autism awareness posts, feel free to take it and use it too. If you'll be blogging for autism awareness at all next month, please let me know and I'll post a link to your blog.

Also, I thought it would be fun and help to promote awareness to link up to your autism awareness posts, so starting April 1st I'll have a Mr. Linky up and you can add links to your autism awareness posts. I'm planning to do a "linky" post once a week and leave it at the top to make it easier for readers to see them. You can link to as many of your posts during the week as you want.

Spread the word, see you April 1st!



Blogging for Autism Awareness:

Not too sticky
Another Piece of the Puzzle
Three Channels

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Words matter, be kind


It's not about political correctness, it's about kindness and common decency. Contrary to the old "sticks and stones" adage, words can and do hurt.


Monday, March 30, 2009

Little Bitty's birthday celebration

Just wanted to share some pictures from our birthday celebration this weekend. It was very low-key and turned out be a great day overall. We had one major meltdown, but we had two firsts!

We followed many of your suggestions and opted to just make it a relaxing day and follow his lead, with no expectations.

Around mid-morning we were in the garage with the door open and Bitty brought me his shoes, wanting to go outside. The rain had slowed to a little more than a drizzle, and it was fairly warm outside, so with it being his birthday and all, we figured why not. He had a blast running around in the rain and his big brothers joined him.

It didn't take him long to find a soggy puddle:

And what little boy would be content to just stand there in the puddle?

I know it may look a bit odd that he's wearing shorts and a coat. It wasn't cold but we don't have raincoats, so the coat was intended to help him stay dry. Unfortunately we don't have rain boots either so his shoes got soaked. Oh well.

When it was time to come in, Bitty was understandably uncooperative. I sent the "big brother" squad after him and it took both of them to drag him back to the house. LOL, I love Bearhug's expression here, they are always so melodramatic :).

We closed the garage door and Bitty went ballistic. He finally calmed down a little and tried to figure out how to open the door again.

He was right back in meltdown mode when his attempts at getting back outside were unsuccessful. Even more so when he realized that there was a *gasp* bath in his immediate future.


After the bath, we let him play on the computer for a while and we all just relaxed. Next up - a first! He had barely noticed the presents on a desk in the garage earlier in the morning, but he apparently remembered and decided he was curious. Maybe he recognized the shape of some of the packages? He went back out to the garage, climbed up on the chair, and started looking a little closer at the presents. Wondering if he might be finally taking an interest in presents for the first time ever, I grabbed my camera just in case and watched to see what he'd do.

He picked one up, and slowly started to tear at the edge.

The corner he opened revealed a "Thomas" logo, so he sat down and kept carefully unwrapping.

He unwrapped a present for the first time! It was a train (shocker, I know) so he decided it might be worth his time to check out the other presents too. Cuddlebug and Bearhug helped us bring the presents inside so he could unwrap them all. He wasn't quite fast enough at unwrapping for them, so they helped. Bitty didn't mind :).

After that it was time to relax and play for a while.

Cuddlebug and Bitty

Little Bitty loves puzzles

Our second "first" of the day - Cuddlebug and Bearhug were able to pedal their bikes! They've been practicing in the garage. The sidewalk outside is kind of hilly in spots so they had a hard time riding even with training wheels, the garage is flat so it's easier to practice although there is limited space so they just go in circles. Mostly they've been using their feet and then lifting them up for a quick turn or two on the pedals before putting their feet back down, but this time they were able to actually pedal for a little bit :). I'll post the video of them riding separately (that deserves its own post, no?)


We ordered some pizza for lunch and took it easy for a while. Later in the afternoon, Bearhug started asking about the cake.

"I don't need no steenkin' fork!"

After cake, Bitty decided to play with his new stickers. This was just the beginning, we ended up with 60+ Thomas stickers all over the table. For some reason, he doesn't like to put them on paper, just furniture and carpet. I waited until after he went to bed to clean them up :).

All in all it was a good day, for Bitty and for all of us. :)

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Saturday, March 28, 2009

Happy 4th Birthday Little Bitty!

The big day is here, Little Bitty is officially 4 years old. We finally figured out something to do on his birthday, we're going to take him to a petting zoo. He loves animals and had a great time when a petting zoo visited his school in the fall, so we thought he'd enjoy that.

Unfortunately, it is pouring rain today so we'll have to wait until another day. My parents are coming to visit for spring break so we're going to all go together when they get here. Since Bitty doesn't realize it's his birthday (or care that it's his birthday), and we hadn't mentioned the animals yet (because the weather reports indicated possible rain today), he isn't disappointed.

We do have some birthday cake, presents, and bubbles, and I'll be heading out into the rain later this morning to pick up some balloons. So we'll still have a little party at home today :).

In honor of Bitty's birthday, I put this slide show together with pictures of him since he was a baby. I was going to post some pictures but I had a hard time picking just a few so I made a slide show instead :).

Interesting tidbit: Bitty was born the day after Easter, but since the date for Easter moves around his birthday isn't always close to it. I checked the dates, and his birthday will be the day after Easter again when he turns 11. His birthday will be on Easter Day when he turns 22, and again when he turns 27. His birthday won't fall on Easter again after that until he is 95.

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Friday, March 27, 2009

A True Hero: "Spiderman" rescues autistic boy

I stumbled onto this amazing story tonight and I just had to share because it made my day. It's a brief story of simple kindness, creativity, and quick thinking... living proof that there are true heroes in this world.

An 8-yr-old boy, frightened on his first day at a special needs school, climbed out onto a 3rd story ledge and refused to come back in. A fireman, overhearing his mother mention his love for comic book heroes, quickly went back to the fire station and returned wearing a Spiderman costume, which he keeps at the station for school fire drills.

"I told him Spider-Man is here to rescue you, no monsters are going to attack you and I told him to walk slowly towards me as running could be dangerous," Somchai told local television.

Link to the story: http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/thailandchildrenoffbeat

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

SEW & WW: Climbing Mt. Cat-Post

Mr. Bitty loves to climb the cat post. I have lost count of how many times I've told him to STOP climbing the cat post, tried to distract him to do something else, and/or had to pry him away from the cat post. Seriously, this thing was made for a cat, not an almost-40-lb. boy.

The other day I decided to take a quick picture before getting him down (for the umpteenth time). I'm not sure if he was actually pretend-playing or if he just wanted to climb (he climbs everything). When I told him "you're not a cat" he replied, "ca." Could be just repeating, could be arguing with me, lol.

I finally came up with this solution. He got mad and tried to lift it back up. He's strong, but he's not that strong. Mwahahahaha! Score 1 for Mama. ;)

Our cat was unimpressed - with both the invasion of his post and the subsequent tipping of the post - but he found a solution of his own. That's him on top of our kitchen cabinets, way out of reach of climbing boys:

Click here for more Special Exposure Wednesday. For more Wordless Wednesday, click here and here.

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Monday, March 23, 2009

IEP page updates

Just a quick heads up for anyone who's interested, I've added a few updates to the IEP page.

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Story Corner #1: Spray!


Bearhug and Cuddlebug like to make their own books. Here's one that Bearhug wrote last week called, "Spray." As the back cover says, "This story is about a boy. And he sprays." LOL, he shakes up a can of coke to make it spray everywhere.

He uses C1, C2, etc. to mean "Chapter 1, Chapter 2" etc. There's one page he did comic book style, the parts of the page are numbered so that tells you what order to read them in.

If you're familiar with Captain Underpants (the latest book fascination over here) you might recognize some of the influence here (like the "mean principal"). His own principal is actually quite nice :).

I love his pictures, I think he does especially good at capturing facial expressions. His angry faces crack me up!

(Box 4 means, "He graduated," he spelled it like it sounds to him)

For more Magic Marker Monday, visit 5 Minutes for Special Needs.

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Sunday, March 22, 2009

It's almost Bitty's birthday...

... and he couldn't care less. He doesn't seem to have any concept of what a birthday is, or why it's anything he might want to get excited about. I was hoping that this might be the year that he started to care.

I guess not.

He likes cake, sort of. But cake on his birthday has no more meaning than cake any other day. He doesn't really have a concept of being a "big boy." I ask him how old he is, and he just blurts out numbers, "fie! fwee! two! foe! teh!" He's going to be four this week, but age doesn't mean anything to him.

He likes presents, sort of. He doesn't care about opening them and usually leaves that honor to his big brothers (they are more than happy to oblige). Until the presents are freed from their colorful constraints he isn't interested in them. Once they are unwrapped, he'll come along and check them out to see if anything looks interesting. To him it doesn't seem to hold any more significance than getting a new toy, book, or puzzle, any other day of the year.

Today at church the kids sang a birthday song for him. It's supposed to be a fun way to make each child feel special when their birthday is coming up. He wouldn't go up so I carried him, thinking he might be more comfortable if I held him. Nope. He screamed through the entire song. Luckily it was a short song. Maybe I should have just politely declined.


I know in the grand scheme of things it really doesn't matter if he gets excited about his birthday or not. I suppose it doesn't matter if he doesn't seem to know it's his birthday or even what a birthday is. Still, we want to do something special for him, but we're at a loss as to what to do.

He doesn't interact much with other kids yet, so a party doesn't really make sense. Every year so far we've just had a short, simple party at home with a cake and some presents, with just the five of us. I think that's what we'll do again this year.

Sorry if this is kind of a downer post... like I said I was kind of hoping this would be the year it "clicked" and he started to care and get excited about it. Maybe next year. Maybe I should stop waiting for that and just be pleasantly surprised when / if it happens. Someone please tell me I'm not the only one that has felt this way...

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Friday, March 20, 2009

Things I never thought I'd say...

So after I wrote about things my kids will never hear me say, I thought it would be fun to write about things I actually have said, but never thought I would until I did. #1 is my personal favorite, lol. Ah, the joys of potty-training twins :).

1. If that is your poop, how did it end up in your brother's pants? (in response to Bearhug trying to convince me it was HIS so he could be the one to flush it, and no, he couldn't give me a good answer to that one).

2. Maybe we should just put a big frame around it like it's supposed to be there (to dh regarding Little Bitty's wall art... but who hangs frames just a few inches above the baseboards?)

3. Please stop licking the carpet / sidewalk / car door / kitchen knobs / toilet paper holder / shoes...

4. Do you have to wipe your nose on the carpet? We have tissues!

5. Towels are better than walls for drying your hands.

6. What is Percy doing in your mashed potatoes?

7. Your brother's head is not a drum (to Bearhug & Cuddlebug when they were toddlers. Maybe the little drum set was a bad idea?).

8. The back of the couch is not a balance beam.

9. Please stop calling your brother a "cheeky-belly." Can someone please tell me what a "cheeky-belly" is?!

10. Stop climbing onto the counters. More importantly, please stop taking a flying leap at me from the counter-tops. I may not react fast enough to catch you next time!

11. I can't believe my 2-yr-old just gave me a concussion (as I laid on the couch fighting nausea after Cuddlebug demonstrated the tackling techniques dh taught him)

12. No, you can't fire someone from being your brother.

So what are some of the things that you've said and couldn't help thinking to yourself, "I can't believe I just said that!"

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Things my children will NEVER hear me say

I saw this on some other blogs and thought it was a cute idea.

Things my children will NEVER hear me say:

1. You're not tired? Why didn't you say so? In that case, feel free to stay up as late as you want. School night, schmool night.

2. I can hear you best when you're both talking at the same time. Better yet, wait until your little brother is screaming, and then both of you talk to me at the same time.

3. When you hear me tell one of your brothers not to do something, rest assured that it does NOT apply to you. You go right ahead and do the same thing immediately after I tell your brother not to.

4. Poptarts for dinner? Great idea! Let's have some milkshakes with that.

5. The worst part about Saturday morning is that my alarm doesn't go off. I'm glad you make sure to wake me up early on Saturdays, I'd hate to actually sleep in.

6. When I say "clean your room," what I mean is "move all the toys that are on your floor into your brother's room and dump them onto his floor."

7. You know what this house needs more of? Toy trains.

8. My furniture is your jungle gym.

9. The decorative value of scotch tape is highly underrated.

10. Our kitchen is your restaurant. We'll cook whatever you ask for, and you don't even have to eat it once it's done.

11. Thanks for not putting your dirty underwear in the laundry basket. It's much more fun to play hide-and-seek and see if we can find it tossed in random places all over the house.

12. Do you want me to grab some buckets so you can get more water out of the tub and onto the floor? That will be faster than just splashing it all out.

13. Make sure you change clothes at least twice a day, if not more. We want to make sure we're getting our money's worth out of the washer and dryer.

14. If your brother won't listen to you, or has the nerve to disagree with you, it's ok to drag him to the floor for a wrestling match until he sees the light.

15. I'm sure the cat would love to play "horsie" with you. Giddyup!

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Thursday, March 19, 2009


Bearhug has been pretty darn near obsessed with mesothelioma ever since he started noticing those lawyer commercials that come on all the time. For any of you who are not inundated with these commercials, mesothelioma is a serious lung disease caused by exposure to asbestos. And the lawyers are running ads about it all. the. time.

He and Cuddlebug are already fascinated by viruses and illnesses in general, and Bearhug is particularly susceptible to the influence of tv commercials (as I've mentioned before, he can quote all the amazing benefits of things like Mighty Putty, Shamwow, and Mighty Mendit, and is convinced that we need these things).

So it was really no shocker when he started asking questions about mesothelioma. It took him a while to get the pronunciation right, but he's got it now. He's a sensitive guy, so he's very intense and somber about his questions.

What is mesothelioma?
Do I have mesothelioma?
Do you have mesothelioma?
Are we going to get it?
Are you going to die from it? (a few months ago, he would have asked if it would "die" you)
How do people get mesothelioma?
Why do people get mesothelioma?

And on it goes... only to come up again a few days later, and a few days after that, well, you get the idea.

Yesterday, he and I were chatting on the couch and one of those commercials came on. He got quiet as his attention turned to the tv.

"If you've been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you have a lot of questions. What can I do? What will happen to my family? ..." the voice on tv droned.

Bearhug said in an almost a whisper (which is way unusual for him), "If I had mesothelioma... I would have doze questions."


I understand it is a very serious illness, but I wish they'd quit showing those commercials because it is stressing out my little man! At least with Mighty Putty I just have to hear about how it can fix ANYTHING and it can even pull a truck, not about worries that we're all going to die. :(

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Four years ago today (not the birthday post)

If Little Bitty wasn't such a stubborn guy, this might have been the birthday post, but he is, and so it's not. And no, I keep telling you, I have NO idea where he got that from! I just know it wasn't me. *snicker*

Anyway, so four years ago today, Mr. Bitty's due date came and went and nothing happened. Nada. Zip. Not even the hint of excitement. I was impressed with myself for being able to carry him to full term, and thrilled that the NICU was most likely NOT going to be part of the experience this time. But having reached that 40-week mark, I was ready for him to make his big debut. He was content to stay right where he was. I know due dates are just estimates, but still.

Seriously, little dude. Any day now!
Or as my mom likes to say, "what are you
waiting for, an engraved invitation??" hehe

There wasn't much we could do about it, you can't be induced if you've had a prior c-section. And I REALLY wanted a vbac, so we waited.

And waited.

And waited.

For 7 days we waited, at which point there was still no sign of anything happening. I was sure that he'd be ready any. minute. now. It was a Friday, so I talked my dr into giving us the weekend and if he was still barricading himself on Monday, we'd get the party started for him.

Monday morning, ten very long days past my due date, Mr. Stubborn showed no signs of budging. So you guessed it, repeat c-section. Regardless of how he got here, he was soo worth the wait :)

More to come in the birthday post...

Here's Bearhug & Cuddlebug with Grandma "D". Hard to believe they were actually a little younger in this picture than Bitty is now.

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About Me

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I'm a mom of three boys on the autism spectrum, 11-yr-old identical twins and a 7-yr-old. My husband is a SAHD.


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